China Daily: Ancient texts made available online. “Digitized versions of about 7,200 copies of ancient Chinese books went online on Tuesday and can now be accessed for free by the public for pleasure or academic reference, the National Library of China announced.”
Library of Congress: Sprinting toward a Lab: defining, connecting and writing a book in five days. “A lab is where experimental and research-focused tools, methods, and services are incubated. The starting premise for a lab is often wanting to spur change and make space for new practice and new people. Yet calling something a lab can also signal separation between traditional services and new approaches. Labs, and innovation in general, can seem like a passing fad that promotes shallow thinking about the application of digital technologies. Considering the limited resources and lack of cutting-edge technologies available at most galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs), should GLAMs consider opening labs? “
Phys .org: The smell of old books could help preserve them. “Old books give off a complex mélange of odors, ranging from pleasant (almonds, caramel and chocolate) to nasty (formaldehyde, old clothes and trash). Detecting early signs of paper degradation could help guide preservation efforts, but most techniques destroy the very paper historians want to save. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sensors have developed an electronic nose that can non-destructively sniff out odors emitted by books of different paper compositions, conditions and ages.”
Jerusalem Post: National Library of Israel uploads 120,000 historic books online. “The books that are expected to be uploaded will, according to NLI, include all of the library’s out-of-copyright, royalty-free books which have not yet been digitized. Around 45% of the books are written in Hebrew script in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and other languages of the Jewish world. The rest of the works are in a variety of languages, including Latin, German, French, Arabic and Russian.” This is a project that’s expected to be completed in a couple of years, so the headline is a little premature.
Esquire: What to Read, Watch, and Listen to In Preparation For the Robot Apocalypse. “From Smart House to 2001: A Space Odyssey, pop culture tends to instill in our collective human consciousness a general distrust of technology. But somehow, we just don’t get sick of stories about the inevitable robot apocalypse. … To help guide you through our potential near-future terror, we’ve put together everything to see, read, and listen to from pop culture and academia. We’ll fill you in on how each one predicts what our robot-everything lives will look like, too.”
University of Chicago Library: ‘Spoken Yucatec Maya’ online textbook republished. “In the mid-1960s a set of Mayan language textbooks was created at the University of Chicago that has proven to be an invaluable resource for faculty and students around the world who are interested in learning Mayan languages. Originally created in analog form and distributed via photocopy and audio tapes, one of the textbooks, Spoken Yucatec Maya, was eventually turned into a website that was publicly available until last year, when it was taken down due to security concerns connected with its outdated web platform. Today, as the result of collaboration between the University of Chicago Library, Professor John Lucy, and the Social Sciences Division, this critical teaching tool is now available to future generations on a sustainable platform…”
Johns-Hopkins News-Letter: University Press releases free digitized manuscripts. “Last week, the Hopkins University Press released digitized copies of 100 out-of-print books to celebrate International Open Access Week. These books are part of the Hopkins Open Publishing: Encore Editions initiative which began last year after a $200,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.” The article notes that most of the selections are monographs.