Microsoft book search?

John McChesney-Young panis at PACBELL.NET
Tue Dec 12 14:27:10 UTC 2006

At 6:30 AM -0500 12/12/06, Stephen Goranson wrote:

>What do you think of microsoft book search?
>I have only very brief experience with it. First impressions: fewer books than
>google book search; fewer advanced search options; more reliable bibliographic
>data; the scans so far ok.

I posted my own 9K brief-experience comparative review to the
medieval religion and Classics lists last Saturday. Here's a link to
the archived copy of the latter.


I've not used Microsoft's WLBS much since posting that, but yesterday
while working on a bibliographical resource for Google Books -
necessary because of their poor cataloging practices and the
unreliable and irreproducible search results - I was struck again by
how many books they've made available, in particular in western
European languages other than English.

On the off-chance anyone here is interested, I've managed to compile
a list of URLs for about 80% of the volumes of the Migne _Patrologia
Graeca_ and if you'd like me to let you know when it's fit for public
display, write me off-list. I expect the other 20% of the series are
there, too, but I haven't discovered them yet. To give an example of
a characteristic challenge I've faced, I've managed to find 8 of the
9 volumes of Origen's works while searching with a variety of terms
Google uses in their author/title cataloging: Migne, Patrologiae,
Cursus, etc. Yesterday and again just now I searched for "Origenis,"
which is featured prominently on the title page of each volume of his
works in that series, and there wasn't a single hit for the PG

What's odd is that search results for the same term sometimes (but
not always) vary significantly even within minutes, with new results
turning up and old ones disappearing; the old ones aren't being
pulled from digital circulation because the previously found URLs
still work. It's quite mysterious and rather annoying. This is
entirely apart from the poor quality of a painfully large proportion
of the scans. On the plus side, they do have a lot of books!


*** John McChesney-Young  **  **   Berkeley,
California, U.S.A.  ***

The American Dialect Society -

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