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ICI FINIT LA CVLTVRE ALLEMANDE

On this day one hundred years ago, Imperial German soldiers who had peacefully arrived in the Belgian city of Leuven (Fr: Louvain), having taken hostages and accepted the parole of its mayor on behalf of its citizens, without warning set fire to the city and massacred its inhabitants forever altering the city, its university's library, and the course of the war.
  • Belgian Judicial Report on the Sacking of Louvain in August 1914
  • The destruction and rebuilding of the Louvain Library: claim and counterclaim
  • [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Aug 25, 2014 - 13 comments

    Mali's Ancient Manuscripts

    Bonfire of the Humanities. "Nobody goes to Timbuktu, right? Patrick Symmes did, to discover what happened when jihadi rebels set out to burn one of the world’s finest collections of ancient manuscripts. Bouncing around by truck, boat, and boots, he got an intimate look at West ­Africa’s most mythic locale." [Via] [more inside]
    posted by homunculus on Apr 21, 2014 - 12 comments

    The NYPL's Open Maps Project adds 20,000 High Res Maps

    The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2014 - 11 comments

    The Vatican archives are being digitized.

    The Vatican is digitizing its massive trove of ancient documents to make them available to the world for free online. [more inside]
    posted by Jacob Knitig on Mar 23, 2014 - 28 comments

    Lord Cobham was burnt alive, but I forget what for

    15 year old Jane Austen wrote a satrical history of English monarchs and now you can read it.
    posted by The Whelk on Feb 25, 2014 - 19 comments

    "The perfect spot to get lost in"

    Old photos of the Cincinnati Public Library before it was demolished in 1955 (Go ahead. Weep. I did).
    posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 21, 2014 - 57 comments

    Remember, if approached by a librarian, keep still. Do not run away.

    Welcome to a tumblr of wonders. Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels? Adventure with Alice! Get close to illuminations? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504? More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
    posted by jetlagaddict on Dec 26, 2013 - 13 comments

    Search the memory of The Netherlands

    The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy access
    Search 833928 objects from 133 collections from 100 institutions.
    posted by infini on Jun 22, 2013 - 4 comments

    The Last of the Great Chained Libraries

    "On a beautiful sunny day last week, the Turning Over a New Leaf project team decided to take a day off from the office to visit a spectacular chained library in the small town of Zutphen (located in the eastern part of the Netherlands). Built in 1564 as part of the church of St Walburga, it is one of only five chained libraries in the world that survive ‘intact’—that is, complete with the original books, chains, rods, and furniture."
    posted by brundlefly on May 18, 2013 - 18 comments

    All this energy calling me, back where it comes from....

    The Cleveland Memory Project is an archive of photos, postcards, videos, recordings, clippings, ebooks, personal papers, maps and other historical "goodies" about the city. "It's a collaborative endeavor of many local historical societies, public libraries and government agencies who have mounted their own local history." On Flickr. [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2013 - 5 comments

    "A clam for supper? a cold clam; is that what you mean, Mrs. Hussey?

    "New Englanders learn quickly to dismiss the chowder where tomato ruins its gorgeous broth, where references to New York tarnish its name...However, few know how such distinctions came about in the first place, what processes were involved that resulted in one person's disgust of another's beloved creation, and why, to this day, do we stand by such convictions?" The New England Chowder Compendium, from the McIntosh Cookery Collection at the UMass Amherst library. [more inside]
    posted by Miko on Dec 4, 2012 - 92 comments

    "Some remarkable Books, Antiquities, Pictures and Rarities of several kinds, scarce or never seen by any man now living."

    Musæum Clausum is a catalog of invented books, pictures and antiquities written by 17th Century Englishman Sir Thomas Browne. It is a fantastical and witty meditation on the ravages of time on literature and other works of man. The Musæum Clausum is perhaps the finest example of the invented, or invisible, library, a genre which seems to have originated with Rabelais. The genre has been of special interest to Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog (older posts), where he has written about the invisible libraries of writers such as Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, H. P. Lovecraft and invisible libraries in video games. The natural medium for invisible libraries might be pictures, and Musæum Clausum inspired a suite of etchings by Erik Desmazieres.
    posted by Kattullus on Oct 31, 2012 - 30 comments

    Want to Make Historic Recipes?

    Want to make historic recipes? You can help transcribe the University of Iowa Libraries age old assortment of handwritten cookbooks, ca. 1600s-1960s, documenting culinary history in America and Europe and how tastes have changed over the years. Copy the text as is, including misspellings and abbreviations. [more inside]
    posted by cashman on Oct 27, 2012 - 31 comments

    TWO LIVING WHALES TWO LIVING WHALES

    Did P.T. Barnum keep live whales in his museum on Broadway? When were penguins stolen from the Coney Island Aquarium? How much horse manure was deposited on the streets of New York City before the automobile, and what happened to it? Answers to these question and more at the New York Historical Society Library's short video series When did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? [more inside]
    posted by jessamyn on May 5, 2012 - 13 comments

    Astor Place. Two blocks. Lots of history.

    In 1783, John Jacob Astor set out for the United States with $25 and five flutes. Upon his death in 1848, he was the wealthiest person in the US, having amassed a fortune of at least $20,000,000, making him the third wealthiest person in American history (measuring wealth as a fraction of GDP). [more inside]
    posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 20, 2011 - 27 comments

    Medicine in the Americas

    Medicine in the Americas is a digital library project that makes freely available original works demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century. [more inside]
    posted by Trurl on May 31, 2011 - 9 comments

    A History of the Library as Seen Through Notable Researchers

    "The New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts Stephen A. Schwarzman Building celebrates its 100th anniversary this month on May 23. The Centennial offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Library use from the past 100 and uncover stories that can serve as inspiration for another century. One unique way to trace the history of the Library is through call slips. In order to use books in the research collection, patrons request specific titles by filling out a call slip, which includes the following information: author, title, and call number. Not all call slips have been saved over the years, but some have been preserved for posterity." Featured are slips from Max Eastman, Lewis Mumford, Dorothy Parker, John Dos Passos and R. G. Wasson...
    posted by jim in austin on May 5, 2011 - 4 comments

    And The iPod You Rode In On.

    You wish you lived next door to Joe Bussard.
    posted by timsteil on Feb 25, 2011 - 26 comments

    Iconographie ouvrages anciens

    Iconographie ouvrages anciens is a collection of historic animal illustrations that date as far back as the 16th Century, courtesy of the library at Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon. [more inside]
    posted by Ufez Jones on Jan 26, 2011 - 10 comments

    Bibliotheca Corviniana

    The library of King Matthias I of Hungary, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was "the second greatest collection of books in Europe in the Renaissance period, after that of the Vatican." Destroyed following the 15th century Turkish invasion of Hungary (despite the efforts of Matthias' vassal Vlad III the Impaler), a few surviving codices have been digitized by the National Széchényi Library and the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. [more inside]
    posted by Paragon on Jan 6, 2011 - 7 comments

    Mediaeval Arabic Manuscripts in Private Libraries in Mauritania

    Ancient books inherited in private family libraries could change our knowledge of late mediaeval arab culture, but most are hidden in private libraries. Gripping article about the unknown treasures that may be lurking in Mauritanian family libraries, considering the little that has already been found, resistance to cataloguing and problematic future if the region continues to be destabilised. How the manuscripts are famous in the muslim world.More on the open libraries and archive efforts. Some years back on bbc i saw an explorer track down some ancient ethiopian christian manuscripts to an ethiopian monastery, only to be shown some burnt remains from a fire a few months back. What treasures must lurk in this continent, and with digital cameras, how easy to document them without damage or intruding on their owners! Being christians, there are pictures and some history.
    posted by maiamaia on Jul 27, 2010 - 13 comments

    Old American Menus

    Scans of early 20th-century American menus, courtesy of Colorado College's Tutt Library.
    posted by Greg Nog on Jun 17, 2010 - 46 comments

    The first attempt at organizing all the world's information

    Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire may sound like a dry website, but its subject and content is fascinating. In the 7th Century BC King Assurbanipal of Assyria built a library that was to contain all the world's knowledge. Destroyed by the Medes in 612 BC, the library was not rediscovered until the 1840s. 28000 clay tablets written in Akkadian have been found. 1600 can be read online, all translated into English. It's a somewhat overwhelming amount, but there's a lovely highlights section, which even includes pictures of the pillow-shaped writing tablets. For a thorough overview, you can listen to the In Our Time episode about the Library of Nineveh. The most famous text to have been found in Nineveh is undoubtedly the Epic of Gilgamesh. The story of its decipherment and the controversies that ensued, is interesting in its own right.
    posted by Kattullus on Mar 25, 2010 - 24 comments

    Local Knowledge

    In 2000, the Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday by inviting representatives and members of the public from each of the 50 American states to nominate folk traditions, local customs, and special places to a "century's-end time capsule" called the Local Legacies Project. A nice little introductory catalog to points of local pride, like Fountain Green, Utah's Lamb Day, Oakland, CA's Black Cowboy Parade, Kentucky's Bourbon tradition, and Binghamton, NY's Spiedie Fest, and plenty more. [more inside]
    posted by Miko on Feb 5, 2010 - 7 comments

    Eddies in the timestream! And this is his couch?

    Timelines: Sources from History is a decade-by-decade visual index to the holdings of the British Library from the 1210s to the present.
    posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 30, 2010 - 12 comments

    Marin County Oral History

    Marin County Oral History "From 1974 to 1984, Carla Ehat, with partner Anne Kent, and later Genevieve Martinelli, traveled from one end of Marin County [California] to the other, interviewing a broad spectrum of Marin's long-time residents, ranging from ranchers to politicians and including descendents of early pioneer families." Each link on the list includes a photo, bio, full text of the interview, and, the best part, short audio excerpts from the interviews. Many of the folks interviewed were born in the 1880s or 1890s.
    posted by ocherdraco on Dec 6, 2009 - 7 comments

    Gay Liberation

    1969: The Year of Gay Liberation is an online exhibit of the New York Public Library focusing on the radical gay rights movements of the late sixties and early seventies, focusing on the organizations The Mattachine Society of New York, Daughters of Bilitis, Gay News, Gay Liberation Front, Radicalesbians, Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries and the Gay Activists Alliance, and the events of the Stonewall Riot and Christopher Street Liberation Day. This is but one part of the NYPL's fine LGBT collection, which includes, among other things, resources for teens, AIDS/HIV collections, and digital collections on ACT UP, Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen, Bessie Bonehill, Gertrude Stein, Gran Fury, Julian Eltinge, Richard Wandel and Walt Whitman.
    posted by Kattullus on Oct 1, 2009 - 14 comments

    The fascinating world of conservation

    Biohistorical researchWax engravingThe Thinker after the bombAlfred Stieglitz's palladium photographsTibetan bronzes with interior contentsThe examination and treatment of a pair of boots from the Aleutian Islands — A small sample of the articles available from the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC).
    posted by tellurian on Sep 22, 2009 - 8 comments

    Constipation is murder! and other gems from early advertising of the West

    The University of Washington Library's Early Advertising of the West, 1867-1918. [more inside]
    posted by mudpuppie on Aug 12, 2009 - 24 comments

    Land, Eagle, Land

    We Chose the Moon: The JFK Library and Museum has just launched this interactive web experience using archival audio, video, photos, and recorded transmissions to re-create, in real time, the July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
    posted by Miko on Jul 13, 2009 - 43 comments

    The Sinister End-of-the-World Homerun

    "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved" .... and mad enough to play fantasy baseball. In the new book Kerouac at Bat: Fantasy Sports and the King of the Beats, a NY Public Library archivist considers documents revealing the author's detailed obsession with the imaginary exploits of players like Pictorial Review Jackson and teams like the "Pontiacs, Nashes, and cellar-dwelling LaSalles" in his finely grained, fictional Summer League.
    posted by Miko on May 21, 2009 - 22 comments

    For Ourselves and Our Posterity

    Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project The Library of Congress invites you to submit digital audio or video recordings of speeches made between January 16 and january 25, 2009 on the occasion of Barack Obama's inauguration. The speeches will be archived in a collection for future scholarship, much like the Day of Infamyand other collections capturing signifcant American moments.
    posted by Miko on Dec 24, 2008 - 4 comments

    Australian Newspapers, Digitised

    The Australian National Library is digitising newspapers.
    posted by Fiasco da Gama on Dec 16, 2008 - 13 comments

    Први светски рат

    Prvi svetski rat - Gritty and poignant Serbian postcards from the First World War. Just one of the seriously interesting (e.g. check out the collection of 78s) holdings at the Digital National Library of Serbia.
    posted by tellurian on Jul 20, 2008 - 12 comments

    "Schools should continue to require library research so they can see how old folks used to Google stuff."

    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 - 22 comments

    There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library

    Almost 1700 Carnegie Libraries (wikipedia) were built in the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from Pennsylvania to California, from Florida to Oregon, and almost every other single place in between . (Scotland, too!) Some of them are still in use as libraries. Others aren't. This person is trying to collect post cards of as many of them as possible.
    posted by dersins on Aug 23, 2007 - 23 comments

    Digitized Book of the Week

    Digitized Book of the Week. An eclectic collection of works digitized from the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They include books and serials from its collections that focus on Illinois history, literature, and natural resources; rural life and agriculture; railroad history and engineering; and works in translation. A project of MsMolly.
    posted by Mitheral on Aug 8, 2007 - 5 comments

    Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men

    A Nazi Christmas Since its most ancient days, the Christmas holiday has been continually reshaped to serve commercial, social, and political ends. These Nazi-era Christmas materials, including an Advent calendar and an essay on how to turn Christian holidays into National Socialist ones, come from the German Propaganda Archive of the Calvin College library. Of course, the Allies also enlisted Christmas in both pop culture and propaganda with cards, V-Mails, and posters.
    posted by Miko on Nov 29, 2006 - 21 comments

    Tiki's Trip To Town

    Tiki's mother takes him to see a pakeha township for the first time. One of many books available from the International Children's Digital Library.
    posted by tellurian on Aug 3, 2006 - 7 comments

    Antique Celestial Maps

    The U.S. Naval Observatory Library features high-res scans of images from antique books dealing with astronomy and navigation. Wallpapers, ahoy!
    posted by Gator on Jul 13, 2006 - 18 comments

    Appalachian Tales

    The Digital Library of Appalachia presents an online collection of music files, images, literature, and scanned documents supplied by twelve regional college libraries.
    posted by Miko on Jun 22, 2006 - 17 comments

    Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

    Schaffer Library of Drug Policy - read the transcripts of hearings held on the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, or the text of court decisions regarding drug policy, or the well-researched Consumer Unions report on licit and illicit drugs, or the differences between beer and drugs, according to Anheuser-Busch. A huge archive of materials, admittedly compiled from a pro-reform perspective.
    posted by daksya on May 20, 2006 - 27 comments

    The Memory of The Netherlands

    The Memory of The Netherlands is an extensive digital collection of illustrations, photographs, texts, film and audio fragments from a large variety of Dutch cultural institutions. There are about 50 collections (in english).
    posted by peacay on Feb 19, 2006 - 7 comments

    Higgins, The House Painter

    In the year 2525 if man is still alive, future generations will be able to consult this book or type a request into their DIY UNIT™ and reproduce the effect of wood or marble.
    posted by tellurian on Feb 2, 2006 - 18 comments

    The SF quake

    The Bancroft Library unveils a new 1906 San Francisco Earthquake site featuring a really cool clickable map that features photos from each section of town. Haight Street didn't look too bad, but just down the road, City Hall was leveled. The exhibit offers a guide to the event that look place nearly 100 years ago.
    posted by mathowie on Jan 14, 2006 - 20 comments

    The Laurentian Library

    Under Foot and Between the Boards in the Laurential Library "Within the Laurentian Library, the enigmatic masterwork of Michelangelo, there exists a complex geometric pavement that is hidden from view, little known about and shrouded with mystery...Why had an immensely complicated pavement been constructed, only to be covered over?"
    posted by dhruva on Oct 23, 2005 - 13 comments

    http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/

    Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH). From Cornell University, HEARTH is an internet resource collecting home economics texts from 1850 to 1950, including Meals that cook themselves and cut the costs, by Christine Frederick (1915), and The young woman's guide to excellence, by William A. Alcott (1852), as well as the Journal of Home Economics from 1909 to 1980.
    posted by monju_bosatsu on Apr 11, 2005 - 6 comments

    Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web

    Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web. Many links to interesting sites - African liberation movement posters, Charles Babbage, Braniff Airways history, daily life in Sierra Leone 1936-37, the photography of Eamon Melaugh, Frank & Marshall College from the air, all the way through to ZYX: a selection of ABC books. Via thinking while typing.
    posted by plep on Mar 10, 2004 - 2 comments

    The Open Video Project

    The Open Video Project offers nearly 2,000 videos from various sources and collections, including such gems as 34 reels from the 1930s and 40s in the Digital Himalaya Project, a series of classic television commercials, and, from the Library of Congress, some shorts from the early 1900s, including the popular 2 a.m. in the Subway and A Ballroom Tragedy ("Vaudeville" is a good search term for finding more like this). Also, especially for MeFi, Johnny Learns His Manners.
    posted by taz on Oct 12, 2003 - 17 comments

    Images of Native Americans

    Images of Native Americans, from UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, is comprehensive online exhibit of over 400 years of text and images of Native American history. [via a Berkleyan article that has sample images and more info]
    posted by kirkaracha on Aug 18, 2003 - 8 comments

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