So I was playing around on the Internet Archive and discovered a few things. The Internet Archive is "a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format." It is a fabulous and growing resource. I have used items from the Internet Archive to post about the Grand Coulee Dam and an 1950s educational film about Lewis and Clark.
So what's new? First, there seems to be a lot more content, at least concerning Spokane, than a year or two ago. This includes a substantial number of volumes that are not on Google Books, such as the 1895 booklet The Beauties of Spokane (see below).
Second, there is something odd going on with images at the Internet Archive and Google Books. Take for example Durham's 1911 History of the City of Spokane. The Google Books version has the images that were included in the text, such as this Birdseye View of Spokane on page 3. Yet the image is missing from the Internet Archive scan of the same page. Why is that? I smell a copyright dispute...
Third, Internet Archive now has the very best tools for online reading and sharing of scanned print books of anyone. Check this out--an 1895 book, The Beauties of Spokane. The volume itself is quite rare--Google Books not only lacks a scan, it doesn't even know about the book. And the volume is a treasure trove of high-quality images of Spokane buildings, many now lost. Check it out below: