GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 1998-10 > 0909425114
From: David Blackwell <>
Subject: re:Free Books Online - VASSALL, SCITUATE, MA (first settlers)
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 13:05:14 -0500
Hello GenMassachuseetts-L and Farns10th at aol.com,
I'm very happy that Farns10th at aol.com and others have found the raw OCRed scans of
the Pratt's History of Scituate useful.
It is one of the better copies I have, a very good book, and it OCRed relatively very
However, people are probably wondering why the quoted text had so many strange typos.
I suggest, when you find something of interest EDIT the RAW OCR text before you quote
it in your email, and send a copy to me. Most of the page images are in the parent
directory. I placed the raw OCR (Optical Character Recognized) text online to find
volunteers to edited it into good text and HTML. (I'm too busy to teach anyone how to
do this, you just have to learn on your own (its easy). To learn HTML use
www.altavista.com or www.hotbot.com and search for "HTML tutorial" and tell us your
experience using the tutorial.)
Also when referencing anything in the Free Books Online Effort (or any other web
project) also refer to its home page, for example -
Since the path to individual pages might change.
Free Books Online Effort ---- :
This online books effort is a one night a week effort for me, so we need LOTS of
volunteers to make it into a real project. The results are for free non commercial
use on the internet, and may be used (non-exclusively on their own site/CD/DVDs) by
non profit groups such as NEHGS, Mayflower, DAR, SAR, LOC, genweb.org, and
appropriate local town and state historical societies, and family history groups.
(Note .org, .com, and .net website are usually different groups, for example
genweb.org, genweb.com and genweb.net are THREE different groups. genweb.org is the
non profit Genweb Foundation, genweb.com is a for profit internet service provider
specializing in serving genetics related companies, genweb.net is controlled by Randy
Haight who seems to be a very generous and enthusiastic genealogical hobbyist and
professional computer administrator. Randy is generously allowing me to use a
gigabyte (1000MBs) of his server disk space for free, for this effort ( and is
allowing many other genealogists to use his server for free)).
In the 1980's I xerographically copied about 50 books (now online, mostly on towns
and families between Boston and Providence). I knew then I would eventually have
access to an automatic feed scanner, and today I have that access. The only condition
(of my employer who has the fast automatic feed scanner) is that I NOT profit from
the scanners use, which was my intention anyway.
Scanning directly from an original book is MUCH better for OCR and page image
quality. So if you have an out of copyright book and a scanner please do scan it in
and contribute it to the effort. You might provide better quality images than I have.
But scanning a bound orginal book is VERY time consuming ( a minute+ per page b/w
text/line mode 200dpi). Scanning loose pages (on the Visionshape automatic feed
scanner) takes 2 seconds a page (if it does not jam, and it usually does not jam on
good single sided copies).
Copying bound books damages the binding of old books, bit by bit. My intention to
make them available for free on the internet was my justification for copying them.
Some of you have copied books as well.
If you have access to an unbound single sided copy of an out of copyright (or "with
author permission") book, and can lend it to me, please let me know, particularly if
it is related to England or New England. Likewise if you have an unbound book or an
old book whose binding is destroyed. Also if you have a scanner and plan to scan a
book in, please let me know.
David C. Blackwell -
Volunteer, Coordinator - Free Books Online Effort - New England
72 Center St. Groveland, Mass.01834
(978)475-9090 x1678 workdays