Thursday, October 18, 2007

BibliOdyssey Book Forthcoming

BibliOdyssey, one of the best image-blogs out there, announced earlier today that FUEL Design will be publishing a collection of their material between two covers as BibliOdyssey: Amazing Archival Images from the Internet (Amazon).

Curator PK writes: "When I was first contacted with the suggestion in August 2006 I admit that I was fairly skeptical. 'Unpossible, surely?' 'How do we get permission?' 'Which repositories?' 'Who do we contact?' 'What laws do we need to know?' 'Which images?' 'Which countries?' 'Thematic or chronological or what?' 'What happens if they say no?' 'What happens if they say yes?'

Where I only saw insurmountable difficulties, FUEL took the long view, to their credit, softly batting away my initial objections and sketching out a very rough plan for how the project might move forward. They picked out some images, I suggested some institutions, we wrestled over the illustration choices; I did most of the contacting and all of the writing and FUEL did the overall editing, designing and packaging.

So the process has really been about establishing a dialogue with a lot of different people and institutions and being open about our intentions. It probably helped that I've had occasional exchanges with universities and libraries since the site started, so there is a certain familiarity 'out there' about BibliOdyssey. The response to the project idea was overwhelmingly favourable, although individual institutional policies and legal technicalities were sometimes an impediment. Many people went out of their way to accommodate our requests for higher resolution images or supplied interesting background to the books and images or gave recommendations about alternative image choices. We are eternally grateful for their assistance."

Kudos not only to PK for creating a varied, interesting and beautiful site, but also to FUEL for recognizing it as such, and to the institutions for cooperating with this project. Neat!