Imperfect books inspire the perfect blog

This blog shows what happens when good scans go bad.  

 

Fernando Alfonso III

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Published Feb 13, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 9:29 pm CDT

Over the last eight years, Google has been working with libraries around the world to scan in millions of books to its digital database. What it has also been scanning is hand-written messages and printing imperfections that often go unnoticed.

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Until now.

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Over the last 11 months The Art of Google Books Tumblr blog has been cataloging scans featuring accidental and intentional book blemishes hidden inside the pages of hundreds of books. The blog also features photos of hands placing books on the scanner and distortions created by the digitization process.

“The aim of this project is twofold; to recognize book digitization as rephotography, and to value the signs of use that accompany these texts as worthy of documentation and study,” writes blog creator Krissy Wilson. “Ultimately, the startling and diverse adversaria of Google Books merits examination and exhibition.”

Wilson plans on exhibiting the photos she has found at the University of Florida’s Reitz Union from March 15-April 3.

Here’s a look at some of the more interesting scans.

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Photo from The Art of Google Books
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*First Published: Feb 13, 2012, 7:22 pm CST