Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What a great semester

As the semester began, I was very nervous about teaching Rare Book / Special Collections Librarianship in an online venue. Now it is the end of the semester and I feel much more comfortable in this medium. While I still believe face to face classes are the best for learning complex subjects, each of you has gained experience studying the book, learning about the world of rare and special books, and even contemplated the future of these collections.  And I learned more about how to present materials in class. Believe me, there will be more visual examples and demonstrations next time.

There are some things I would change, for example, I would include more reference and bibliographic work asking you to examine websites, reference tools, and bibliographic sources more carefully. We would analyze their uses, their strengths and weaknesses, and even their flexibility. To help you focus, I will take real reference questions and have you work through them. In the end, these exercises will make you better, more efficient librarians, especially when dealing with reference, in person and virtual. 

The podcasts and exhibits are a resounding success, even if the website I selected has its drawbacks. Each and every one of you had the opportunity to study a book, think about the important aspects of that book and its various editions, and to create an exciting exhibition complete with podcast for others to explore.  Kudos to all!

Thank you for your contributions, discussions, news items, and more. Thanks for telling me about what you learned and how your concept and appreciation of the book changed throughout the semester. Most of all, thanks for participating.  For the quiet ones, you aren't forgotten, your contributions are important to me. 

As a final teaser, a book collector / dealer posted these Rhymed Rebuses http://www.simonbeattie.kattare.com/blog/archives/595  . Perhaps you'll be the one to solve them. 

Look for posts throughout the year as I come across interesting materials. You might also subscribe to my blog about cultural institutions http://mbkcons.blogspot.com/

Enjoy your holidays and semester break.

Monday, December 03, 2012

links from Penultimate Class videos

Rather than an extensive blog post, I thought I'd provide links to the various websites I show and talk about in my lectures this week. Today we most of the projects fall within the domain of "Digital Humanities" and should be, but often are not, collaborative projects between libraries, archives, museums, and academic disciplines including Art History, English, and History.


Photographs, moving images, and audio

Henschke Article about the Codex Sinaiticus
 Think about how we reproduce materials for subsequent scholarly use. Look at page 49, middle of the left column, we have a recitation of the various facsimiles created from the Codex. Notice the first is a lithographic copy of the leaves! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Codex_Sinaiticus_Paralipomenon_9,27-10,11.JPG  This method of reproductions pre-dates microcards and microfilm by more than 50 years! They photographed the leaves, transferred the images onto stones and printed from the stones.  The article discusses the digitization project, it’s important to think about the mechanics of digitization and metadata, while considering how users will experience the output or finished project. 

Pre 2007 Digital Projects:
Contemporary digitization efforts.
Digitized classic texts 
Beowulf http://ebeowulf.uky.edu/ 
Romain de la Rose http://romandelarose.org/  

Some food for thought: How do these projects make rare books and special collections accessible to the general public and scholars?