kottke.org posts about libraries

Vatican to scan all their manuscriptsApr 04 2014

Vatican manuscripts

The Vatican is beginning the process of digitizing its extensive library of books and manuscripts, previously only available to a select few scholars and historians. Their plan calls for an initial 3000 manuscripts to be scanned, with the rest of the 82,000 other documents to hopefully follow.

That's 41 million pages spanning nearly 2,000 years of church history that will soon be clickable, zoomable, and presumably, printable. When all is said and done, you'll be able to read the Psalms handwritten across 13th-century vellum on your iPhone -- so long as you speak ancient Greek.

Nerdy personal libraryOct 07 2008

Jay Walker made a lot of money and used some of it to finance a ridiculously huge and nerdy library in his house. Wired has a tour.

The massive "book" by the window is a specially commissioned, internally lit 2.5-ton Clyde Lynds sculpture. It's meant to embody the spirit of the library: the mind on the right page, the universe on the left. Pointing out to that universe is a powerful Questar 7 telescope. On the rear of the table (from left) are a globe of the moon signed by nine of the 12 astronauts who walked on it, a rare 19th-century sky atlas with white stars against a black sky, and a fragment from the Sikhote-Alin meteorite that fell in Russia in 1947--it's tiny but weighs 15 pounds. In the foreground is Andrea Cellarius' hand-painted celestial atlas from 1660. "It has the first published maps where Earth was not the center of the solar system," Walker says. "It divides the age of faith from the age of reason."

(via design observer)

Letter from a librarianJul 31 2008

A thoughtful letter from a librarian to a woman who wanted a book depicting gay marriage removed from the children's section of the library.

I fully appreciate that you, and some of your friends, strongly disagree with its viewpoint. But if the library is doing its job, there are lots of books in our collection that people won't agree with; there are certainly many that I object to. Library collections don't imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life.

Modern librariesJul 25 2008

List of the 25 most modern libraries in the world. (thx, mark)

SMU is pursuing the George W. BushDec 18 2006

SMU is pursuing the George W. Bush presidential library but the faculty says, in effect, "That crook? Hell no!"

Remember those neat library pictures I pointedAug 28 2006

Remember those neat library pictures I pointed to last week? Turns out that the Jedi archives in Star Wars Episode II were modeled after the Long Room Library at the Trinity College of Dublin. (thx, everyone who sent this in)

Top 1000 publications owned by US libraries. TheMar 16 2006

Top 1000 publications owned by US libraries. The Holy Bible, the 2000 US Census, and Mother Goose top the list. (via o'r)

In addition to books, you can checkAug 30 2005

In addition to books, you can check people out of the Malmo, Sweden library. The library "will let curious visitors check out living people for a 45-minute chat in a project meant to tear down prejudices about different religions, nationalities, or professions".

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