One of my favorite Robert Mankoff (New Yorker) cartoons has this caption (and you can search the Cartoon Bank for a copy): “One question: If this is the Information Age, how come nobody knows anything?”
Few non-librarians know about the hundreds (thousands, probably) of hidden document treasure troves, which go by many names: libraries, archives, repositories, databases, among others.
You’ve probably heard about Gutenberg and maybe even HathiTrust, but what about SCRIBD, SCETI, Feedbooks, BASE, Unglueit, and many, many, MANY more, including our intrepid public records warriers, at Public Resource and PlainSite.
How do you find these resources? One way is by searching the following words (or variations on them):
ebook repositories open access
The document you seek may not be indexed outside the site, may not be indexed logically within the site, and may be stored inside a repository that you think bears no relationship to what you think is in that repository, but you can always expect a Great Adventure.
(And keep an eye out for the next Oregon Archives Crawl.)