Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Live search -> Books

Jim West and Mark Goodacre just informed the blog-reading world of the beta launch of Microsoft's answer to Google Print: within Live Search one can now search for out-of-copyright books. The place to go is http://books.live.com (resolved into http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=&scope=books); see also the announcement on the Live Search's Weblog.

A few cons and pros can already be mentioned:
- the books are English only as far as I can see;
- as said, only out-of-copyright books are included;
+ the web interface is easy to use and searching within books is reasonably accurate;
+ each book can be downloaded as a PDF file.
What is more, these PDF files remain fully searchable (as far as Latin characters are concerned), while at the same time showing the original image of the printed page. Of the latter, even the often brownish background can be turned off. For those interested in the technical details: the files appear to have been produced with LuraTech PDF.

For NT textual critics (and exegetes), several interesting books can be found, for instance Tregelles, Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament; Scrivener, Plain Introduction (4th ed.; Vol I only); Rendel Harris, Codex Bezae; Grenfell and Hunt, New Sayings of Jesus; Blass, Philology of the Gospels; Field, Notes on the Translation of the New Testament. All these books are easily found with search terms such as "textual criticism" or "Greek New Testament". Most books are from the University of Toronto.