Tag Archives: Digital Libraries

The Invisible Library

“It was a warm day in Paris, and the library of the Institut de France was stuffy and hot. Daniel Delattre, a distinguished French papyrologist, did not remove his suit jacket. The institute, which includes the Académie Française, is a jacket-and-tie sort of place. Delattre, who is sixty-eight years old and has a dreamy, lost-in-the-vale-of-academe manner, was contemplating a small wooden box on the table in front of him which was labelled “Objet Un.” There are thousands of rare objects in the institute’s library; the fact that whatever was inside the box was Object One suggested that it was of some importance. An ornately hand-lettered card was taped to the outside. It said, in French, “Box containing the remains of papyrus from Herculaneum”—the Roman town destroyed, along with its larger neighbor, Pompeii, in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79.” (via New Yorker)

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Digitizing The World’s Libraries Using Smartphones

“Two weeks ago I spoke at the Internet Archive’s annual Library Leaders Forum, which brings together representatives from the Archive’s partner libraries around the world. The theme of this year’s conference was “building libraries together,” building upon last year’s announcement of a new emphasis on helping communities and libraries work together to archive and digitize society. Throughout the conference, it was clear that many attendees I spoke with still viewed digitization and archiving as the unique purview of libraries. Librarians talked about outreach initiatives to work with their communities to provide books, music, movies, and other materials for libraries to digitize on their behalf. Yet, at the same time they lamented that they simply didn’t have the staff or resources to digitize even a tiny fraction of material they collected.” (via Forbes)

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Eight ways to clean a digital library

“Adam Rocker didn’t expect the software that managed his digital reference library to flag up better ways he could be doing his research. But his electronic filing system of choice, ReadCube, periodically scans his library and suggests related papers, rather as some music-file-management programs highlight recommended tunes. And that feature, he says, has brought up some unexpected gems. As a graduate student, Rocker, who is now studying medicine at the University of Ottawa, was researching bacterial infections in zebrafish. ReadCube highlighted a paper that described a way to entrap the fish using microfluidics — a field whose literature he would not normally read — that was much easier than his own method. Being alerted to the research was “really rewarding”, Rocker says, although he was ultimately too invested in his own project to adopt the alternative approach.” (via Nature)

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McGregor Library Offers Rare Digital History of the Americas

“The University of Virginia has long offered public access to the rare and beautiful volumes of the McGregor Library, but until 2013 they could only be studied in Charlottesville. Now, thanks to a $245,000 grant from the McGregor Fund, researchers can access the library’s valuable primary documents, which focus on the European discovery and settlement of the Americas, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Over the last two years, faculty and staff have steadily digitized more than 50,000 pages of the McGregor Library and hope eventually to reach 75,000, working in chronological order.: (via UVA)

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Israel-British project makes Hebrew texts available online

“One of the oldest surviving Hebrew manuscripts, a bible dating back more than 1,000 years, will soon be available online in a joint project with The British Library in London, the National Library of Israel said Monday. Aviad Stollman, the library’s chief of collections, said the Gaster Bible would go online as part of a project to digitize all of the 3,200 rare Hebrew manuscripts at The British Library. The National Library of Israel has partnered with the British Library in London to digitize its entire Hebrew manuscript collection, considered one of the largest and most significant in the world.” (via AP)

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