Harvard University ‘s library materials are disintegrating. That’s true of materials in all the research libraries in the U.S.–and the world, for that matter. But Harvard’s librarians, as one example, have been diligently undertaking a preservation project to digitize these materials before they’re gone altogether. Additionally, they’re making some of these digital libraries accessible by the public for free in their Open Collections Program. One such collection to take note of is the READING Harvard Views Of Readers, Readership and Reading History.

Reading: Harvard Views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History is an online exploration of the intellectual, cultural, and political history of reading as reflected in the historical holdings of the Harvard Libraries. For Internet users worldwide, Reading provides unparalleled digital access to a significant selection of unique source materials:

  • personally annotated books owned by John Keats, Herman Melville, Hester Lynch Piozzi, and others
  • William Wordsworth’s private library catalog
  • commonplace books used by Joseph Conrad, Washington Irving, Victor Hugo, and more
  • records of the Harvard College Library that reveal the reading activities of Emerson, Longfellow, and Thoreau
  • historical textbooks that document the principles, and some of the biases, in reading instruction from the 18th to the early 20th centuries
  • more than 250,000 pages from 1,200 individual items from the Harvard collections, including 800 books and 400 manuscript selections

For researchers, teachers, and students who may not have ready access to extensive historical collections, Reading provides an inspired opportunity to participate more fully in this rapidly expanding research area.

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BBC Online

March 29, 2010

The Web-based service of the BBC–BBC Online, is one of the world’s largest and most visited websites with over 2 million pages in 2007. The websites include news from the BBC News Online, a sports section, music, science, technology and entertainment pages, parenting, weather and travel information…and a whole lot else.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Since launching last April, American History in Video has grown to include more than 4,000 titles and 1,000 hours. It will continue to grow to include more than 5,000 complete titles and 2,000 hours of rare newsreels and important documentaries from leading producers such as PBS, The History ChannelĀ®, Bullfrog Films, Media Rich Learning, and California Newsreel.

In the past year, American History in Video was named a Booklist 2009 Editors’ Choice Best Reference and a Library Journal 2009 Best Reference, and the collection received rave reviews from both publications.

To celebrate its success, they’ve opened access to the entire collection through April 16th. No username or password is required.

http://alexanderstreet.com/UShistory.htm

The Unhappy Hipsters

January 31, 2010

Another architecture/design website but this one’s for laughs. The Unhappy Hipsters takes photos from leading design magazines like Dwell and adds a wry comment pointing out the unfriendliness in the bankrupt design–in human terms. We don’t know who posts on this blog but he/she has an amusing avatar. If you, too, believe there is something missing from the minimal design themes so rampant in magazine spreads these days, take a glance at this website and have a laugh or two. And wait with the rest of us for the pendulum to swing back to human friendly.

Thanks to Curt Cox from the Davis Partnership in Denver for sending us the link.

http://unhappyhipsters.com/

“The Connecticut News Project, Inc. is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit news organization created to reinvigorate coverage of Connecticut’s state government, public policy and politics. Our primary goal is to ensure that the people of the state are better informed about their government and its activities, so they can more effectively participate in the development of public policy and hold officials accountable for understanding and addressing the state’s needs. We will achieve this goal through original and reliable reporting presented on our website, and distributed through various other platforms and technologies. We will report, analyze, explain, and investigate the activities of state government, reasserting the “watchdog” role of the media. CNP also intends to encourage and facilitate discussion and debate on public policy matters, to create an archive of documents and data about state government and to help train a new generation of journalists.”

http://www.ctmirror.org/news

The Essex Library has been very fortunate to have Centerbrook Architects generously sponsor and provide a second series of architecture lectures with a third in the planning stages for next year. A recent addition to their award-winning website is a blog–The Millrace– where members of the firm have posted about what inspires and interests them. If you have any interest in architecture, design or getting to know architects a little better, take a look at their blog-it will be rewarding.

Don’t miss out on Yale School of Architecture Professor Kent Bloomer’s lecture, “Why Not Ornament?”,Ā  Friday, February 12th at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall.

http://centerbrook.com/blog/

Systematically and mercilessly disassembling, flushing, greasing, and re-packing the cycling culture. That’s the BikeSnobNYC’s mantra. If you’re serious about riding, you’re probably already familiar with the blog. But wait–there’s a BikeSnob book coming out in May from Chronicle Books:

“Cycling is exploding in a good way. Urbanites everywhere, from ironic hipsters to earth-conscious commuters, are taking to the bike like aquatic mammals to water. BikeSnobNYC cycling’s most prolific, well-known, hilarious, and anonymous blogger brings a fresh and humorous perspective to the most important vehicle to hit personal transportation since the horse. Bike Snob treats readers to a laugh-out-loud rant and rave about the world of bikes and their riders, and offers a unique look at the ins and outs of cycling, from its history and hallmarks to its wide range of bizarre practitioners. Throughout, the author lampoons the missteps, pretensions, and absurdities of bike culture while maintaining a contagious enthusiasm for cycling itself. Bike Snob is an essential volume for anyone who knows, is, or wants to become a cyclist.”