Digital resources are always in demand in our libraries – and spending time browsing around to find neat things in the collections can be fun! (Shhh! We won’t tell your supervisor. It’s work, after all! It is important to be in touch with a collection!)
One archive of digital materials you might want to explore is the PEN America Archive.
“About the Archive
“The PEN America Digital Archive dates back to 1966, resonating with the voices of literary luminaries; Nobel Prize winners in literature, economics, science, and peace; social reformers; philosophers; and political and artistic revolutionaries whose work, ideas, and actions explored and helped frame the most pressing issues of our time. Comprised of more than 1500 hours of audio and video recordings, the collection provides a unique historical perspective on the way Americans and American culture engaged, and at times disengaged, with the outside world during pivotal moments in history: the Cold War, the Civil Rights era, the Vietnam War, the Iranian Cultural Revolution and hostage crisis, the AIDS epidemic, the post-Communist decade, and September 11. Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Allen Ginsberg are just a few of the icons and iconoclasts captured in the PEN America Digital Archive.”
Digitization of old materials, fragile things that we could never touch or see in person, gives all of us access to so many wonderful things! And now Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, filled with his amazing thoughts and ideas, are available from the British Library!
Click here to get all the good stuff!
“Contents:Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci (‘The Codex Arundel’). A collection of papers written in Italian by Leonardo da Vinci (b. 1452, d. 1519), in his characteristic left-handed mirror-writing (reading from right to left), including diagrams, drawings and brief texts, covering a broad range of topics in science and art, as well as personal notes. The core of the notebook is a collection of materials that Leonardo describes as ‘a collection without order, drawn from many papers, which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place according to the subjects of which they treat’ (f. 1r), a collection he began in the house of Piero di Braccio Martelli in Florence, in 1508. To this notebook has subsequently been added a number of other loose papers containing writing and diagrams produced by Leonardo throughout his career. Decoration: Numerous diagrams. “
OCLC is an organization hugely important to the library profession; and it’s great to see the thinking they are doing about their next fifty years!
(By Skip Prichard, read the entire article here)
As we’ve prepared for our 50th anniversary celebrations, I’ve been thinking about the time of our founding in the late 1960s and what it meant for our cultural ideals of technology and progress. OCLC was born in 1967, between the time of John F. Kennedy’s 1961 speech in which he set the goal of landing a man on the moon, and the fulfillment of that dream in 1969.
I think there are exciting parallels between that dream, its completion and the incredible journey that OCLC libraries have undertaken together over the past five decades. Continue reading OCLC at 50 years: a “moonshot” for the world’s libraries
We are in the information-sharing business. So it is great to find new sources of information we can use to share with our communities! You might also choose to spend some time browsing around here yourself, and finding all sorts of great videos to watch!
“NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center is in the process of uploading hundreds of videos of rare test flight, launch, and landing footage to YouTube and the agency’s website. It’s all part of a continued effort to better open access to NASA’s archives, as well as help inform the public about the types of research and record-setting milestones the agency achieves each year across various fields of aerospace engineering. The existence of the new, update archive on YouTube and the AFRC’s website was first reported by Motherboard.
About 300 out of a total 500 clips have been uploaded to YouTube thus far, with some footage going back many decades. The clips include everything from the assembly of the D-558 Skystreak aircraft back in 1947 to a 1991 takeoff of a Lockheed Martin SR-71 stealth jet to hypersonic test flights of the unmanned NASA X-43A in 2004. Though it was first uploaded back in March, you can also find the infamous “Controlled Impact Demonstration” video in which NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration flew a Boeing 720 jet into a device that tore its wings off, resulting in a giant explosion and an hour-long fire. (It was for the purpose of testing crash survivability and performing jet fuel combustibility research.)
Prior to today, the AFRC’s video library was available only through the Dryden Aircraft Movie Collection on the website of the Dryden Flight Research Center, which was the name of the Armstrong facility before a 2014 change. Now that it’s all on YouTube, it will be indexed by Google and more easily available through the company’s search engine. For those that just want to take a tour of aerospace history, however, just heading over and clicking on a few clips is a great way to start diving in.”
Connecting with our users is always a key thing for any type of library. Figuring out what they need, and how we can provide it, will always be the right way to go in providing great service. And the Folger Shakespeare Library is not only providing some great materials – but also great service!
“In the reading room of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., researchers might spend hours carefully paging through a 16th-century pamphlet or the only surviving quarto edition of Titus Andronicus. (“If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul.”) But they also have access to another unusual—if more informal—collection. Behind the reading room desk there is a vault where the staff keeps a small lending library of handmade shawls.
Three of the shoulder coverings are knitted and two crocheted. The blue one is longer and lighter; the brown one, the newest addition, has pockets. One circular shawl has rings of different colors, and another with light, spring colors is a little bit thicker and larger. The original shawl, the one that started the collection, is a sandy brown. All five are the work of Rosalind Larry, the room’s head of circulation, who made them, often on her lunch hour, during her many years at the library.
Larry started knitting the first shawl in the 1980s, after the library was remodeled and the reading room expanded. Not long before, she had seen a colleague making baby booties and thought she might like to learn to knit. “She showed me how, and at first I was terrible at it,” Larry says. But soon she grew more ambitious, and when she had some yarn she wanted to use up, she thought she might make herself a shawl, since it always felt cold in the reading room.”
(read the rest of this article here!)