Collecting the Art of Google Books Errors

(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)

 

Google Books is likely the world’s largest (digital) library with more than 30 million titles, and the tech giant’s eventual goal is to digitize every publication. And while countless people use it as a resource for research, others have tapped as an unlikely source of art.

Google Books is generated humans scanning book pages from cover to cover day in and day out. Sometimes, human error occurs during the scanning process, and that’s where the art comes into play.

tumblr_nf1ll3jebe1qixa76o1_r2_1280

 

In particular, one Tumblr blog stands out as the top resource for Google-Books-error-art: “The Art of Google Books,” from University of Florida student Krissy Wilson, who kept coming across adversaria, stains, and digital mistakes during her research. Her blog curates two types of errors: those made on the analog side, like food stains; and those made in the process of digitization, like a hand covering a page.

 

(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)

 

Among the more interesting works are the mis-scanned images like the one above. It was the image that inspired Wilson’s Tumblr. “It’s a portrait photographed through the tissue that protects it, and the result is ghostly and ethereal, Wilson explained to PBS.

Together, the blog’s collection of images is an exercise in nostalgia, sending you back to those days when you could comb through a library book and find odd annotations or unique additions. To get a sense of what the blog offers, check out some of Wilson’s best finds below.

(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)
(Art of Google Books)

 

Visit Wilson’s Tumblr blog here. For more on the unlikely art movement sprouting from Google Books, read this New Yorker article.

RealClearLife Staff


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