Friday, April 5, 2013

Another Great Library Goes Online: Netherlands

Research mavens rejoice! Publishing Perspectives reports that yet another of the world's great libraries has made its collection accessible online.  Read this Publishing Perspectives article to learn how the National Library of the Netherlands has made 80,000 titles available, some from the 18th century.  Another 80,000 are in the pipeline to be digitized and made accessible in the near future.  Before you start whining that you don't read Dutch, some of them are bound to be in Latin, if that helps.  The illustrations alone are worth a peek.

I don't read Dutch, either, but as the inimitable Renata Holod taught me as an undergrad, "Don't let the fact that you don't know a language stop you from using a book."   She said, "Get a dictionary.  If it's in Russian, you can learn the Cyrillic alphabet."  I took that advice to heart and I've never looked back.  Now we have online sites like Google Translate to help us get the gist of what we read, although I still recommend breaking out a really good dictionary - and your judgment -  if you really want an accurate understanding. 

But to get a taste of the riches in store for all of us, click this link to see what I found when I typed "English" into the National Library's searchbar on its  page

So, teachers: Age of Discovery or World History projects? Botany projects?  Geography, anybody?  The resources available to our students boggle the mind. And almost none of it was online even 20 years ago.  Happy hunting!