AP – “A trove of Jewish books and other materials, rescued from a sewage-filled Baghdad basement during the 2003 invasion, is now caught up in a tug-of-war between the U.S. and Iraq. Ranging from a medieval religious book to children’s Hebrew primers, from photos to Torah cases, the collection is testimony to a once vibrant Jewish community in Baghdad. Their present-day context is the relationship, fraught with distrust, between postwar Iraq and its Jewish diaspora. Discovered in a basement used by Saddam Hussein’s secret police, the collection was sent to the U.S. for safekeeping and restoration, and sat at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Maryland until last year, when Iraqi officials started a campaign to get it back.”
Toronto Star – “If they had a million dollars, they’d buy more time. But a vast online library doesn’t have that kind of cash, so it is drastically reducing its devoted workforce. Internet Archive Canada, a small non-profit company, fired 35 of its 47 employees on Wednesday due to a massive drop in donations. Most will leave Aug. 12 unless a white knight appears soon.”
Boston Globe – “Digital library project will place 40 hours of Hub TV newscasts from 1959-2000 at your fingertips.”
AP – “The Vatican will display 100 select documents from its Secret Archives at an unprecedented exhibit next year that includes previously unpublished papers from its World War II papacy. “Lux in Arcana: The Vatican Secret Archives Revealed” opens in February at Rome’s Capitoline Museums and marks the first time such precious documents, manuscripts and parchments have been allowed out of the Vatican vaults for view by the general public. The occasion is the archive’s 400th anniversary.”
San Antonio News Express – “To people wandering by, the big book in a display case on the Central Library’s sixth floor might look like just an old, heavy volume of forgotten prose about who knows what. But to Frank Faulkner, manager of the library’s Texana/Genealogy Department, the 1611 first-edition King James Bible may be the most valuable item in the San Antonio Public Library’s collection of literature, artwork and artifacts.”
Washington Post – “The first ever jazz release. Yodeling. George Gershwin compositions. A reading of “Casey at the Bat.”
Metro reporter Justin Jouvenal reports that 10,000 pre-1925 recorded gems like these are now available for streaming at the just-launched National Jukebox, thanks to the Library of Congress and Sony.
“Call it America’s iTunes,” Jouvenal writes.”
LA Times – “The sounds of everybody from Duke Ellington to Jelly Roll Morton to obscure surfer dudes are preserved at a Library of Congress facility in Virginia. Access is limited, but that is about to change.”
Mashable – “Jerry Seinfeld has launched a website, which serves as a warehouse for pretty much everything he’s ever performed.
JerrySeinfeld.com went live Friday morning with three short comedy clips — “The Fattest Man in the World” from The Tonight Show in 1981, “Do the Horses Know They’re Racing?” from a 1988 HBO special and “No Room in the Newspaper” from The Tonight Show in 1990.
The site is taking an unusual approach to offering the content by running just three new clips per day. The clips, which range from 30 seconds to two minutes, will be available for only 24 hours and then will be replaced with three new ones.”