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 -
"...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]
posted by Armitage Shanks
on May 18, 2006 -
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.
posted by cog_nate
on Feb 22, 2006 -
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 -
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?
posted by ed
on Aug 26, 2005 -
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
posted by juggernautco
on Jun 25, 2005 -
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.
posted by etaoin
on Jun 20, 2005 -
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.
posted by Grod
on Apr 27, 2005 -
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
posted by fatllama
on Dec 5, 2004 -
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 -
"We offer the only comprehensive approach to eBooks that integrates with the time-honored missions and methods of libraries and librarians." Want an account
? If your library system is a participant, go to the site from on a library computer, create an account, and you can then log in remotely too. Interesting! [via soup du jour of the day
posted by mwhybark
on Oct 6, 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 -