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Emory University Makes Huge Library of “Yellowbacks” Available for Download

Another one that’s been sitting in the queue for a while. Emory University announced a few months ago a new digital book collection from Emory University Libraries’ Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

The books are called “yellowbacks,” 19th-century British literature. I guess 19th century pulp fiction or penny dreadfuls? Anyway, there are about 1200 books available. Unfortunately the announcement did not refer to a standalone Web site for these items (why not?) Instead you have to search the Emory Libraries’ Web site for “yellowbacks” and go from there. You can get that search narrowed down to book results here. (The URL is ridiculously long.) I didn’t recognize most of these authors but I did see six books by Victor Hugo and seven titles by Benjamin Disraeli.

When you see a book you like (and you’re going to be looking a while — I didn’t see summaries for ANYTHING) click on a title. You’ll get a detail page that gives you information on copyright and links to the book in Google Books and Worldcat. You’ll also have the option to save the book to one of several different organization tools, and of course you have the option to download the book as a PDF.

I had some trouble with that. Repeated attempts to download The Cloud King using Chrome failed. I was able to do the download with Firefox, though, so I don’t know what that’s about.

With no standalone Web site and no summaries, you’ll be poking around a bit in this collection of books. On the other hand, I found myself fascinated with The Cloud King and I’m planning to send it to my Kindle. I’m sure there’s a lot of great material to read here; it’s just going to take a little digging to find it.

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