Behind the Scenes, Publications, Scholarship

A Revolution in Reading: Finding Getty Publications on Google

The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire from Getty Publications on Google Books

In the entire 500-year history of the printed book, it is difficult to imagine a time of more innovation and change than now. Just a few short years ago, readers had the simple choice of hardback or paperback when they purchased a book. Now, books come in a score of different formats and can be read on Nooks and Kindles, iPads and smart phones. The revolution is not just a shift in publishing or bookselling. It is a fundamental shift in how we consume information. It is a revolution in reading.

Don’t get me wrong. The book is not going away any time soon. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Books are proliferating—with multiple formats and multiple ways to access them—and the way we read them is changing. We have more choices than ever before. The problem for readers is a surprising one of having too much information, a hyperabundance of riches. Therein lies the rub: how do we find the needle in the Internet’s virtual haystack?

Getty Publications has partly solved this through a partnership with Google Books. In this program, books and the journal published by the Getty now can be located with a simple Google search. Google won’t just index the titles and authors of our books as an old library card catalog might, but it will index the book’s full text and illustrations as well.

Looking for information on the Japanese concept of bijutsu? Google will show you the pages in Modern Japanese Art and the Meiji State where you will find it. Curious about the conservation implications of creating art with ordinary house paints? Google will point you to the GCI’s House Paints, 1900–1960: History and Use. Google Books takes this search a step further. Readers can view those specific pages online and purchase a hard copy of the book directly from the Getty website or other online booksellers. If they would rather find that book in a library, Google will point to the nearest collection.

Google estimates that about 130 million unique books will soon be available in this program. We will make about 500 books available over the next few months. Getty Publications’ partnership with Google Books is central to our overall strategy of making the Getty’s work easily discoverable by readers and scholars worldwide. With Google Books, you will be able to search our books more deeply, browse through them more fully, and explore the visual arts more directly.

The revolution may not be televised, but it will certainly be published.

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah
    Posted October 27, 2011 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    This looks good, but I came to the site looking for your books on Kindle. I would love to read the new Books: A Living History title but it is not available in eBook format. Do you envisage this becoming available in digital (mobi) format? Many thanks!

  2. Annelisa
    Posted October 27, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Hi Sarah — We’re exploring the digital future for illustrated books. While Getty publications are not yet available for Kindle or other e-reader devices, we do have a number of digital projects on our website. Thanks so much for your question.

    — Annelisa/Iris editor

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      thegetty:

      GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 6, EPISODE 2

      Winter is coming. All men must die. And Game of Thrones is back! Stay tuned each week as we unpack Sunday’s episodes through masterpieces.

      Winter is coming indeed! A snowy forecast has just been resurrected thanks to a please-touch-me-and-cut-my-hair lady in red. The epic line “I drink and I know things” provides especially good wisdom for how to tame two dragons

      Several characters went at it this week: a soldier and a friar exchanged heated remarks in the presence of an armed peace mob, a girl with no name and another not-so-kind girl went stick to stick, a crow and a giant went crossbow to stone wall, a first-born son stabbed his father, starving hounds and a new mother went canines to flesh, and two brothers duked it out on a swinging bridge (one fell). Plus, the three-eyed raven (who sits in a tree) taught a forgotten character how to look into the past.


      To make our Game of Thrones posts more international, we’ll feature an image from our Global Middle Ages exhibition and pick “wildcard” images from other collections around the world.

      This week’s pick from the Getty’s Traversing the Globe exhibition comes from @lacma (because we love dragons). The wildcard images were selected from the British Museum (more dragons), the Morgan Library (giants!), and the Museo del Prado (hounds).

      Dive deeper with featurettes connecting the making of medieval manuscripts to the making of fantasy TV. 

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      #DesigningGoT - Live Stream May 4 at 7 PM PST

      Michele Clapton, costume designer for the first five seasons of Game of Thrones, joins Deborah Landis, director of the Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA, and Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts at the Getty, to discuss the series’ medieval aesthetic and the visual sources for her designs.

      Tune in to the live stream here.

      05/04/16

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