1500 pages of OCR goodness

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*swoon*. (warning: local geekery.)

I've been pleased in the past that UMich's library has a scanned, publicly-accessible version of Charles Chapman's History of Washtenaw County, Michigan : together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships...and biographies of representative citizens. This is a 1,500 page book published in 1881 covering the area's history to that date - a pretty impressive length, when you consider that the white man's history of Washtenaw County, aside from a Jesuit or two, only extended as far back as 1823,

when John Bryan, Daniel Cross and Benjamin Woodruff settled in the neighborhood of the present flourishing city of Ypsilanti. The soil was unvexed by the plow, and the woodman's ax had scarcely been heard. The cabin of the settler, with its smoke curling heavenward, and with an air inviting the weary traveler to come and rest, was not to be seen, nor even the faintest trace of civilization; but instead, boundless emerald seas and luxuriant groves.

These the gardens of the deserts-these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
And fresh as the young earth, ere man had sinned.
Lo! they stretch
In airy undulations far away
As if the ocean in the gentlest swell
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
And motionless forever.

(The text is not generally so florid - the writers obviously felt a need to play up the area's creation myth.)

I had thought this was pretty cool - but then I found the link to the one long page of OCRed text of the book. Amazing. (And all old enough to be public domain, for free cut/pasting into Arborwiki!)

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Cool!

That is totally cool! Thanks for sharing :)
I am pretty geeked about the library's recent on-line addition of vintage, heirloom cookbooks (www.aadl.org/cooks). I could--and probably will--spend hours going through everything. I went to the kick-off of the website, featuring the Brass Sisters. It was awesome!