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 -
"Although best-known for its restoration of feature films, UCLA Film & Television Archive has been preserving animated films for more than three decades, with over one hundred titles to its credit. The short subjects, trailers, and promotional films presented here provide a representative sampling of that work. They have been preserved from best-surviving and sole-surviving 35mm nitrate and 16mm prints, showcasing many forms of animation spanning the entire silent film era." The UCLA Preserved Silent Animation project
, one of over 80 collections
made available through the UCLA Digital Library Program.
posted by cog_nate
on Aug 30, 2012 -
"Despite the challenges it faces
, the Digital Public Library of America
has an enthusiastic corps of volunteers and some generous contributors. It seems likely that by this time next year, it will have reached its first milestone and begun operating a metadata exchange of some sort. But what happens after that? Will the library be able to extend the scope of its collection beyond the early years of the last century? Will it be able to offer services that spark the interest of the public? If the DPLA is nothing more than plumbing, the project will have failed to live up to its grand name and its even grander promise."
posted by davidjmcgee
on Jun 7, 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 -
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 -
A letter by Rene Descartes, stolen in 1840s, recovered in 2010 by online detective work.
The letter was stolen by Guglielmo Libri, inspector general of the libraries of France, who stole thousands of valuable documents and fled to England in 1848. Since 1902 it's been in the collection of Haverford College, its contents unknown to scholars, and nobody there realized that it was an unknown letter. But because they had catalogued it and recently put their catalogue on line, Dutch philosopher Erik-Jan Bos found it "during a late-night session browsing the Internet
". (A Haverford undergraduate thirty years ago had translated it and written a paper on it, in which he recognized that the letter was unknown -- but nobody followed up and the letter had sat in the library since then until it was listed online.) The letter includes some last-minute edits to the Meditations, and some thoughts on God as causa sui. Haverford, whose president was a philosophy major, is returning the letter
to the Institut de France.
posted by LobsterMitten
on Feb 26, 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 -
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".
posted by stbalbach
on Nov 20, 2008 -
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]
posted by Deathalicious
on Jul 30, 2008 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
So, we all know the Patriot Act
allows for the monitoring of library and computer usage. Big deal, right? I mean how many people can they watch and what are the odds?
Maybe not as good (or bad, depending on your view) as you might think
,"A St. John’s College Library visit by a former public defender was abruptly interrupted February 13 when city police officers arrested him about 9 p.m. at the computer terminal he was using, handcuffed him, and brought him to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, police station for questioning by Secret Service agents from Albuquerque."
posted by cedar
on Feb 26, 2003 -
Sell The Public Libraries
Llewellyn says many public libraries have been a disgrace for decades, and,
like most public institutions, they are architectural monstrosities.
"They have terrible hours, which they blame on underfunding. Their selection
is often severely limited, vacillating between being out of date and
carrying only the latest, tackiest bestsellers. Others have gradually purged
all books that offer ideas the ruling regime rejects."
It gets MUCH
worse! Past threads have shown the average Mefite to be a fan of public libraries, this guy, is to say the least, not.
posted by Blake
on Aug 24, 2002 -
Can Dumbing Down Save Our Libraries?
An intersting story from The Sunday Herald
that says libraries are facing a stark choice: modernize or die.
The author say we just can't win, if we put in a bank of computers
we are accused of dumbing things down, if we demand silence
in the reading rooms and purchase books that aren't "popular" we find ourselves charged with elitism
He says the public library has an altruistic purpose of making knowledge freely available through the printed word. The trouble is that those high principles
were undermined by the librarians
themselves. Facing a revolution in communications, they tried to become all things to all people
He focuses on England, but I think many of these issues are international. Are public libraries out of date?
posted by Blake
on Aug 12, 2002 -