Embedding an Archive.org book

I got an aside from a Well-Respected Minister who liked “that little book video insert piece” in my last blog post. It’s the BookReader of Internet Archive, the source of the book.

I think it’s the best desktop or laptop interface for reading books, and since the Internet Archives has a large number of public-domain Universalist and other works, I will sometimes read books this way, even if I have the actual book. But you can’t just drop other books into it.

Now, here’s how to share the books they do have on your site. First, of course you find one, like this 2003 Massachusetts Conference of the UCC directory.

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When you click on the page, not only does it become larger, but you get added controls. I’ve pointed out the “share” link, which looks a bit like a sideways V. Click that.

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Now you have links for sharing and embedding. The fault imbed is one page at a time, and the first page. I usually want it to look like a book open to the title page, so I select that, as in this example.

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Now you might say, surely that directory isn’t it the public domain? True. Some libraries and collections have contributed their own works with permission. And many of them are religious. (And Boston-based for that matter.)

Wouldn’t it be helpful and useful if the Unitarian Universalist Association could host its old Commission on Appraisal reports, Board minutes, classic guides, and pre-consolidation AUA and UCA directories the same way. Our twentieth-century history is hard to access first hand, unless you’re old enough or well-connected enough — or close enough to Boston — to get paper copies of what you want.

How could we make that happen?

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Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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