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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
T. W. Baldwin,
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0250  Thursday, 30 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	Jim Blackie <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 29 Mar 2006 13:57:39 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: T. W. Baldwin, William Shakespere's Small Latine & Lesse Greeke

[2] 	From: 	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 30 Mar 2006 12:27:24 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: 17.0241 T. W. Baldwin, William Shakespere's Small Latine & 
Lesse Greeke


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jim Blackie <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 29 Mar 2006 13:57:39 -0500
Subject: 17.0241 T. W. Baldwin, William Shakespere's Small 
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0241 T. W. Baldwin, William Shakespere's Small 
Latine & Lesse Greeke

Philip Weller <
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 >

 >I downloaded Vol. 1, but didn't see the advantage of the PDF file.  It's
 >tedious to navigate, and either the word search doesn't work, or I
 >couldn't figure out how to work it.

The pdf file is apparently a compilation of the TIFF images of the pages 
(noted elsewhere); as such, one cannot find "words." There are none, as 
far as the search engine knows.

The task must have taken an enormous amount of time and I'm not sure I'd 
have felt as generous of my time to assemble the document for others' 
use. I appreciate the effort of someone else, however.

Thanks.

Jim Blackie

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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 >
Date: 		Thursday, 30 Mar 2006 12:27:24 +0100
Subject: 17.0241 T. W. Baldwin, William Shakespere's Small 
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0241 T. W. Baldwin, William Shakespere's Small 
Latine & Lesse Greeke

Philip Weller wrote

 >I downloaded Vol. 1, but didn't see the advantage
 >of the PDF file.

I agree that they're tedious to navigate, but some people like the 
one-book-one-file model. I prefer a bunch of TIFFs, each named for the 
page it represents.

 >either the word search doesn't work,
 >or I couldn't figure out how to work it.

It doesn't work. The part of the website that does the searching (the 
CGI folder) isn't fully accessible via HTTP: all you can do is ask the 
program (in the file "baldwinsearch.cgi") to do its mysterious work and 
send you the results. This program doubtless draws upon an ASCII text of 
the Baldwin book-made by running the images through Optical Character 
Recognition (OCR) software-that's stored somewhere on the site. I can't 
find where it's stored, else I'd have hoovered that text up too. This 
hiding of what they sometimes call the 'dirty ASCII' that goes with the 
images is a bad habit of publishers.  Thomson Gale do the same with 
their Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO) product even though 
users have offered to correct the 'dirty ASCII'-it's dirty because OCR 
never finds precisely the right words-in return for being allowed see 
it. I think they're ashamed of the low quality of the ASCII, which 
limitation they're overcoming by using clever 'fuzzy logic' software in 
the searching of it.

 >Also, the University of Illinois has a copyright statement on
 >each page, and I think it ought to be respected.

There we must part company. I can see that Baldwin and his estate have a 
claim on the material, but why should the publisher? Perhaps Baldwin 
assigned his copyright to the publisher, but if so this wasn't a good 
idea. The best advice to academic writers today is to hold onto your 
copyright and to grant publishers 'exclusive right to publish' (they're 
used to this and will often accede at first asking). It's very hard to 
see what claim University of Illinois can have on the electronic version 
of what Baldwin wrote. Sure, they took some steps to make a new version 
in the new medium, but then so did I in making these PDFs. We can be 
tolerably sure that any deal Baldwin made with University of Illinois 
back in the 1940s didn't anticipate these electronic versions, so the 
publisher can hardly claim that Baldwin gave them the digital rights. 
What publishers usually claim is that in the electronic transformation 
they've imbued the digital version with their own fresh Intellectual 
Property, irrespective of their residual rights from the paper version. 
If they believe that electronic transformations can do that, then I 
claim that my electronic transformation has repeated the process and 
that I've got rights over this material. (Mine's a frivolous claim, of 
course, made only to show that their claim is spurious.)

Germaine Greer made a thought-provoking comment a few weeks ago in 
relation to Charles Windsor's lawsuit over the publication of his 
diaries. She observed that he was discovering what we all already knew 
about Intellectual Property, which is that it doesn't exist.

Gabriel Egan

PS In all the detail above, I forgot to mention why it's worth having 
your own copy of Baldwin and not relying on the website. The point, of 
course, is to be independent of your online connection and of the 
website maintainer.  It's just the same reason why many of us have paper 
libraries in our homes and offices even though we go to much larger 
libraries to work.

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