A Great Online Resource

 

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Photo of San Diego waterfront from the 1887 book, Picturesque San Diego, available from the Internet Archive.

 

Taking some time this week to highlight a great source of San Diego history that I’ve made use of and that all readers of this blog can use as well. The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of “universal access to all knowledge.” It provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars and the general public to tons of digitized historical materials, including (at last count) almost three million public-domain books (that’s books old enough to be beyond copyright) along with other media including videos and websites.

Among books I’ve been able to download from the website are Picturesque San Diego, originally published in 1887, and Birding On A Bronco, from 1896, as well as selections from the magazine Land of Sunshine, which ran from the mid-1890s through the early 1920s. Thanks to the dedicated work of the Internet Archive’s employees, I’ve been able to write about and share photos from these historic publications with this blog’s readers. Here are some more examples of photos from this great resource, two pages from Land of Sunshine magazine from 1899 and 1894, respectively :

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Hosmer P McKoon Land of Sunshine page

And I’ve just scratched the surface. I searched for “San Diego History” and got 461 hits, and that was just printed stuff! And that was just San Diego! Whoa, I’m starting to sound like the historians’ equivalent of one of those physicists on “The Big Bang Theory” talking about a Star Trek convention. Anyway, I’d heartily recommend that you all explore this storehouse of knowledge. The website is https://archive.org/index.php

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