BNF-Gallica & Googlebooks: Patrologia Latina.

Migne: Patrologia Latina.

The last additions of volumes digitalized by the Googlebooks project, and uploaded to Internet Archive has open a wide window to the Patristic/Patrological studies. The access to the digitalizated original imprints of Migne, and the later edition of the Garnier Frères is now most easy that never before.

But even this optimistic horizon have briefs and sometimes very dark issues, as the legal aspects which allow or deny the access to these libraries in some countries around the world.

This aspect force the Internet Archive to share the books taken directly from Googlebooks only as some ‘derivation’ [.djvu, .txt and others] of the original files [generally, .pdf’s] and not the original, placed ‘as is’ in Googlebooks too.

But the legal aspects of  the copyright status of these collections do not have the same repercussion in other countries, even from state to state inside the USA. By this reason, the volumes which are kept unavailable in the Googlebooks service, in other libraries as the Blibliothéque Nationale de France can be digitalizated and shared without any restriction to the visitors.

This is a great advantage to all the students, researchers and scholars who do not have direct access to the original volumes printed by Migne or the Garnier Frères: now they have the opportunity to access the books, and verify the references of their fields of study in some volume available via Internet Archive, Googlebooks or BNF-Gallica.

One trouble, related directly to availability of these items rest on the method to share and allow the access to the files. The initiatives maintained by individual persons commonly use free but time-limited storage services, as Rapidshare, or other without time limitations but the impossibility of offer to the final user other thing than the downloadable .pdf, as the 4Shared service.

With the emerging of big services of storage and distribution of big amount of text’s files, almost all these issues has been defeated, but these services seems being used very few. Enterprises as Scribd are storing and sharing a lot of materials about the Patristic/Patrological field, but mainly articles, monographies, individual studies, theses, or other academical works. The whole books are being added to these services, and in the close future, complete collections will be added, helping unspeakable to the persons interested in these fields.

Encouraged by the members of the PLGO community, the Agust 23, 2008, I finish the first version of a exhaustive list, where all the links pointing to volumes published and available via Googlebooks was included. This first list was created only with these links which effectively allow to download the files. And in the next months, our community can verify the continuous change of the policies applied to Googlebooks around the access to these contents/materials.

This list was revisited a lot of times, and the last big improvement done to these project was the addition of the volumes available in the BNF-Gallica library.

This month, and as part of the celebration of our first year in our current domain, the PLGO community is uploading and sharing the available volumes previously downloaded of Googlebooks, making them accessible through the Scribd service.

We hope this contents can be useful to visitors, students, scholars and academical people.

Best regards.

Francisco Arriaga.

PLGO’s Community Member.