Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2007 Issue

Google Scholar -- One More Book-Related Tool from the Internet Giant

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Paris Hilton, both the heiress and the hotel, are subjects of scholarly discussion


By Michael Stillman

In the past, we have taken a look at some of Google's services that relate to books, whether selling, collecting, or using for research. There is Google Book Search, the program which looks to eventually place every book not protected by an enforced copyright online for all to read. Booksellers and book buyers may be more interested in Google Product Search, successor to Froogle, that lets you post books for sale. Here's another book-related service from the online powerhouse: Google Scholar. If what you want does not show up in Google's standard internet search, nor Google Book Search, here is one more venue to try.

Naturally, Google scholar searches for "scholarly" types of works. You won't find a copy of Paris Hilton: The Naked Truth here, no matter how hard you try. It just isn't there. Nor will you find much of anything from the New York Post or National Enquirer. What you will find is the ever-popular Study of Free and Occluded Particulate Organic Matter in Soils by Solid State. This one comes from everyone's favorite magazine, the Australian Journal of Soil Research.

Now that I've convinced you there is nothing you would ever want to find in Google Scholar, let's hold back on the reins for a moment. Certainly Google's description of the type of material included is not designed to generate excitement: "peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations." Nevertheless, there is much more here than occluded particulate organic matter. In fact, the elegant Miss Paris Hilton shows up 390 times in Google Scholar. Well, not quite that many times. Some matches for "Paris Hilton" actually refer to her family's hotel in the capital of France. Nonetheless, she shows up many times, of course in a quite scholarly way. For example, an article from the University of Illinois Law Review concerning First Amendment free speech rights mentions her appearance at the Billboard Music Awards when her co-star (but not any more) Nicole Richie exclaimed "F..." As you might expect, Miss Hilton's famous video comes up in scholarly articles about subjects such as the internet and peer-to-peer networks. My favorite is a comment from a George Mason University School of Law research paper that cites Miss Hilton to disprove the old saw that "you can never be too rich." So you see, Miss Hilton is the topic of much intellectual discussion. You no longer have to feel guilty about following her "career."

You will also find much of the more traditional scholarly topics covered in Google Scholar, from the latest in scientific discoveries to the oldest of historical accounts. I did a search for "Richard Mentor Johnson," the obscure American Vice-President who served under the not-so-famous himself President, Martin Van Buren, from 1837-41. Johnson supposedly killed the great Indian Chief Tecumseh in battle, which was enough to get him elected Veep 30 years later. Johnson was an oddball. He had two children with his slave, acceptable enough in the day, but then treated her respectfully and the children as legitimate, not so acceptable. He was dumped from the ticket in 1840, no great loss to him since Van Buren was defeated anyway. A search for Johnson finds 30 matches. Among them is a 2002 doctoral thesis from the University of Massachusetts, which studies miscegenation at the time, and Johnson's breaking all of the rules and customs by living openly with his family. Where else can you find this in depth look at Johnson and his times? Probably nowhere. Google Scholar opens the doors to a new level of information virtually unobtainable before.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 12. OKLAHOMA! Celeste Holm's vocal score for Oklahoma! inscribed by Richard Rodgers. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 20. WILSON, DOOLEY. Fine inscribed photograph to Celeste Holm with Casablanca reference. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 79. Original production script of the Broadway musical CATS with notes written by Claude Tessier. $600 to $900.
    <center><b>Doyle<br>Stage & Screen<br>Auction April 28</b>
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 139. STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Autographed musical manuscript signed for "Broadway Baby" from Follies. $500 to $800.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 180.<br>Cecil Beaton. Headdress for Liza at the Ball, from My Fair Lady, circa 1962. $700 to $900.
    <b>Doyle, Stage & Screen:</b> Lot 177.<br>Cecil Beaton. Set Design for The Gainsborough Girls, 1951. $2,000 to $3,000.

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