The open society, the unrestricted access to knowledge, the unplanned and uninhibited association of men for its furtherance — these are what make a vast, complex, ever growing, ever changing, ever more specialized and expert technological world nevertheless a world of human community.
-J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1953
One of my takeaways from the Google Books metadata “mess” is that full-text searching is not a substitute for accurate metadata. If it was, Google would not be spending any time or energy creating or providing metadata for Google Book Search.
–Christine Schwartz, 9/16/2010
You can’t right a historic wrong, but you can stop participating in the perpetuation of bias by focusing attention only only those who have succeeded in traditional ways in business, academia, government, journalism etc. Don’t wait for the day when women and minorities succeed like white men in positions that were formerly the exclusive province of white men.
-Female Science Professor, 9/14/2010
I found it! In a digitized version of L’art du facteur d’orgues from Harvard.
Maybe I’m the last person to find out about this, but a friend recently told me how he uses Google custom search engines to tailor his searching to sites that he knows contain content that is good and/or useful to him. This is especially relevant when you want to do targeted searching in a specific subject area, or for a specific type of content, like film reviews or recipes. The one million benefits of creating custom search engines were immediately obvious to me, and I’m still wondering why I haven’t really heard of anyone using this before. I’m sure people do. They were probably just keeping it secret?
Anyways, I started my first custom search engine today. It’s called “la France en ligne” and currently searches a number of French cultural sites, library webpages, email list archives, digital exhibitions and online collections hosted at various universities and museums. I’m planning on adding more to it, but I was so anxious to try it out I had to stop after 20 URLs. Still, the results are pretty impressive as far as relevance goes. I did two sample searches, one for “George Sand” and another for “Robespierre” and got pretty great results. Try it and tell me what you think?
I definitely want to create one for recipes, where I can limit my searching just to the blogs I know post good and healthy foods I’m likely to want to make. And I’m also thinking an image search engine could be really great. I would be interested in hearing about any custom search engines others have used and what makes them special!