Academic Libraries

Old print surfaces anew at library

Charles Davis writes "from story at while cleaning off shelves in a back room at the Edgewater Library this summer,
Librarian Ruth McCormack made a rare discovery. She found a framed certificate --
dated 1911 -- which featured an artist's rendering of Ross stitching the 13-star flag while
President George Washington and two other national delegates watched.
In the bottom righthand corner, a decoratively written message thanks Hawks Park
School for donating dimes toward the restoration of Ross' famous house in

CA Regional Oral History Office turns up the volume

Ack writes "One From CA that says history is written by the victors, goes the saying, and the official record of significant events does seem to favor those who benefit most from their outcome. Yet ascertaining what really happened also means determining what role may have been played by those people not immortalized in newspaper articles, biographies, or carefully archived letters.
That's where the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO), a division of UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, comes in."

Battle begins for US Bill of Rights

Charles Davis writes "One hundred and thirty-eight years after a nameless soldier from Ohio rummaged through the wreckage of the state house for North
Carolina looking for a memento of the defeated Confederacy and looted an original copy of the Bill of Rights, the state has mounted
a legal challenge for its return.
The relic was priceless, even in 1865, handwritten by three scribes and sent to the first 13 states by George Washington in 1791.
However, it all but disappeared until last March, when an antique dealer offered to sell the document to a new museum in
Full story at
The Guardian"

Libraries and Books on NPR

Anonymous Patron writes "Speaking of stories on NPR, the audio archives of "All Things Considered" for Sunday, August 10 contain two interesting stories: one about the water damage at the Peabody Library, and one about a typical week at Rare Book School at UVA.
You can listen at"

Preserving Pages in Charlottesville talks about the Visit to the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

Eric Gill archive rediscovered by a stroke of luck

Charles Davis writes "Eric Gill is famous for exquisite calligraphy, elegant stone carvings and woodcuts - and incest.
All are represented in a unique archive of unpublished documents which has recently resurfaced through a bizarre coincidence.
It gives new insights on one of the most brilliant
and controversial figures in 20th century British art - including an invincibly schoolboyish sense of humour.
Story at

Acid to Acid, Dust to Dust

Acid to Acid, Dust to Dust, spotted by Gary "Resource Shelf" Price, says In the labyrinth-like archives of the Germany's libraries, millions of books are slowly crumbling to dust. The culprit: acid and the greediness of 19th century book publishers.
"Roughly estimated, you would have to pay five or six times as much" to microfilm a book as to remove the acid, said Hermann Leskien, the general director for the Bavarian Library in Munich.

Fire-damaged University of Georgia Main Library rebuilding

Charles Davis writes "Full story at
A small army of workers is on pace to have the fire-damaged University of Georgia Main Library open by the time fall semester begins, according to library Director William
"We fully expect to be open Aug.
18," Mr. Potter said Wednesday.
Some parts of the nine-story building
are already cleaned up and
operational, and about 100 library
workers resumed work Monday in
areas such as acquisition and
The final bill for the July 23 arson
may be more than double the first
official estimates, said an official of
the company doing the restoratio"

At Peabody Library, a damaging tale

A clogged pipe at the Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Library sent water seeping through five floors of historic books, damaging as many as 8,000 volumes from the 17th to 19th centuries, officials said yesterday.

Workers from a New York restoration company rushed to the renowned library on Mount Vernon Place yesterday to move the books into two 53-foot freezer trucks to be transported to the company's facility near Rochester. There, they will be subjected to high-technology freezing processes intended to dry them and undo as much of the water damage as possible.

Full Story via Gary Price's

A Library Unlocks Its Attic

One From The LATimes on the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, home to a staggering trove of papers and artifacts from thousands of writers, artists, musicians, actors and others.
For decades, scholars have rummaged here in solitude and wonder, sorting through a collection laid out something like a bottom desk drawer eight stories deep. But now, for the first time in its improbable 46-year history, the center has a clean, well-lighted place to show off its massive holdings for a wider audience. And as an increasing number of libraries nationwide begin to behave more like museums, this Austin building may stand as a hint of things to come.

Microfilm's trump card: it tends to last

Blake writes "'Archivists who stick with the old
`I'm a technology geek, but we have to be cautious' Microfilm's
trump card: it tends to last.
Simcoe County archivist Bruce Beacock sees digital technology as a
modern convenience with a limited shelf life.
"It's access technology, not preservation technology and we don't know how long the
machines will be around to read it," said Beacock, who heads up the oldest county
archives in Ontario.
Full Story."


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