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Luis Acosta writes "This Washington Post commentary by Princeton historian Robert Darnton compares the burning of Iraq's National Library to the destruction of other great libraries throughout history, including the burning by the British Army of the Library of Congress in 1814.
"Libraries and museums are not temples for ancestor worship, but they are crucial for the task of knowing who you are by knowing who you were. That kind of knowledge must be continuously reworked. Destroy the possibility of replenishing it, and you can strangle a civilization."
"How will the Iraqis fuse a national identity out of the diverse cultures that have come apart with the destruction that has robbed them of their common past?"
Steve Fesenmaier writes "The Atlantic has a most interesting story for librarians and biblio-therapists. The books that constitute the Hitler Library were discovered in a salt mine near Berchtesgaden—haphazardly stashed in schnapps crates with the Reich Chancellery address on them—by soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division in the spring of 1945. "
Luis Acosta writes "The New York Times reports on "what is likely to be reckoned as one of the greatest cultural disasters in recent Middle Eastern history," the pillaging of the National Museum of Iraq, where "at least 170,000 artifacts [were] carried away by looters."
"For half a century, a rare and extensive collection of historical Japanese maps spanning hundreds of years have been stored in the East Asian Library at the University of California, revealing their secrets only to those few who had received permission to handle them. Now, through state-of-the-art imaging technology, anyone can view these fragile maps online, at www.davidrumsey.com/japan. "
"So far, 210 maps - some dating back almost 400 years - from the 2,300-piece collection are online. The collection, which will be available for viewing in its entirety within two years, includes 252 maps of the city of Edo (now Tokyo), 79 maps of Kyoto and 40 maps of Osaka spanning the years 1600 to 1867. Many are woodblock prints on handmade paper. The collection also includes a map from 1710 depicting the center of the world as the source of four great rivers of India, and a 40-foot scroll map of the roads of Japan in 1687." (from The New York Times)
Jen writes "The Watergate papers of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will be housed and made available for study at the University of Texas at Austin in a $5 million deal Announced Monday.
The school said it is paying Woodward and Bernstein to archive the documents, enough to fill about 75 file boxes, at its Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.
Charles Davis writes \"The final manuscript of Beethoven\'s Ninth Symphony, scribbled with the composer\'s revisions and comments, including splutters of rage at the unfortunate copyists, will be auctioned in London next month, estimated to make up to £3m.
Sotheby\'s head of manuscripts, Stephen Roe, described it yesterday as \"an incomparable manuscript of an incomparable
work, one of the highest achievements of man, ranking alongside Shakespeare\'s Hamlet and King Lear.\"
It is a sale to make collectors swoon: last year a single leaf of a Beethoven manuscript, entirely in his own hand, was sold to a private American collector for £1.3m almost 10 times the highest estimate - which makes the estimated £3m for the 575 pages of the complete Ninth quite a bargain.
The Guardian \"
Jen Young points to CNN As Well.
Steve Fesenmaier tells us that:
"West Virginia State College, an unusual land-grant college established for African-American students, has made an archive of Benin materials available. Hopefully students and scholars will use it."
According to the article:
"The West African country of Benin does not produce very many documents, but the ones that are printed will be housed in a small room on the main floor of West Virginia State College’s Drain-Jordan Library.
Besides economic reports, agricultural studies and laws, the Benin Collection includes films, newspapers, photographs and a live computer link to the catalog at the National University of Benin."
Charley Hivey was first in with This CNN Article on the long-buried Villa of the Papyri, one of Italy's richest Roman villas, which opened to the public this weekend almost 2,000 years after it was submerged in volcanic mud.
Hundreds of scrolls have been carefully opened and many others could be read in the near future thanks to digital and scanning technology.
The scrolls, which looked like sticks of charcoal when they were first discovered, have mostly turned out to be works of Greek epicurean philosophy from the first century BC.
Jen Young points us to This NYTimes Story all the archaeological sites in Iraq.
They say 10,000 have been identified, but only a fraction have been explored. Any of them could change what we know about human history, as past excavations have done. Some have already revealed the world's earliest known villages and cities and the first examples of writing.