Cologne City Archive
is a six-story building containing 26 kilometers of shelves, 65,000+ documents dating from 922 AD, 104,000 maps, 50,000 posters, 500,000 photographs and 780 estates and collections, including Irmgard Keun
, Hans Mayer
and Jacques Offenbach
. Considered a state of the art institution when built in 1971 and copied around the world, the building simply collapsed on Tuesday, destroying most everything. 
,(via) [more inside]
is the new EU digital library. It gives multilingual access to two million digitized books and other items of cultural and historical significance held in over 1,000 institutions in the 27 EU states. There will be 10 million by 2010. Soon after its launch the website froze
, its servers overwhelmed by over "10 million hits an hour".
Jay Walker's Library
was just profiled by Wired [via]
, but they failed to mention where
many of those books came from. Big players like Maggs
, Simon Finch
and the Baumans
still compose most of the rare book world. (Heritage is gone but Michael Sharp
got four of their employees.) They're all excellent places to shop if you're building an Überlibrary, but, if you're Jay Walker, you start with Phillip J. Pirages. [more inside]
is seriously beautiful photography and explication of little-seen gems in the library stacks, from a self-confessed "techie, not a librarian, who is quite fortunate to be surrounded by books everyday
". From the green
to the teal
and now to the blue.
Sustainability of Digital Formats
: a repository of mostly technical information about digital content file formats related to storing images (moving and still), text, sound and websites
You're planning on baking a cake, but you're bored of your plain old square pan, round pan, or bundt pan? If you live in the US Midwest, it's very possible that your nearby library allows you to check out cake pans
. [more inside]
The end of Moore’s influence came when, years later, she tried to block the publication of a book by E. B. White. Watching Moore stand in the way of “Stuart Little,” White’s editor, Ursula Nordstrom, remembered, was like watching a horse fall down, its spindly legs crumpling beneath its great weight. [more inside]
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
I See Dead People's Books
) is an impromptu project by LibraryThing members to catalog the libraries of famous dead people, from Tupac Shakur
to Ernest Hemingway
to John Adams
. Many more in the works, anyone is able to create a dead library with all the attendant features of LT.
OPAL Libri Antichi from the University of Turin
offers over 3,000 books as free, open PDF files. Most of these date between AD 1500 and 1850 and most are in Italian, with many in French. They tend to be plain books with few illustrations. A few English titles are present, including David Hume's 1800 Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul
; several texts by William Wycherley such as Love in a wood: or St. James's-Park
(1735); and Richard Lassels 1686 work The voyage of Italy: or, a compleat journey through Italy with the characters of the peaple, and the description of the chief towns ...
) - an early travel guide. The PDFs are unsearchable plain scans. via this thread in the W4RF forum which contains hundreds of links to free online historical documents
Harvard's Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously
last week to mandate "Open Access
" to published articles - a first at a U.S. university, though the dean will apparently grant a waiver
to anyone who wants to opt out. More
to follow? Peter Suber's Open Access News is tracking reactions
. [more inside]
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]
Library usage, newspaper circulation, and educational attainment are primary factors used by researchers to determine the 'most literate cities.'
Minneapolis has regained top honors from Seattle, though both cities have ranked at the top since the original study in 2003
. Other studies here
show minor shifts in the intervening years. Most relevant now is that there seems to be a correlation
between literacy and voting patterns. [more inside]
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.
The Library Arcade
features one surprisingly entertaining flash game about pleasing library patrons
, and one less entertaining, but probably more directly applicable, game about shelving
. You can also try to discover the cause of a mysterious disease using your research skills
in an arcade-like game [username: Tammy, password: Allgood]
. More on the discussion
of the role of games in libraries.
Sure, reading is great, but books are fun to look at
Public libraries with Online Content:
Residents of Missouri can get a free account at the Kansas City Public Library
that will let them access digital databases including the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and downloadable audiobooks
. Residents of the Empire State can get a digital library card at the New York Public Library
to access a wealth of digital databases
. (The rest of us can get a NYPL card for $100
.) And the Boston Public Library
will give digital access to most of the above, plus JSTOR and (sigh) the Early American Imprints collection of nearly everything printed in North America
to 1820. Unfortunately you have to show up at a branch of the BPL and prove Massachusetts residence to get your card.
Your turn--what other public libraries offer access to subscription online information databases?
Librarians and book collectors have many tales about ephemera left in books. While the legend of the bacon bookmark
may be among the more pervasive reports of strange finds, a smallpox sample
is probably the most bizarre. There are blogs
and discussion boards
that record other makeshift markers. Some readers prefer designated over spontaneous markers. Mirage Bookmark
has an extensive collection of bookmark ephemera, with Bookmark of the Week
and Bookmark Collector
also offering noteworthy collections.
What they didn't teach us in library school.
An article written by a former public librarian in Salt Lake City, concerning the dilemmas of dealing with the homeless. [via alternet
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.
"Learn me to read, book lady.... Please if you learn me, I won't be lonesome any more. I broke my back last year. It wan't mended yet.
" A look at WPA Travelling Libraries
. See also: Free traveling libraries
(Wisconsin), Lighthouse libraries
(Coastal U.S.), Blue Trunk Medical Libraries
(Africa), Bus Libraries
(China), a few miscellaneous mobile libraries
, and this one from the 16th Century
. And yes, there's some YouTube
Banned Books Week
-- 25th anniversary year. How to deal with a challenge
, what you can do generally
, and of course, lists,
and more lists
. Captain Underpants is a more recent entry, i notice.
must be eligible for government secret clearance, and willing to forget everything you learned about intellectual freedom
in library school.
Red-Hot and Filthy Library Smut.
Scanned photos of the insides of some of the world's hottest, youngest and dirtiest libraries. Some of the best from the book by Candida Hofer
The Dewey Donation System
is site that helps re-stock libraries devastated by Katrina
, by posting wishlists of Louisiana and Mississippi libraries
and letting anyone buy books for them. Cool looking site, to boot. [via mefi projects]
"...this clip of a Japanese show called Gaki No Tsukai stands out not for what it includes, but for what it lacks - talking and screaming. It takes place in a studio made up like a library, with the participants (including Kickboxing champion Ernesto Hoost) stifling their laughter, screams of pain and retching noises, just like any student did in their own junior high school library." [youtube video, text shamelessly lifted from wfmu]
Well over 100 universities
around the world have set up searchable digital repositories to make available journal articles, datasets, theses and other academic materials using the DSpace repository system. DSpace at MIT
alone hosts over 11,000 theses. Also, the software
running the sites is freely available and open source.
"How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?" Good question. As noted
in an earlier post, the EPA is one of the agencies that is facing cuts to finance BushCo's America. How? By shutting down its network of libraries and its electronic catalogue
While Not All
librarians are "militant radicals
" apparently we're not all your "stereotypical librarians
" either. Incensed by the USA Patriot Act and irate over a memo between FBI agents, the American Library Association debuted a button
at its annual midwinter meeting, which winds up in Texas today at the Convention Center. Boasting that its wearers are "Radical Militant Librarians
," the button was one of the convention's biggest sellers
[TotalitarianismFilter] Don't be asking your college librarian
for a copy of that Little Red Book
to do a class assignment, or your parents might get a visit from the good folks at the Department of Homeland Security. More evidence that the Bush administration cannot restrain itself when granted enhanced surveillance powers
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.
The FBI has issued the first demand for library records
under the Patriot Act. The library in question is somewhere in Bridgeport, CT. The ACLU is seeking an emergency court order
to lift the FBI gag order, but they've been instructed by the gag to keep the person whose library records being sought (i.e., their client) a secret. What the ACLU has revealed is that the client is a member of the American Library Association (clearly, a front for terrorism). If any MeFites are interested in digging up additional details on this and start making calls, here's a good place to start
. What indeed would the FBI consider so threatening?
is a nifty free service that tracks all of your library books. It sends you emails and/or delivers RSS notifications when your books become due, shows you a list of all books you currently have out, and lets you know when that book you wanted is available. It supports multiple cards per account, so you can track all books for the whole household. Also, do everyone in your community a favor-- see if your library is listed
and, if it isn't, request that they add it
Book-readin' bad guys
This makes me safer already, knowing the feds are spending their time checking on who's reading about Osama bin Laden. Just &*##$@! brilliant work.
Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government's counterterrorism powers.
In some cases, agents used subpoenas or other formal demands to obtain information like lists of users checking out a book on Osama bin Laden.
This is good
, an international not-for-profit organization of libraries, museums, and other research institutions, comes this incredibly useful research tool. Start with as vague a query as you like, it'll provide an ordered list of search limiters to help you zero in on the resources you need in a far more organic and rapid fashion than similar tools I've seen. An invaluable resource for students, librarians, and the curious.
Indiana University's main library is not sinking.
Neither is the University of Waterloo campus library
, but what about the University of Calgary's Mackimmie Library
? If the University of Nottingham's Jubilee library
is really sinking, readers better grab their snorkels. But guess what — The University of Nebraska at Omaha library is actually sinking
, and the University of Las Vegas Lied Library
close. This library
sunk into an ancient burial site, and now it's haunted! Finally, is it art
? Or does Melbourne, Australia have the greatest sinking library ever? See Snopes
on one of the most persistent of urban legends — the amazing sinking library.
"For 500 generations they flourished until newcomers came...
much was lost; much was devalued, but much was also hidden away in the hearts of the dispossessed." Much that is now available in image and in writing at the University of Washington
's "American Indians of the Pacific Northwest" Collection.
Recently we've all been thinking
about flat (or better, faceted
web apps that organize email
, and general knowledge
. The common threads are metadata
(tags, categories, labels) that enrich relationships within and hence searchability
of large collections. But besides marketroid hype
, snark) and a computer that plays Twenty Questions
can we do and study using faceted data structures: searchable culture references
in The Simpsons, library science
, computer filesystems
development, models for human memory and cognition
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).
From the vantage point of my office window, one might wonder: "Presedential Library, or world's largest mobile home?"
This part of the country hasn't seen modern architecture like this, Newsweek lamented....the Clinton presidential library is an architectural tour de force that introduces the Midsouth to a structure more significant than anything it's ever seen.
..but from the vantage point of the Interstate 30 bridge, to the average columnist or cross-country trucker, didn't it kind of look like a trailer?"
For Arkansas, the grand opening of the center
— which houses the Clinton Library — will be one of the biggest events in the state's history
. All former presidents and President Bush will attend.