NPR: ‘Dark Archives’ Explores The Use Of Human Skin In Bookbinding . “Megan Rosenbloom, a young librarian-in-training, wanders through the Mütter Museum’s collection of medical oddities. In an inconspicuous corner, she discovers a display case of leather-bound books with their covers closed — unusual for rare books. The caption explains these books are closed because their binding is more notable than their contents, and that’s because they were made from human skin. This marks the beginning of Rosenbloom’s obsession with ‘anthropodermic bibliopegy’ and the opening scene to Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin…”
Science: Nature family of journals inks first open-access deal with an institution. “The Nature family of journals announced today it has become the first group of highly selective scientific titles to sign an arrangement that will allow researchers to publish articles that are immediately free to read. The deal will allow authors at Germany’s Max Planck research institutes to publish an estimated 400 open-access (OA) papers annually in Nature journals, which have traditionally earned revenues exclusively from subscription fees.”
Havana Times: Ireland & Cuba: Entangled Histories. “PhDs Margaret Brehony and Nuala Finnegan, both from the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the National University of Ireland in Cork, refer to this distinctive seal in their collection of essays Ireland and Cuba: Entangled Histories. They are written with little or no angles, nothing doctored, and therein lies the book’s greatest uniqueness. The book talks about anti-slavery movements, ethnic whitening processes, women in the Irish diaspora, the slave trade… The following is our conversation with Margaret Brehony about a slice of history that interweaves both islands.”
The Guardian: From cut-out confessions to cheese pages: browse the world’s strangest books. “Edward Brooke-Hitching grew up in a rare book shop, with a rare book dealer for a father. As the author of histories of maps The Phantom Atlas, The Golden Atlas and The Sky Atlas, he has always been ‘really fascinated by books that are down the back alleys of history’. Ten years ago, he embarked on a project to come up with the ‘ultimate library’. No first editions of Jane Austen here, though: Brooke-Hitching’s The Madman’s Library collects the most eccentric and extraordinary books from around the world.”
New York Times: How The Babylon Bee, a Right-Wing Satire Site, Capitalizes on Confusion. “Emma Goldberg, a reporter for The New York Times, recently profiled The Babylon Bee, and wrote about how the site’s satire is frequently mistaken for reality. I chatted with Ms. Goldberg about her article, The Babylon Bee’s habit of skirting the line between misinformation and satire, and how it capitalizes on its audience’s confusion.”
Daily Jefferson County Union: All Daily Unions now digitized for online search. “All issues of the Daily Jefferson County Union — from its founding in 1870 through 90 day ago — now are available online, thanks to a partnership of library and newspaper organizations. The Daily Unions from 1892 through three months ago have been digitized and made available online through the Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers, a repository maintained by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.” Free for Wisconsin residents.
Jewish Press: 180 Years of Australian Jewish Newspaper History Going Online. “A new initiative will digitize and open free digital access to 180 years of Australian Jewish newspapers, including over 200,000 pages from Jewish communities across the continent. The project is a collaboration between the National Library of Australia (NLA), the National Library of Israel (NLI), and the Australian Jewish Historical Society (AJHS).”
Arizona State University: ASU collection of rare, historically significant books made accessible to the public online. “‘The Federalist Papers,’ a collection of short essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay in 1788, is one of the most well-known pro-Constitution writings. A first edition printing of this book, along with 23 other rare books and manuscripts related to significant figures, moments, ideas, debates and movements from American history, can be explored through Arizona State University’s Civic Classics Collection.”
New York Post: Quartz up for sale just two years after it was sold by Atlantic Media. “Even before the pandemic, pressure was mounting on the eight-year-old financial news operation. In May 2019, the company imposed deep cuts, laying off 80 people, or 40 percent of its staff, after it said business dropped by 54 percent during the first quarter of that year. The editorial staff at that time was reduced to 50 people from 85. In its most recent earnings report, the company said that its revenue from Quartz plunged to $5 million in the first half of 2020 from $11.6 million a year earlier.” I loved Quartz until it started beating me over the head with a heavy paywall.
Ian Visits: The world’s largest archive of magazines – is in South-East London. “HyMag – formerly The Hyman Archive – was founded by media industry-insider James Hyman in 2011, it holds the Guinness World Record for ‘Largest Collection of Magazines’ — with over 150,000 magazines from the 1850s to modern times….The digital archive is expected to launch next year. Unfortunately, as with many private organisations, the pandemic has been a major problem so they are now crowdfunding to keep the collection intact and continue the digital project.”
Antiques Trade Gazette: ILAB president announces launch of missing books database following re-election. “Australian book dealer Sally Burdon said she will use her second term as [International League of Antiquarian Booksellers] president to consolidate changes and launch a new missing books register following the international book trade association’s recent election.”
CNN: Prestigious medical journal calls for US leadership to be voted out over Covid-19 failure. “In an unprecedented move, the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday published an editorial written by its editors condemning the Trump administration for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic — and calling for the current leadership in the United States to be voted out of office.”
University of Southern California: USC Dornsife’s Department of English launches USC’s new international literary journal. “In Lawrence Weschler’s 1998 New Yorker essay ‘L.A. Glows,’ a climate scientist uses the word ‘airlight’ to describe why Southern California light is sometimes crisp and clear, so everything can be seen with clarity, and sometimes the light is diffused and hazy, so everything seems obfuscated. From this comes the inspiration for the name of USC’s new international literary journal, Air/Light, published by the Department of English at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.”
Wired: Publishers Worry as Ebooks Fly off Libraries’ Virtual Shelves. “After the pandemic closed many libraries’ physical branches this spring, checkouts of ebooks are up 52 percent from the same period last year, according to OverDrive, which partners with 50,000 libraries worldwide. Hoopla, another service that connects libraries to publishers, says 439 library systems in the US and Canada have joined since March, boosting its membership by 20 percent.”
Publishers Weekly: PW Inks Distribution Deal for Digital Archive. “Publishers Weekly has reached an agreement with East View Information Services for East View to distribute the Publishers Weekly Digital Archive. The archive is composed of 7,500 past issues of Publishers Weekly, with more than 650,000 fully searchable pages. In addition to the news articles and features, the archive hosts 5,000 author interviews, bestseller lists beginning in 1895, and 435,000 book reviews beginning in the 1940s.”