Art of the Phony (NYRB review by Charles Hope)

Charles Hope has a fascinating review of three books on forgery in the New York Review of Books, August 15, 2013 issue (paywalled). Perhaps his most interesting points are that our ideas of authenticity have changed greatly from the medieval period, from religious-effectiveness to historical-original (e.g., a religious relic would be authentic because it worked--it [...]

Tim Parks on the buying and selling (and marketing) of literary archives (NYRB)

Tim Parks writes in a May 21, 2014 blog post at the New York Review of Books about literary archives, particularly his own. While much of the piece has tongue very firmly in cheek, Parks has some thoughtful comments, particularly as archives relate to the fame of an author. What has changed is the predictive [...]

More Google Books OCR errors: Of Arms and the Anus

If you're a little sensitive to NSFW language, you might stop now. Apparently a number of otherwise innocent books are recognizing "arms" as "anus."The romance blogger Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (direct links don't seem to work) pointed out the OCR problem in a tweet ("So if the text is old, and it says [...]

Enhanced eBooks and One Art Historian (Chronicle of Higher Education)

In the Chronicle of Higher Education's opinion section, art historian Jacob L. Wright advocates for print and enhanced ebook publication. Fascinating perspective, although I dread the consistency issues--not to mention the fairly serious issues around a self-designed book being published on a proprietary platform without consulting preservation experts: My book was produced in two forms. [...]

NYPL to offer MOOC courses via Coursera

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the New York Public Library is to team up with Coursera: "The partnership is part the MOOC company’s effort to build an infrastructure for in-person learning around its free online courses. Research has suggested that MOOC students who receive offline help earn higher scores on their assessments. Coursera [...]

Content Farm Publishing of US Dissertations (Slate)

Slate has a disturbing article about content farm publishing of American student dissertations--one of the forms of title-bloat affecting Amazon and Bookfinder. Joseph Stromberg decided to make himself a guinea pig after being contacted by one such content farm publisher. He had just finished a BA with an undergraduate dissertation, Lands of the Lakota Policy [...]

Graphic design and women (Shaw on AIGA)

For design wonk Paul Shaw does a breakdown of the demographics of AIGA winners on his blog. His comments on the paucity of women medalists strike me as rather thoughtful: "Louise Fili implied that the percentage of female medalists was low relative to the percentage of women in the profession. She is absolutely right about [...]

Rosenbach-Free Library of Philadelphia merger is complete

A belated update: this story at reports on the completion on December 24, 2013 of the acquisition of the Rosenbach Library by the Free Library of Philadelphia. The state attorney general had no objection to the merger. The April 2013 story didn't go into detail about the board changes, described in this article, which [...]

The Future of Libraries and the Huntington Library (Edward Rothstein at NYT)

Edward Rothstein of the New York Times has a fascinating piece on the Huntington Library's new exhibitions. I think he falters a bit in his review, but his conclusion strikes me as solid and suggestive: [The Huntington] is developing its own syncretic style, with [aspirations towards] European culture at the foundation. This approach has its [...]