"People haven’t been fascinated by this book because the translation is mellifluous or beautiful,” said Michael F. Suarez, a professor of English at the University of Virginia who directs the Rare Book School there. “People haven’t been attracted to this book because the presswork is beautiful. It’s not.”
Instead, the Bay Psalm Book
is treasured for being the first surviving piece of printing
done in the British North American colonies. Only 11 copies, many incomplete, today survive. Remarkably two of those copies belong to the same owner, Boston's Old South Church
. This month, the church made the controversial decision
to sell one (the first such sale in 65 years), and it could bring as much as $20 million for the church's endowment.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Dec 25, 2012 -
On the day he turned thirty-eight, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
retired from public life to the tower of the Château de Montaigne
, there to spend the next ten years composing an assay
of his life's experience. That his mind might thrive, he turned the tower into a "Solitarium"
and its top floor into a sumptuous library
, lining its round walls with some 1,500 books
. Even the roof beams were made to bear his thoughts: on them he inscribed 46 quotations, here
collected and translated.
posted by Iridic
on Oct 11, 2012 -
is an exhibition at New Haven (Connecticut) libraries that contemplates our personal, intellectual and physical relationship to the library as this venerable institution—and the information it contains—is being radically transformed by the digital era. Some examples: Untitled (Suburban Homes)
by Erica Baum, Hurricanes
by Chris Coffin, and Chinese Library No. 46
by Xiaoze Xie.
posted by carter
on Nov 15, 2011 -
I don’t believe in dissing books I used to love, and I always suspect the moral judgment of people who sneer at the taste of the reader they used to be: “I know thee not, old book.”
Six writers talk what's on their shelves.
posted by villanelles at dawn
on Nov 12, 2011 -
an augmented reality app for shelf-reading library stacks, from Miami University Augmented Reality Research Group (MU ARRG!
posted by steef
on Apr 19, 2011 -
Libraries are, for many of us, the public places where we bring our most private selves, our fears and our dreams, so long buried and so studiously unspoken. The librarian checking out a stack of books may be for many of us, the equivalent of the first person we’ve told a secret to. Which brings me to the real reason I chose the profession that I did for my narrator: Even more than libraries, I love librarians.As Others See Us: An Author On Why She Loves Librarians
posted by carsonb
on Nov 24, 2010 -
Coming soon to a library near you, outsourcing
is now the 5th largest library services provider in the US. The ALA is surprisingly neutral
on this issue. "In general, there is no evidence that outsourcing per se has had a negative impact on library services and management. On the contrary, in the main outsourcing has been an effective managerial tool, and when used carefully and judiciously it has resulted in enhanced library services and improved library management. Instances where problems have arisen subsequent to decisions to outsource aspects of library operations and functions appear to be attributable to inadequate planning, poor contracting processes, or ineffective management of contracts."
posted by Xurando
on Sep 28, 2010 -
Book of the Month
is a feature that the University of Glasgow Library has been running for over a decade now. The format is simple, a single book is selected from their collections, written up and accompanied by pictures, maps and photographs scanned from the books. With over a 100 books to select from, it's hard to know where to start, but anywhere is good because they're all lovely. Still, here are a few, Charles Darwin's The Expression of the emotions in man and animals
, a beautiful 15th century illuminated copy of Livy's Roman history
, Treatises on Engines and Weapons
, Valentines and Dabbities
, The Birds of Australia
, Facts and Observations on the Sanitary State of Glasgow
, Ibn Jazla's The arrangement of bodies for treatment
and finally, The Curious Case of Mary Toft
, MetaFilter superstar
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 18, 2009 -
The continuity I have in mind has to do with the nature of information itself or, to put it differently, the inherent instability of texts. In place of the long-term view of technological transformations, which underlies the common notion that we have just entered a new era, the information age, I want to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that information has always been unstable. Let's begin with the Internet and work backward in time.The Library in the New Age
by Robert Darnton, historian and Director of the Harvard Library. A wide-ranging overview of the status of libraries in the modern world, touching on such subjects as: journalist poker games, French people liking the smell of books, bibliography at Google, news dissemination in the 18th Century, book piracy and the different texts of Shakespeare. Some responses: Defending the Library of Google
, The Future in the Past
and Librarians Need a Better Apologetic
posted by Kattullus
on Jun 1, 2008 -
Housing, preserving, and providing access to these small-scale, homemade
rags that document some corner of [often do-it-yourself and punk rock]
culture, zine archives can be found via independently operated centers in Georgia (physical library in construction), New Orleans (myspace link, www address out-of-commission), Florida
Denver, Cambridge, Olympia, Chicago, Seattle
and... [more inside]
posted by ethel
on Jan 19, 2008 -
An obscure 1911 British law requires a copy of every published book, journal, newspaper, patent, sound recording, magazine etc.. to be permanently archived in at least one of five libraries around the country. The British Library has the most complete collection and is currently adding about 12.5km of new shelf space a year of mostly unheard of and unwanted stuff. A new state-of-the-art warehouse
is being constructed with 262 linear kilometers of high-density, fully automated storage in a low-oxygen temperature controlled environment. It is not a library, it is a warehouse for "things that no one wants." BLDG Blog ponders
on what it all means.
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 4, 2007 -
Fairfax County Public Library system ditches the classics. If titles remain untouched for two years, they may be discarded--permanently. "We're being very ruthless," boasts library director Sam Clay.... Books by Charlotte Brontë, William Faulkner, Thomas Hardy, Marcel Proust and Alexander Solzhenitsyn have recently been pulled.
posted by caddis
on Jan 4, 2007 -
The paper analogue of the blog is not the diary, but rather the commonplace book
. With the availability of relatively cheap paper beginning as early as the 14th century, people began to collect knowledge in commonplace books. Bits of quotes, reference materials, summaries of arguments, all contained in a handy bound volume.
This merchant's commonplace
, for example, dates from 1312 and contains hand-drawn diagrams of Venetian ships and descriptions of Venice's merchant culture.
An English commonplace dating to the 15th century, the Book of Brome
poems, notations on memorial law, lists of expenses, and diary entries.
John Locke devised a method for keeping
Thomas Jefferson kept both legal and literary commonplaces
, and owned a copy of Sir John Randolph's legal commonplace
, published in 1680.
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Nov 18, 2005 -
are rich, deep, resources for preserving cultural heritage and indispensable resources for the communities they serve.” OCLC
, a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization, has compiled a list of the top 1000
titles owned or licensed by its 50,000+ member libraries. There are sublists by subject, a cross listing with a banned books
list, and some fun facts
, including the supremely annoying one that the highest listed living author is Jim Davis of Garfield fame (#18).
posted by donnagirl
on Nov 30, 2004 -
100 key books
“Cyril Connolly chose 100 key books from England, France and America first published between 1880 and 1950 to represent ‘The Modern Movement’.”
This site asks:
“How does the list look now, in the first decade of the 21st Century?”
“an additional list of key books is needed for 1950 to 2000. What should be included and why? Does Connolly's selection criteria need adjusting [just England (when so many of the books are from Ireland), France and America!] and if so how should this be done, remembering that Connolly was very precise in delineating the list as Key books, not best books?”
posted by Grod
on Sep 17, 2004 -
The September Project
-- On 9/11, libraries big and small will host events where citizens can participate collectively and think creatively about our country, our government, our community, and encourage and support the well-informed voice of the American citizenry.
A Day of and for Democracy.
posted by amberglow
on Apr 21, 2004 -
Marginalia and Other Crimes:
I’ve always had an intense hatred for people that deface books, and if they're my
books, the intensity is doubled. But imagine the atrocities the average librarian faces every day...
Witness this display of damaged and defiled books from the Cambridge University library, with attached sarcastic commentary. The horror!
Not for the squeamish.
posted by chrisgregory
on Jan 8, 2004 -
Rub the lucky Buddha and.....
It dispenses - Darwin's Origin of Species
, Marcus Aurelius' Meditations
, Voltaire's Candide
, Loren Eiseley's The Immense Journey
, Huxley's Doors of Perception
, Lewis Carrol's Through the Looking Glass
, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, The Age of Reason, Rights of Man, and Crisis #1
, Buckminster Fuller's Grunch of Giants
, Descartes' Discourse on method...
, biographies of St. Francis
and Joan of Arc
, Twain's The Grateful Poodle
, and more...
posted by troutfishing
on Dec 8, 2003 -
by Tim Whitaker, editor at Philadelphia Weekly
, who "kind of jests
" someone should order the main branch of the Free Library at 19th and Vine streets gutted, all the passé books written by the long since dead and decayed--books that nobody looks at anyway, thrown out, and replaced with computers.
This could be done over a long weekend, and the new Free Workstation Center of Philadelphia would open. Thousands of city residents who'd been priced out of the Information Revolution for well over a decade would rush to the free computers to experience the online rush that comes with access to the WWW.
He says Amazon's new service "search inside the book" is the first glimpse of a full-bore revolution in the way research will be conducted and books will be distributed in the future that spells the death of libraries.
He bounced this idea off of Steven Levy, a Philadelphia native who writes about technology for Newsweek, and he says "It's not that crazy, The future of libraries is a hot topic with librarians all over the country."
"Once the Web has become a full-service digital archive of the whole wide written word, it'll only be a quick innovation or two before we'll have the technology to order and bind books on our own home book-printing systems. Ebooks will finally become reality. Libraries will become mini-museums, where old books are kept under glass, relics of the pre-"inside the book" revolutionary age.
posted by Blake
on Nov 20, 2003 -