The latest Digital Library offering to enter the distributed proofreaders project is an omnibus volume containing two vintage romance novels: The Bride of the Tomb and Queenie’s Terrible Secret.
The Bride of the Tomb was an early hit from Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller, a successful author in her day, and it remains prominent enough to merit scholarly analysis. Queenie’s Terrible Secret is a less well-known novel by the same writer, but it offers the same brand of melodrama, telling (as its subtitle explains) of “A Young Girl’s Strange Fate.”
This particular combined edition is part of Street & Smith’s Eagle series of dime novels; covers of other volumes from the series can be seen in Syracuse University Library’s Street & Smith Cover Art Collection.
If you want to learn more about our proofreading efforts and find out how to help, see Proofreading the Digital Library.
In case your curiosity was piqued by last month’s post about the extensively (but not quite comprehensively) titled How to Fence: containing full instruction for fencing and the use of the broadsword also instruction in archery, described with twenty-one practical illustrations. A complete book., now is your chance to examine it more closely. The book is available for proofreading here. If you are not already familiar with the digital library’s proofreading efforts, see Proofreading the Digital Library.
"The Engage" (fencing position).
As mentioned in a previous post, we recently discovered some rare and fragile books in Falvey’s basement. As promised, the first of these titles is now available for online proofreading: Atchoo! Sneezes from a Hilarious Vaudevillian, which is essentially a stand-up comedy routine from 1903 transcribed to paper and peppered with illustrations. Needless to say, sensibilities have changed considerably since 1903, and some of the humor on display here is well outside the realm of political correctness. If you can stomach that, however, this is an interesting glimpse into the pop culture of an earlier era.
To learn more about the proofreading project and how you can help, see Proofreading the Digital Library.
A new title has been released to the Distributed Proofreaders project. This time around, it is The Decadent: Being a Gospel of Inaction, a rare, self-published philosophical novel by Ralph Adams Cram, a Gothic architect who also found time to write a variety of works ranging from religious texts to ghost stories. If you want to help bring this 19th-century novel to modern electronic formats, you can participate at the project page for the book. If you are not already familiar with Distributed Proofreaders, see Proofreading the Digital Library to learn more.
In 1907, Josephine Culpeper published Bolax, Imp or Angel–Which?, a novel set in part at a fictionalized version of Villanova. This book has become the latest title to be selected as part of the Digital Library’s collaboration with the Distributed Proofreaders project. Please visit the project page if you would like to help turn this bit of university history into a full-fledged eBook. If you are unfamiliar with the Distributed Proofreaders effort, see Proofreading the Digital Library for an introduction.
In case you missed your opportunity to proofread the Digital Library in March, another book is now available through the Distributed Proofreaders project. This month’s title is Catholic Colonization in Minnesota, a 19th-century pamphlet full of advice about opportunities for Catholics in Minnesota. If you have the time, stop by and help preserve a little piece of history. If you don’t get there quickly enough this month, don’t worry: more titles are on the way.
If you have ever read a classic book in an electronic format, especially if you didn’t have to pay for it, there’s a good chance you were enjoying the fruits of Project Gutenberg. Since the early 1970s, Project Gutenberg has been converting out-of-copyright texts into electronic formats and making them freely available. Unlike more recent mass-digitization projects like Google Books which preserve huge numbers of titles en masse but have limited quality control, Project Gutenberg books get an individual human touch — errors are corrected, often creating a product more accurate than the original printed version, and formatting is adjusted to allow comfortable reading on practically any device.
Volunteer labor is one of the ways Project Gutenberg manages to release so many titles in spite of the huge effort involved in formatting each book. The Distributed Proofreaders Project provides an interface where volunteers can view one page at a time of a digitized book and conveniently correct errors in the computer-generated text. It’s structured a bit like a game — as readers proofread more pages, they can gain new ranks which allow them to participate in more and more advanced stages of the correction and formatting process. Friendly competition and an emphasis on mentoring have formed a large, diverse community around the project.
The Digital Library has decided to try working with this community to improve the quality of some of the books in our online collection. The first title, History of the Catholic Church in Paterson, N.J., has just entered the first stage of proofreading. If you are interested in helping with this collaboration, you can find a quick tutorial on distributed proofreading here. If there is a particular title in our collection that you would like to see given the Gutenberg treatment, please let us know in the comments.