Thursday, November 29, 2007

Online Library and Research Resources

I've posted before (here and here) on online library and research tools, and there are a couple new items I can add to the list.

  • lingro - This new site includes dictionaries for English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Polish (and since it is open content, users can add to the dictionary and also create their own word lists for review), a web viewer, and a file viewer (using your own .txt, .pdf, or.doc files). It works by rendering every word on a page or document as clickable and providing a popup translation of choice. (It is similar to what you can do with the Greek texts on Re:Greek=zhubert.) Google Language Tools provides other ways to deal with translation and includes 14 languages, but this lingra provides a great integration and customizability of resources. For a fuller review of lingra's advantages, check this blog review.
  • The Universal Digital Library - This is a new digital collection that includes books that are not available in either GoogleBook or Microsoft LiveBook. (E.g., Robinson's 1915 Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar is only available here.) There are more than a 1.5 million books now digitized, and it reflects more of a global collection with many books in Chinese, Arabic, Sanskrit, Urdu, etc. For some perspective, there are 2608 English language books in "Religion," 687 returns for "Bible," 527 for "Greek," and 114 for "Hebrew." For books still under copyright, viewing is limited to 20%, but most books are by far older ones. Books are stored in a variety of formats: some are HTML, some are TIFF (a TIFF plugin can be installed, but on my system, QuickTime properly rendered the documents), and some are in DjVu which requires a free, downloadable plugin. For more information, read this article.
For ease of referencing/bookmarking, I will publish two summary posts which bring together the resources for online books and for doing research.

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