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Mormon Church Dedicates New Library

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It houses 600,000 photos, 270,000 books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers, and 240,000 collections of original, unpublished records, journals, diaries, correspondence and minutes that detail Mormons' experiences.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.

Hawaii: A Lincoln Document, and a Mystery

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?

"Skulduggery" at the British Library Incident in 2005 involved 35 items

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.

Library and Archives Canada restricts access for music encyclopedia workers

Researchers working for the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (EMC) have had their open access to Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa revoked due to security concerns.

Those working for EMC have had an office in the library's building in downtown Ottawa since the encyclopedia project began 30 years ago.

EMC editor in chief James Marsh told the newspaper that his staff are not a security risk: "I told [the archives] … I'll gladly submit my people to the RCMP."

Marsh says things were going well until archives head, historian Ian Wilson, was replaced three weeks ago by Daniel Caron, a civil servant.

More from the CBC and the Globe and Mai.

Spanish Flu Stories

Enough already about swine flu...but if you're interested in some historical perspective on the effects of the 1918 flu, check out the following websites; Dover NH Public Library, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Stanford University.

This article from the Indiana Post-Tribune has some local history of the flu, including an archival photo of public librarians in Gary wearing masks.

The Wasilla Public Library Before Sarah Palin

Thanks to Gov. Sarah Palin, most of us have heard a bit of recent history about the Wasilla, AK Public Library.

But twenty years before the kerfuffle over banning books, librarian Edith Olson wrote a book about the library called The Library and I. A History of the first twenty-five years of the Wasilla Public Library.

Olson was the librarian at the Wasilla Public Library from 1938-1958. When she arrived there was no library building and the library consisted of two bookcases in the hall of the school house. The library held 350 books, when she left, 20 years later, there were 9,000 more.

Here's some info about the book from booksellers Wessel & Lieberman, and you may also read the first two chapters on scribd.

Delicate Precursor to the Modern Dust Jacket

A librarian at Oxford's Bodleian Library has unearthed the earliest-known book dust jacket. Dating from 1830, the jacket wrapped a silk-covered gift book, Friendship's Offering. Silk bindings were very vulnerable to wear and tear, so bookselllers would keep them in these wrappers to protect the binding underneath. When you bought the book you would take the wrapper off and put it on your shelves, which is presumably why so few of these covers have survived.

Unlike today's dust jackets, wrappers of the early 19th century were used to enfold the book completely, like a parcel. Traces of sealing wax where the paper was secured can still be seen on the Bodleian's discovery, along with pointed creases at the edges where the paper had been folded, showing the shape of the book it had enclosed.

The jacket had been separated from its book, and had never been catalogued individually. It remained hidden until the library was contacted by an American scholar of dust jackets looking for the earliest known example.

21st century literary archives examined

The intrusion of the Internet into archiving technology is a very interesting and novel issue. Previously, archivists collected personal correspondence and diaries. Paper, while degradable, already has maintenance techniques. However, the recent onslaught of technology has given people various online resources through which to express themselves, like Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, and various other blogs.

Archives for All at Flickr

Ever heard of the the Flickr Commons? The goal is to share the treasures of the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer. Flickr photographers are invited to help describe the photographs they discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments.

The newest member of the Commons is the D.C. Public Library, with some wonderful old photographs of our Nation's Capitol. The collection features historic images of D.C.’s buildings and federal memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, historic houses, and street scenes, portraits of past presidents and other prominent Americans.

Here's a scene from one hundred years ago, the inauguration of President Taft.

Archiving Writers' Work in the Age of E-Mail

An interesting article on new issues arising from the increasingly digital artifacts of writers.

"'Once we learned how to preserve paper, we were good,' says Naomi L. Nelson, interim director of the manuscript, archives, and rare-book library at Emory University's Robert W. Woodruff Library. 'That really hasn't changed a lot. With computers it's a whole different ballgame.'"

In addition the article touches on some interesting areas of intellectual property (or the uncertainty of it):

"Information that lives inside a writer's personal hardware — like the data on Mr. Updike's floppy disks or Mr. Rushdie's hard drives — may not have physical dimensions, but it is at least attached to a single device that is owned by somebody. 'It's physically here,' says Mr. Kirschenbaum, gesturing toward a shelf of Apple Classic computers, donated to the Maryland institute by the poet Deena Larsen. 'I can wrap my arms around it.'

Not so with e-mail and social-media content. These are not programs run on individual computers; they are Web-based services, hosted remotely by companies like Facebook and Google. The content exists in an ethereal mass of data known in information-technology circles as 'the cloud.' There, Mr. Kirschenbaum says, 'you get into this wilderness of competing terms of service.'

With more and more information being stored on the Web, it is no longer clear who owns what."

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