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The British Library made public yesterday a 30,000-word memoir in which Anthony Blunt, one of Britain’s most renowned 20th-century art historians, and curator of the Queen's art collection, described spying for the Soviet Union, beginning in the mid-1930s, as “the biggest mistake of my life.”
The NY Times reports on the unsealing of the memoir after twenty five years. Blunt intended it as a testament to family and friends, and it was given to the British Library in 1984 by the executor of Blunt’s will, John Golding, on the condition that it be kept secret for 25 years. Frances Harris, the library’s head of modern historic manuscripts, told the BBC on Thursday that its existence was so closely guarded that even she had not read it until recently.
The memoir’s tone of regret for the price Blunt paid personally for betraying his country, coupled with the absence of any apology to those who suffered as a result of his actions, including secret agents working for Britain whose identities he passed to the Russians during World War II, contributed to harsh criticism of the document on Thursday from British historians and commentators.
An exhaustive, three-year search for some tapes that contained the original footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk has concluded that they were probably destroyed during a period when NASA was erasing old magnetic tapes and reusing them to record satellite data.
There is the saying, "If we can go to the moon we should be able to......" that ends with what you want to be able to do but cannot, can now be modified for libraries:
"If we can lose the moon landing tapes we can lose anything."
Story at NPR about the loss of the moon landing tapes and a mention of how a second copy offered some hope but in the end did not pan out.
On July 13th the Los Angeles Times published the article "Budget cuts raise concerns for future of Southeast Asian archive". The Archives used to be managed and curated by Anne Frank, the librarian who spearheaded the archives, but once she retired, the UC Irvine Libraries' administration made the decision to not recruit for a replacement.
From the NY Times: When the library for George W. Bush opens in 2013 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, visitors will most likely get to see one of the former President's most treasured items: Saddam Hussein’s pistol.
The gun, a 9 millimeter Glock 18C, was found in the spider hole where the Iraqi leader was captured in December 2003 by Delta Force soldiers, four of whom later presented the pistol to Mr. Bush. Among the thousands of gifts Mr. Bush received as president, the gun became a favorite, a reminder of the pinnacle moment of the Iraq war, according to friends and long-time associates.
Douglas Brinkley, an author and history professor at Rice University, said the pistol opened a psychological window into Mr. Bush’s view of his presidency.
“It represents this Texas notion of the white hats taking out the black hats and keeping the trophy,” Mr. Brinkley said. “It’s a True West magazine kind of pulp western mentality. For President Bush, this pistol represents his greatest moment of triumph, like the F.B.I. keeping Dillinger’s gun. He wants people generations from now to see the gun and say, ‘He got the bad guy.’ ”
Library and Archives Canada has put a moratorium on buying paper documents and books for its collection.
Doug Rimmer, assistant deputy minister of programs and services at Library and Archives Canada, told CBC News this week the moratorium is temporary and only applies to items it buys. It will still acquire documents other ways, including gifts and donations, websites and government records.
Tim Walch, director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, delivered the following remarks June 17 to Hoover Park staff at a picnic to mark the 75th anniversary of the creation of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Glutton for punishment (true crime writer? historian)? Now you can listen to as many Nixon tapes as you want!
In a statement, the library in Yorba Linda, Calif., said some of the materials made available to the public Tuesday include conversations about the Vietnam War, Nixon's second inauguration, the Supreme Court's landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, and the first Watergate trial. The recordings from January and February 1973 consist of approximately 994 conversations, the library said.
The new Nixon tapes and documents will be available on the Internet and at the Richard Nixon libraries in California and Maryland.
Genealogy is a major tenet of the faith for members of the LDS Church, and now a new library has been dedicated at its headquarters in Salt Lake City. It's a library, many believe, that's a realization of God's words to church founder Joseph Smith: "There shall be a record kept among you ... for the good of the church ... and the rising generations."
It houses 600,000 photos, 270,000 books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers, and 240,000 collections of original, unpublished records, journals, diaries, correspondence and minutes that detail Mormons' experiences. More on the dedication of the library by LDS President Thomas S. Monson from the Salt Lake Tribune.
From the AP: A document with Abraham Lincoln’s signature and dated Sept. 22, 1862, has been found in the Hawaii State Archives, but no one seems to know how it got there. A project of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Illinois has confirmed its authenticity. It orders the secretary of state to affix the seal of the United States to his “proclamation of this date.” The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on that date. The document appears to have been at the archives since at least 1935. In the 1860s, Hawaii was an independent kingdom.
Anyone care to suggest how the document arrived at the Hawaii State Archives?
A follow up on This One from a few years ago... "Skulduggery" at the British Library Incident in 2005 involved 35 items:
It's now June 2009 and more information is available than when Dalya Alberge first reported that the manuscript of the Tyldesley Diary had been extensively damaged whilst in the custody of the British Library. Dalya's reports can be found in The Times of 14 May 2007 and 29 December 2007. I shall be publishing full details of what is now known as time allows, but in the meantime here is a summary.