Without Access to a Local Library, Freelance Translator Turns to Internet Archive

Graeme Currie, Freelance translator & editor. Photo: gcurrie.de

When Graeme Currie was working at a university, he went to the campus library for research and often lingered in the stacks just to enjoy the collection.

Now, as a freelance translator and editor operating remotely from a small town near Hamburg, Germany, Currie doesn’t have that same access. Without an institutional affiliation, he relies on materials in the Internet Archive for his work.

“It’s been vital for me because, at times, it’s the only way I can find what I need,” says Currie, 51, who is originally from Scotland. “For freelancers who are working from home without a library nearby and using obscure sources and out-of-print books, there’s nothing to replace the Internet Archive.”

Currie first heard about the Wayback Machine in the early 2000s as a means to check changes in websites. Then, he discovered other services that the Internet Archive provides including its audio and book library.

“For freelancers who are working from home without a library nearby and using obscure sources and out-of-print books, there’s nothing to replace the Internet Archive.”

Graeme Currie, freelance translator & editor

As he edits and translates academic books from German to English, Currie says he often has to check book citations—looking up page numbers and verifying passages. The virtual collection has been helpful as he researches a range of topics in the arts, social sciences and the humanities. Currie says he’s borrowed titles related to philosophy, criminality and global urban history, including the early history of tourism in Sicily.

Not only are many of the books hard to find, but Currie says logistically, they are difficult to obtain. Without the Internet Archive, Currie says he would have to wait weeks for interlibrary loans or try to contact the book authors, who are often unavailable.

“I simply could not do my job without access to a virtual library,” says Currie, who has been freelancing for about five years. “The Internet Archive is like having a university library on your desktop.”

Learn more about Currie at https://www.gcurrie.de/.

2 thoughts on “Without Access to a Local Library, Freelance Translator Turns to Internet Archive

  1. Just Wondering

    Sorry for the off topic post—or is it off topic? The borrowing function appears to be disabled, and has been since yesterday, and not a peep about it. Mind letting us users, including those of us who support IA financially, know what’s going on? There is such a thing as Twitter, after all. And this blog.

  2. Danielle F

    Graeme Currie,

    Thank you for posting this message up. I luckily ran in to it this evening. For our lives may lead us on unknown journeys as many of us have figured out. For this purpose alone; it is essential and vital for Time Machine to merely exist. I alike you do use it from time to time; whenever I have exhausted all other options, am not near the university or college depending on what city I may be in that specific day or month. Now more than ever with henchmen here in USA intentionally shutting down our children’s libraries even in large metropolitan cities as Dallas or Houston Texas. Not just in Texas – in each state within the USA, or even in North America, from within every country in our World. Access to information and knowledge is priceless and essential. Here in the United States the Republican Party (aka – GOP – aka – maga – aka – White Supremacists – aka – White Nationalists – aka Aryan Nation – aka KKK aka – anti-semitism – aka – NAZI – aka – Hitler) each of those entities are identical in mindset. The way they operate, organize and their desire to execute & their attempt to control now since 2016-2017 – forward here in the United States of America. The Republican Party with the help of Elon Musk due to his recent 22 Billion Dollar purchase of Twitter is now trying to dominate America with bringing back their Racism, White Supremacy Motivations and Agendas, and have subsequently done quite a bit by Gerrymandering intentional stealing of votes within a few states that they’ve been able to steal thus far. THIS is extremely dangerous and misfortune conduct.

    The DOJ in the USA must enforce the 14th Amendment against every single Republican / GOP / MAGA whom had their hands involved in January 6th 2021 Insurrection at our National Capital in Washington DC. For multiple reasons THIS history must NOT be erased from our history books. No matter what. Elon Musk has thus far done a great job by intentionally erasing a lot of history since that day on that event.

    Those Republicans / GOP / MAGA Congressman & Senators are still currently in office holding seats of power. They are each criminals and they are traitors. They MUST be held accountable immediately and be expelled from power and ASAP. Each one of these evil entities must be removed & punished immediately. We must push for this with the US Constitution 14th amendment using section 3. It clearly states there should be NO Insurrectionists in the US Congress. I am unsure why every Republican in US Congress on January 6, 2021 was NOT arrested and held IN CUSTODY since then until their trial. We are finally now soon within the next 10 months going to see Donald J Trump face Justice as he will be convicted and he will serve his final days in prison as he rightfully should. Just as each of these traitors in US Congress whom are holding on to power they do NOT deserve. #GOPDomesticTerrorists. Please do your best to particularly document all history from that day forward. Since Donald Trump stole the election from Hillary Clinton in 2016; which have recently learned is 100% the truth. We now know and better understand exactly why this has been ale to occur and why it did happen. Thank you again for all that you do; you are essential.
    Libraries matter; they always have and they eternally be one of the greatest opportunities for anyone, anytime for nearly every reason one could ever think of to experience. No matter what that may be; from A to Z; the opportunities are endless when you have a library at your fingertips. This is a multi purpose collection and project here that is essential and extremely valuable to each of us with access to the World Wide Web. We never realized back in the middle of 1980 – early 1990’s “just how much the internet would eventually come too value within our lives and each society”. Without the internet and without access to factual knowledge that has become evidence based facts; we would be unable to move further outside of our own purpose and realities. I appreciate what you have done and how you have done it.

    I’d like to share a quick summary of a conversation I recently had with my paternal 2nd cousin.. with whom I haven’t seen or spoken too since I was 2 years of age. All I can see are photos of her being possibly 8 years of age at that time. We are 6 years apart. I was born in 1976 here in Dayton, Ohio.

    After researching our family tree data. I was able to find that my paternal great great grandfather came from Hamburg Germany in the early 1940’s on Prince Oskar to Ellis Island.

    My great grandfather luckily married in West Virginia to my great grandmother. It was after they had children and he had served in the US Military Army that my grandmother met his son there in West Virginia.

    My grandfather luckily found a job near Dayton Ohio and got OUT of West Virginia. Thank my heavens that he was able to do this; as Ohio has much more to offer as in economy and diversity – Ohio compared to West Virginia.

    This past week after not speaking to my dear 2nd cousin for over 44 years she now lives in Florida under a GOP / Republican Governor DeSantis who is another racist traitor & tyrant. I was shocked to hear my 2nd cousin state on the phone that she was concerned about Biden not wanting to shut down our border between Mexico and Texas.

    I said to her; Dear Patty – Why would President Biden want to shut down the border between Texas and Mexico??

    Do you not know and understand that if the US President had shut down immigration during the 1940’s I would NOT be here. As my great grandfather came over directly from Hamburg Germany.

    It was nearly like she did NOT even hear me say those words. Potentially it is possible that she did not know my grandmother and her father (being siblings) obviously didn’t have much contact after they were over 25 due to her fathers drinking problem.
    Yet this is a REALITY for me and for each of my children. Some days I wonder if I would’ve been born if my great great grandfather wasn’t able to leave Germany and if I was born in Germany in 1976 – just how different my life would be now days.

    btw: I am in the midst of writing a memoir to be released next year. I will leave my blog address; I must post a lot of data and bring it up to speed.. subsequently my 21 yr yng daughter recently took her life on August 18, 2020. There are not many words to describe how terrible life has been since that date. Recently as of August 18, 2023 it’s now been 3 years out yet the day Jasmine left me seems like it was yesterday. It’s still not easy to make it through any given day. Despite my daughter had 3 other siblings. I am NOT suicidal whatsoever. The trauma can override & overwhelm any given day; at any given second; no matter what.
    I have not been taking time to update my blog ever since – yet I have been making journal entries; here soon I will begin to publish blog entries & posts. I look forward to keeping in touch. I will register to be involved with your organization & stay involved. I am looking forward to being able to finally move forward.

    Have a nice evening; I do hope to see you around here.

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