Academic Libraries

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All are represented in a unique archive of unpublished documents which has recently resurfaced through a bizarre coincidence.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."

Shanghai Museum pays 4.5 million dollars for 'lost' calligraphic collection

Charles Davis writes "More at
Yahoo News:

The Shanghai Museum has paid
4.5 million dollars to retrieve a calligraphic collection which experts termed the most significant event in cultural relics preservation since communist China was founded in 1949.
The four-volume "Chunhuage Tie' (Model Letters from the Imperial Archives in the Chunhua Reign) was bought from a US collector
after mysteriously disappearing in the 1940s, the China Daily said Monday."

What is Permanent in the Digital Age?

This is supposed to be a paperless society, but many of us still
like to hold a piece of paper in our hands.
To me, a piece of paper means permanence, whereas an e-mail does not.
Here’s proof: Yesterday, I accidentally deleted all the e-mail messages on my
computer. Everything was gone because I touched a wrong button.
And that wasn’t the first time it happened. I did the same thing a few months

The article raises some issues that we're all familiar with, but also poses an interesting point about the creation of content in the digital age. Because documents are generally replaced by new content when edited, will we see fewer drafts of important documents in the future?

There's no mention, though, of hidden data in the digital world. (e.g. hidden metadata in Tony Bliar's document or unstripped jpegs.)

Read the full story [from Kingstown Whig Standard]

History On The Chopping Block

Me writes "Christian Science Monitor 7/28/03
History on the chopping block
By Beth Joyner Waldron
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – How do you place a dollar value on history?
That's the daunting question faced by state-operated historic sites
nationwide as they get short shrift in the financial crisis slashing state
How skillfully each state crafts an answer will determine the value our
society places on remembering the past.
Here's The Story."


Subscribe to Academic Libraries