Google Books scanning problems

On Exlibris Eric White at the Bridwell Library shared a link to a funky, nearly artistic scanning problem with a Latin Acta et decreta Synodi dioecesanae Strigoniensis, celebratae Tyrnaviae (1629) --all versos appear colored in a beautiful range of blues and yellows. His message: We were talking a while back about things that go wrong [...]

The End of “The End of Libraries”

Jacob S. Berg at BeerBrarian blog writes a response to those "End of Libraries" articles which he notes tend to be written by well-off males. This response is a series of links to research and articles about the value of libraries. In a nut-shell: libraries are efficient (delivering $4 in services for every $1 spent), [...]

Update on the Rosenbach-Philadelphia Free Library merger

This is an update to my previous story posted about the merger of the Philadelphia Free Library and the Rosenbach Library. My article noted involvement of the Pew Memorial Trusts in the merger. There's more to this than meets the eye. An opinion article from 2007 by Marie C. Malara, "The New Goals at the [...]

The Voynich Manuscript and Fakery

[Update 10/14/2013 See comment below.] The latest New Yorker has an article about the Voynich manuscript by Reed Johnson. The article helpfully reviews the provenance (some of it possibly putative) as well as the modern history and reception of the very strange manuscript.In one throw-away line, Johnson notes that some people have questioned whether the [...]

Manuscript sharing: NYPL and Pennsylvania to share a Bill of Rights

The Wall Street Journal reports on an interesting 100-year sharing agreement between the New York Public Library and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a manuscript Bill of Rights.The NYPL received the manuscript on donation in 1896 and its provenance before then appears to be uncertain. The WSJ article notes that only fourteen copies of the [...]

Our stories: morality vs stuff happens (Paul Krugman quotation)

"Everyone loves a morality play. 'For the wages of sin is death' is a much more satisfying message than 'Shit happens.' We all want events to have meaning." -- Paul Krugman, "How the Case for Austerity had Crumbled," New York Review of Books, June 5, 2013Krugman is often my source for interesting one-liners or neologisms. [...]

PBS’s Lucy Bernholz on the Digital Public Library of America

PBS commentator and philanthropy blogger Lucy Bernholz writes a largely positive column at PBS, although she also notes the current limitations of the DPLA. Some of her main points bear noting here: Ownership and Intellectual property: "Instead of a stand-alone collection, it is the set of common software codes and processes that connect existing collections and [...]

On Reviewing Books (quotations)

Gratuitous quotes, that is. These are just some quotations that I wanted to share on book reviewing: I was going to suggest some hard-won guidelines for responsible reviewing. For instance: First, as in Hippocrates, do no harm. Second, never stoop to score a point or bite an ankle. Third, always understand that in this symbiosis, [...]

Digital Public Library of America: Some announcements and reviews (updated)

Probably the best third-party article on the Digital Public Library of America appeared in Arts Technica, with the not-so-good title of "The Digital Public Library of America: adding Gravitas to your Internet Search."In the coming years, the DPLA has a few evident goals: getting contemporary works into the database, working with state and regional libraries [...]