Lecture Search at findlectures.com is a new search tool, or at least it’s new to me. It appears to have launched in the summer of 2016, which is probably why I missed its launch. In the UK it would have been drowned out by the news of our glorious Brexit.

Lecture Search aims to find ‘intelligent talk’ files such as conference and academic lectures, and it does what it claims. A few early observations:

* Seems to be running from a hand-curated URL list. There’s evidence in the results that the last indexing run may have been in early 2016?

* Includes YouTube and Vimeo as sources but seems to have a filter on them, presumably via indexing only selected channels.

* Searchers should use NOT keyword rather than -keyword to knock out search words from results.

* Nice range of limiting facets, in the sidebar.

* One annoying pop-up nag-box, but it was easily killed with AdBlock Plus’s “select an element to hide…”.

* Relevance ranking is definitely not Google-licious, as it the case for all such Summon-like services. For instance: search for “cave art”, get “The Complete Poetry of Cesar Vallejo” as the first result. That page’s text happens to mention Vallejo once did some research on “cave art”, but then presumably the prestige of the result’s loc.gov URL lifts the result up to No.1.

* Not indexing the BBC’s hundreds of In Our Time .mp3 podcasts, which seems a pity.

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