Wednesday, 16 September 2009

How to transfer ePubs to your device

We've recently made most of the texts in our collection downloadable as ePub eBooks, available to be read on a range of devices such as the Sony Reader, and Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.

The next question naturally is how to get these ePub texts from the NZETC site onto your device. This of course differs depending on your device and your choice of software, but here's some pointers:
  • Typically you'll need to download the ePub file to your computer as a first step. On the main page of a text, you'll find an ePub icon for a given NZETC text in the sidebar under the "Other Formats" heading. For example, Jean Batten's autobiography has an ePub icon in the sidebar; if you click on this ePub icon, your browser should prompt you to save the file.
  • For those with Apple iPhone and iPod Touch devices, LexCycle's Stanza is currently a popular freely-available reader. They have instructions on their site about transferring books from your computer to your device.
  • Dedicated eBook readers such as the Sony Reader typically come with their own software for transferring books between your computer and your device, however there are other options that you might find useful.
  • Calibre is an open source solution for maintaining and reading a library of eBooks on your computer, and transferring them to your device.
  • Adobe Digital Editions is another freely-available (though not open source) solution which allows you to manage your library of eBooks on your computer and transfer them to your device.
  • Should you want to read an ePub text online, it is always possible to use an online-based reader such as BookWorm.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Plates from Buller's Birds

Plates from Buller's Birds

A History of the Birds of New Zealand

To celebrate New Zealand Book Month, today's book is Walter Buller's A History of the Birds of New Zealand, and as this text is online at the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, we thought we'd show people some of the fantastic colour plates that are present in the work.

Below is a selection of some of the 48 plates that feature in this work, though they are all wonderful in their level of detail.

The plates are the work of John Gerrard Keulemans, an illustrator of many important ornithological texts.

Laughing PetrelWandering AlbatrossSpotted ShagPied Shag
Rifleman and Rock WrenBlue Heron and White HeronSouth Island WekaKingfisher
Swamp RailTakaheKokakoKakariki
HuiaSaddlebackBlack FantailFern Bird
Silver-eyeTuiStich BirdLong-tailed Cuckoo

Monday, 14 September 2009

Books for Conservation Week

It's fitting to remember, this conservation week, that conservation has a long history in New Zealand, and individuals and groups in New Zealand have been promoting conservation for decades. "The Cultivation of New Zealand Plants" by Leonard Cockayne (1855–1934) is a great example. Published in 1923, this little gem lists New Zealand plants suitable for home, garden and park. When it was originally published, Cockayne was Honorary Botanist to the State Forest Service (the Department of Conservation not having been founded yet).

We've recently republished "The Cultivation of New Zealand Plants" as well as "The Vegetation of New Zealand" by Cockayne and the "Manual of the New Zealand Flora" (1906) by Thomas Frederick Cheeseman, one of the most authoritative texts on New Zealand botany.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

1000+ New Zealand classics released as ePub eBooks

Many of the texts in the NZETC Collection are now freely available as downloadable eBooks. To download the eBook version of a text look for the "ePub" logo in the right-hand sidebar.

These eBooks, made available using the major emerging ePub standard, represent many of the texts already accessable for online browsing on the NZETC website, and are suited to viewing on modern eBook devices such as the iPhone, Sony Reader, and IRex ILiad.

Major titles include:

* The Life of Captain James Cook, by J. C. Beaglehole
* The Garden Party and Other Stories, by Katherine Mansfield
* Coal Flat, by Bill Pearson
* The Godwits Fly, by Robin Hyde
* We Will Not Cease, by Archibald Baxter
* Infantry Brigadier, by Howard Karl Kippenberger
* Tutira, by William Guthrie Smith
* My Life, by Jean Batten

The ePub standard is an open standard supported by many major publishers and hardware vendors, with many of the major online bookstores making titles available for purchase in this format. Waterstones bookstore, one of the largest chains in the United Kingdon, offer more than 12,000 titles exclusively in the ePub format, while Sony has stated it's intention to sell only books in the ePub format by the end of this year. Moves such as this are seen as countering the early advantage gained by Amazon in the market for modern eBook readers with its Kindle, which relies on a proprietary non-ePub format.

The convenience of modern eBook readers means that users are able to carry large numbers of eBooks with them on pocket-sized devices, often supporting features which make the reading of electronic books more pleasurable than in the past. These features include long battery life (7,000+ page-turns), non-reflective screen for easy reading under all lighting, and wireless access for downloading eBooks.

Although New Zealand does not yet share the same choice of eBook device hardware as available overseas, devices sold locally such as the iPhone and iPod Touch make the reading of electronic books a simple and portable experience.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

New texts from the NZETC (September 2009)

The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre is pleased to announce a number of new additions to the texts in our online collection:
A number of these texts deserve further explanation.

Jim Traue's New Zealand Studies: A Guide to Bibliographic Resources is a great initial resource for researchers wondering where to begin their search amongst the holdings of the various New Zealand collecting institutions.

New Zealand's First Refugees, by the the Polish Children's Reunion Committee, features the stories of the 734 Polish children, many orphans, who were offered sanctuary in New Zealand by the New Zealand Government in 1944.

The various texts by Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck) offer valuable resources for those researching Polynesian ethnograpy and culture.

The Conquest of Mount Cook and Other Climbs, by Freda du Faur, is the account of the first woman to climb Mount Cook.

Where possible digital editions have been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.

We also apologise to recent visitors to the site for the slow response time of our server, however we are pleased to report that the response time is now faster than ever!