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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We like the British newspaper The Guardian for many things, not the least of which is their erudite and entertaining book reviews. But now we have something else to enjoy from their website: Satellite Eye On Earth. Each month, The Guardian posts photos of earth captured by NASA and European Space Agency satellites. The photos bring about a whole new appreciation for the fragility of human life on a planet whose surface erupts, breaks apart, blows around, floods and is subject to weather that is unrepentant in its ferocity.

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

Crazy About Pets?

March 5, 2010

Petplace.com IS crazy about pets! With a library of over 10,000 veterinarian approved articles they offer the largest and most complete source of pet information available anywhere. They not only offer the most comprehensive resource for pet health and wellness, but they also have over 4,000 heartwarming “Pet Stories” that will make you, laugh, cry and feel good inside.

“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/