Sunday, January 18, 2009

Links & Reviews

- OCLC backed down this week, announcing that their planned policy changes will not go into effect as scheduled. Instead they'll be convening a Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship "to represent the membership and inform OCLC on the principles and best practices for sharing library data." Tim has more, and there's a full roundup of reaction here. Great news for our side. Data wants to be free.

- I've been watching "City of Vice" on DVD - a BBC4 crime drama set in 1750s London with Henry Fielding and his Bow Street Runners. Excellent casting; a little light on the set designs/production effects, but a fun "historical CSI" show if you're in the mood for such things. There's also an online game, which looks entertaining but for which I haven't the time just now.

- Via Everett Wilkie, a clip of Mr. Bean in the library. So wrong, on so many levels. Certainly not for the biblio-squeamish.

- Another library director caught with his hand in the till: Revere (MA) librarian Robert Rice Jr. has resigned after allegations that he improperly used library funds to purchase, among other things "a watch and home furnishings." Full story in the Boston Herald.

- Carolyn Kellogg points out the really amazing Danteworlds, an interactive complement to the Divine Comedy. I think I've linked to this before, but it's worth seeing again.

- Laura notes this Wired piece on Tom Stinson's work on DNA testing of medieval manuscripts. Stinson's speaking at the BSA meeting in NYC this coming Friday, which I intend to attend, so I'll have a full report after that.

- The Guardian reported this week on an upcoming auction of some items which suggest Dickens may have fathered an illegitimate child by his sister-in-law (the items include a ring given to Dickens by Tennyson, some letters, and an estate inventory).

- Mark Godburn of The Bookmark (North Canaan, CT) distributed to Ex-Libris a hilarious "catalog description" of an online sales listing from 2109. Michael Lieberman passes it along.

- This YouTube video made the rounds this week, but I'll include it here just in case you missed it. Macmillan's marketing team gets creative on the book-creation process.

- Over at the OUP blog, author and OED-reader Ammon Shea comments on the first American dictionary.

- Biblio's Bloggins finds an excellent Petrarch quote: "I cannot get enough books. It may be that I have already more than I need, but it is with books as it is with other things: success in acquisition spurs the desire to get still more."

- There was an article in the BC newspaper this week about that school's participation in the Boston Library Consortium's digitization initiative through the Open Content Alliance/Internet Archive. [h/t RBN]

- More photos and reporting from the Great Poe Debate, including a video clip of Ed's grand entrance. Also, "Who Owns Poe?" in the LATimes.

- Laura Grimes, writing on the Oregonian book blog, seems to find delight in overdue library fines. Reason unknown.

- Student journalist Zac Bissonette has some horribly misguided and short-sighted ideas about how colleges and universities could make up budget shortfalls (basically, he suggests selling off the rare books). Shudder.

- Paul Collins notes his New Scientist article on metal airships: copper or brass balloons, steel blimps, aluminum dirigibles, you get the idea.

- In the NYTimes on Thursday, Charles McGrath profiled the Library of Congress, particularly focusing (as one would) on the new display of Jefferson's library.

- From BibliOdyssey, images of 17th-century Japan from Arnoldus Montanus' 1669 book on the subject.

- Emory University has acquired a collection of Flannery O'Connor materials accumulated by Sally Fitzgerald, the AJC reports.

- The West Sussex Record Office in Chicester, England will be opening an exhibit later this year to highlight what they're calling the "first ever map of the moon." Among the papers of Thomas Harriot (~1560-1621) are several drawings of the moon as seen through a telescope, the first of which is dated 26 July 1609 (several months before we know Galileo was making drawings of the moon through his telescope). The exhibit of Harriot's moon maps will open on 24 July. More via the BBC.

- Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., former head of the American Philosophical Society, an expert on Benjamin Franklin, and the author of books on Philadelphia doctor John Morgan and the city's College of Physicians, died on 2 January. His obituary appeared in the Philly Inquirer on 12 January.


- Michael Dirda reviews Paul Malizewski's Fakers for the WaPo.

- Katherine Powers reviews Evelyn Lord's The Hell-Fire Clubs for the Boston Globe.

- In the New Yorker, Caleb Crain writes on the Ludlow Massacre, a 1914 event in which more than 75 striking coal miners and family members were killed. Crain examines this event historiographically, including a review of Thomas G. Andrews' new book Killing for Coal.


Ed said...

How did I ever miss City of Vice? Bruce Alexander's John Fielding mysteries were/are my favorite historical mystery series. Can't wait to see this one (I've Netflixed it already).

Thanks for the tip.

JBD said...

Enjoy! I hope there are more seasons coming.