Google Books Ruins History

I had a bout of insanity last night and went looking through Google Books to see if there ever was a Life magazine cover like the one shown in the Pan Am TV series:

It was miserable experience, with Google Books search being as frustratingly-bad to use as Google search itself has become. And to make matters even worse, I came across a horrifying result. This is a photo from Life magazine (I’ve had to clone it; the embed code for it won’t work here):

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And this is how that appears in Google Books (combined image):

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These are the separate images:

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And these are the original pages:

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What the hell happened that a page is ripped like that? Who provided the source material? And was that its original condition?

With Google Books offering the archive of Life magazine now, it becomes the source record. And what’s shown above is just damned unacceptable.

This is history being flushed down the toilet!


  1. Syn27 September, 2011

    Urgh that is bad!

  2. fjtorres27 September, 2011

    I see Google scanning efforts are maintaining the standards they started with.
    I only bothered to check their crapscan library once.
    Saw no reason to waste any more time.
    Still don’t.

  3. Frank27 September, 2011

    With a project like Google Books in which billions of books are scanned, it is a matter of just a few bad pages. That’s all. Why the title “Google ruins history”. Any good libary in this world has the hard copy. No serious problem here. Let’s get back in business.

  4. Laura S.27 September, 2011

    For me, there’s a little irony that the ad accompanying this post in my RSS Feed was for a Google product. No?

  5. Luqman27 September, 2011

    Well, for people engaged in real historical research, as opposed to bloggers, google books, while not ideal, is still a useful resource. comma, comma


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