New e-book source
Just got back from a conference on successful strategies that I’ll talk about in the future, but I also just discovered a new source for those rare old books that aren’t available on Google Books/EEBO/ECCO/Gallica that you’ve been searching for over the past decade with no luck.
The website is http://books2ebooks.eu/en, eBooks on demand. It currently consists of 30 European libraries combining their catalogs, and offering to sell digital (and/or print) copies of their holdings for a price. It looks like each library sets its own price, usually a flat fee plus an additional rate per page. I ordered a quite rare book last week, and the other day I received the pdf (you download it from their website).
To assuage any concerns you might have about the quality of the product, here’s a page of the book that I ordered from the Czech National Technical Library:
This book was short, about 100 pages, so the cost was a moderate 652 Czech koruna, which I hope means only $35 or so.
So if you need that one very special book but can’t get to the library(-ies) where it’s held, this is another option. It especially works well if the book you want is a long book that would require a lot of time consulting in a reading room.
Viva la Revolución!