Online Library of Liberty
Liberty Fund is an educational foundation, founded by philanthropist (and amateur scholar) Pierre Goodrich in 1960. Among their many projects, the Online Library of Liberty is a Web-accessible view of Goodrich’s personal library, as well as of many other books published by Liberty Fund.
These titles are scanned, converted to TEI XML files for archival purposes, and then converted into searchable Web pages by the publishing system I built, and have continually refined since 2003.
Each successive version has upped the ante of what the system can do, and how quickly it can do it. XML files and associated graphic assets are uploaded through an admin console, where they are automatically converted into HTML, PDF, ePub, and Kindle versions. Editors continue the process, associating each title with its authors and other contributors, as well as adding the metadata that explain its place in history and scholarly thought. In the earliest days of the OLL, it could take as much as a month to publish a new title. Now, this process takes minutes, and is entirely automatic.
Both the public site and its admin console are built with Ruby on Rails, and leverage the powerful open-source Sphinx search engine. PDF conversion is powered by PrinceXML. XML conversion is made possible with the Nokogiri library. The admin console uses Markdown, with a custom live-preview editor, to allow editors to create rich content without having to author HTML.