Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2007 Issue

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

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

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
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  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
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    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
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    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
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    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
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    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
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    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
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    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LEBEDEV (VLADIMIR). Russian Placards - Placard Russe 1917-1922. Saint-Petersbourg, Sterletz, 1923. €1,000 to €1,200.
    ALDE, May 28: MARDRUS (JOSEPH-CHARLES). Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris, F.-L. Schmied, 1927. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: TABLEAUX DE PARIS. Paris, Émile-Paul Frères, 1927. €2,000 to €3,000.
    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MAGNAN (JEAN-MARIE). Taureaux. Paris, Michèle Trinckvel, 1965. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.

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