You can now read cited books directly through Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an incredibly useful resource, even if not every entry is as accurate as it could be. If you’re using it for research, it’s best to perhaps view what you read there as a jumping off point.

Today, diving deeper into a subject just got easier, as when you find a citation to a book in a Wikipedia entry, you might now be able to go straight to the page of that actual volume with a single mouse click thanks to the Internet Archive.

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Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive explains:

The Internet Archive has transformed 130,000 references to books in Wikipedia into live links to 50,000 digitized Internet Archive books in several Wikipedia language editions including English, Greek, and Arabic. And we are just getting started. By working with Wikipedia communities and scanning more books, both users and robots will link many more book references directly into Internet Archive books. In these cases, diving deeper into a subject will be a single click.

If you’re wondering how this will work in practice, Kahle gives a useful example.

The Wikipedia article on Martin Luther King, Jr cites the book To Redeem the Soul of America, by Adam Fairclough. That citation now links directly to page 299 inside the digital version of the book provided by the Internet Archive. There are 66 cited and linked books on that article alone.

You can preview pages of the book this way, and if you want to read the full thing it can be 'borrowed' using Controlled Digital Lending. It’s similar to taking out a book from your local library.

The Internet Archive doesn’t plan to stop at Wikipedia either. It wants to add links throughout the web to its digital books, and hopes to digitize and add another 4 million important titles in the next several years.

You can find out more about the project in this video.

If you want to help with the project you can make a donation or contact the Internet Archive directly.

Photo Credit: Gts / Shutterstock

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