Model books, examples for medieval scribes to copy from and adapt in their work, are like illuminated manuscripts in concentrated form. A post from medieval historian Erik Kwakkel's excellent new blog, a longform complement to his excellent Tumblr (previously).
The British Library today unveiled a major addition to its website: Discovering Literature, a portal to digitized collections and supporting material. The first installment, Romantics and Victorians, includes work from Austen, the Brontës, Dickens, and Blake, and forthcoming modules will expand coverage of the site to encompass everything from Beowulf to the present day.
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]
The Triumph of the Passenger Ship is an online exhibition of highlights from the Norman H. Morse Ocean Liner Collection at the University of Southern Maine. (The cutaway illustrations are fascinating.)
The Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection, given to Indiana University in 2006, is now online, with images and descriptions of some 24,000 puzzles, from an 18th century Japanese puzzle to nearly 300 kinds of Rubik's Cubes. [more inside]
Treasures of the Bodleian. Oxford University's Bodleian Library will move into a substantially renovated home in 2015. In preparation, it has put online a selection of highlights from the collection, ranging from papyri to Penguins. You can vote for your favorite treasure, and the top vote-getter will go on display when the library reopens.
Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961 is an exhibition drawn from the collections of the University of Chicago's Chicago Jazz Archive.
The Smithsonian Libraries hark back to the ideas of Mr. James Smithson, the benefactor after whom the Smithsonian is named. Mr. Smithson, an English scientist, never set foot in this country, but was enamored of our nation’s independence and the way science and discovery were becoming part of our national ethic, particularly through the work of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. During his lifetime, Mr. Smithson built up a large collection of books and documents and obviously appreciated the value of libraries. He left his fortune and his book and document collection to our nation to create an institution for the “diffusion and increase of learning” in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian was authorized by Congress in 1846 and from its outset it made provisions for a library to hold its growing collection of documents and books.
- From the Keynote Remarks: An Age of Discovery: Distinctive Collections in the Digital Age G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
recently the ARL (Association of Research Libraries) and the CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) had their fall forum. [more inside]
"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.
Visible Traces: Rare Books and Special Collections from the National Library of China. Rare books, maps and other texts, viewable online in this exhibition at askasia.org.