1 million pages

1 million pages - 1000 large volumes - 5 stacks

The 15th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica runs to 32 large volumes, each of about 1000 pages. The million pages of logs we’ve transcribed would take up more than 30 times as much space on the shelf.

Today oldWeather has passed another remarkable milestone: we’ve now transcribed 1 million logbook pages. 1,000,000 or 106 – however you write it, that’s a big number.

The logbooks have large pages, so think of a big, heavy book – let’s say a volume of the old Encyclopædia Britannica. Those have about 1000 pages each, so we’d need about 1000 such volumes to make up a million pages – more than 30 copies of the entire Encyclopaedia (15th edition).

Alternatively, consider the average American, who reads 9 books a year. If a typical book is 300 pages in length, we’ve done as much reading as that average American does in about 350 years. We haven’t been skimming the logs, either: It takes, on average, about 2 minutes to read and transcribe each log page.

So we’ve spent 2 million minutes with our collective nose in a log – a task which would have been quite impossible without the combined efforts of thousands of project participants. And what treasures we’ve found in there: As well as millions of invaluable weather observations, we’ve followed stories of war, sickness, celebration, drunkenness, heroism, tragedy, partying, … Surely a better read than any novel.

The image at the head of this post was shamelessly stolen adapted from Wikipedia.

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