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, 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:

Title page of scanned book from eBooks on demand

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!


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