Rare Books

WWII G.I. Returns German Books to Archives

After 64 years, veteran Robert E. Thomas returns books that he took from a salt mine in Germany during WWII that contained national treasures hidden by the Nazis. Both books were incunabula, one written in Latin and one in German. The National Archives facilitated the transfer.

Story and video from The Washington Post.

Bed Bugs Lead Library To Destroy Rare Books

Rare Book Lover Banned From Library

DENVER -- Who knew bed bugs could be book worms?

The Denver Public Library had to quarantine and fumigate four areas at the main branch in just the past three weeks because of bed bugs, KMGH-TV in Denver reported.

The tiny insect is being spread by a customer trying to preserve rare books, but ironically it's because of his actions that the books now have to be destroyed.

"Some of the bed bugs fell out of those materials that had been returned," said Denver Public Library spokeswoman Celeste Jackson.

The infected books came from 69-year-old Denver resident Roger Goffeney. He checks out historic books, some 200 years old, and helps archive them online in an effort called the Gutenberg Project.

Read the whole story.


Google Lets You Custom-Print Millions of Public Domain Books

Wired's Epicenter blog details the latest venture to come out of Mountain View CA, public domain books printed on demand.

"What’s hot off the presses come Thursday? Any one of the more than 2 million books old enough to fall out of copyright into the public domain.

And now Google Book Search, in partnership with On Demand Books, is letting readers turn those digital copies back into paper copies, individually printed by bookstores around the world."

Sheik of Bookbinders

Not even a civil war could stop the old bookbinder of Beirut

Riyad is a man who gives context to this city in which I have lived these 33 years Saturday, 12 September 2009

They call him "Sheikh Tijlid" – Sheikh Binder – because he is the oldest and the most honoured bookbinder in Beirut.


It Takes All Kinds...First Folio Thief Arrives at Court in Style

A man accused of stealing a Shakespeare folio valued at £3m arrived for a court appearance in a horse drawn carriage; report with video at BBC.

Raymond Scott, 52, of Wingate, County Durham, was dressed in Highland tartan and was accompanied by a bagpipe player at Durham Crown Court on Friday.

He faces charges relating to the theft of a first folio that went missing from Durham University Library in 1998.

Google OS & Librarians

Google is set to debut an operating system based on Chrome. (via New York Times). Ishush has a brief analysis that suggests this is good for the 'biodiversity' of the web climate, citing Jaron Lanier's criticism that "software makes us stupid..." but maybe an OS built by a company whose name has been made on "organizing the world's information" will be a natural fit for libraries?

Baseball Auction Has Stolen Items, Including from NYPL

From the New York Times:

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation examines whether some materials that were supposed to be sold at Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game auction next week were stolen, a baseball historian offered evidence indicating that at least one of the items was taken from the New York Public Library.

Oldest Christian Bible- Now Online

The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest surviving Christian Bible, dating from around 1,600 years ago. For all but 100 of those years, it sat in a monastery in Sinai.

800 pages of the book, written in Greek on parchment, are now available online for the world's perusal.

More on this story from the BBC site which includes an audio report about how the Codex was discovered and what it took to put it online.

Cambridge University to Make Incunabula Available Online

You won't have to leave your chair to see the Gutenberg Bible (1455) anymore.

That and the first printed edition of Homer's works are among ancient books being published online by Cambridge University Library over the next five years.

The money for the project has come from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

World Digital Library putting human history a click away

A globe-spanning UN digital library seeking to display and explain the wealth of all human cultures has gone into operation on the Internet, serving up mankind's accumulated knowledge in seven languages for students around the world.

More here:



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