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Online Books: Google Books Greek and Latin and Hathi Trust

June 18, 2010

Google Books, working with Professors Greg Crane and Alison Babeu of Tufts University, has recently published two pages collecting digitized texts relevant to Classics.

  • Ancient Greek and Latin Texts is accessible to all, consisting of out-of-copyright volumes.  Downloadable (searchable!) zip files include plain text and images, and a link is provided to the Google Books page for the volume, which can then be read online or downloaded as a .pdf.
  • Ancient Greek and Latin Texts – Limited Distribution limits download of the zip files to users in the United States, and requires the user to log in with a Google account in order to download.   All users can get access to the Google Books page for the text, which may or may not be available for online reading or download as a .pdf.

If you are searching for digitized versions of ancient texts or scholarly works, I also recommend the Hathi Trust catalog.  Hathi Trust is managed by a cooperative association of major United States academic libraries.  It serves as a repository for many digitized collections of these libraries, and, like Google Books, includes many out-of-copyright works of scholarship in full.  Indeed, in some cases, Hathi Trust has worked to make scholarly works available when Google Books has not done so (I described an example here, and John Wilkin of the University of Michigan explained how they do it in comments).  I also find it has much better indexing than Google Books (since it relies on library records!), making the search for a known item much simpler than in Google Books, where often enough many irrelevant results clutter the screen.

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