UPDATE: Since this article was written many years ago, the Eclectic Library has grown quite a bit, and the books themselves are more accessible. Many of the books in the collection are hosted by the Internet Archive or HathiTrust, and Google Books is much less restrictive than it was when it was young.

SINCE THE INCEPTION of the Google Books service, Dr. Boli has been making his own catalogue of certain books he has found useful or amusing. Google Books is a project with the potential to change the way we interact with the world’s literature; but at present its indexing system is in a primitive state. Anyone who has ever tried to use Google Books to find all the volumes of a multiple-volume set will appreciate the need for some better high-level catalogue.

It seemed to Dr. Boli that the best way to organize his own research was as a series of HTML pages; and, since what he had created was, practically speaking, an off-line Web site, there seemed to be no reason not to put it on line where other people with peculiar tastes might find it useful as well.

Thus the bibliophiles among his readers are invited to visit Boli’s Eclectic Library, where, as time goes on, more and more curious volumes will be made easily accessible to equally curious readers. Only a few pages are up now, but already the Classical section hints at what might be accomplished in the future.

Dr. Boli regrets that, at present, the site may be nearly useless for readers outside the United States, where Google still blocks access to much of its public-domain collection.

If you should happen to visit and find the site “under review,” do not despair. The Web host on which the site resides is kind enough to provide the server space gratis, but begins to get suspicious if people from the unwashed Internet actually visit any of the sites it hosts. The review is usually completed in about a day.

Do you find that ordinary books contain entirely too much information? Misinformation is what you need.


  1. bill says:

    Dr. Boli,
    I’m afraid your web hosting service isn’t in sympathy with your mission. When I clicked on the link I got a “website under review” message!

    • Dr. Boli says:

      Yes, as we mentioned, that happens when traffic starts to come into the site. It is not so much a lack of sympathy as a fear on the part of the host that Dr. Boli may be a front for some East European criminal organization bent on filling the Internet with fraud and vice. The site should be available within a day at the most. Dr. Boli regrets that there seems to be no way of provoking the review before the site is announced to the public, which would be more convenient for everyone. But since the alternative to using a host like this would be to pay for hosting services, Dr. Boli puts up with the inconvenience.

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