September 17

Libraries Can Must Change Catalogue

Libraries Can Must Change Catalogue

Stuart Kells’s The Library, A Catalogue of Wonders has a section towards the end where the author imagines a library in the future in which. Dreary students gaze mindlessly at computers or reading machines, unaware of the finer pleasures of paper, ink, and vellum.

This is the death of the book, a well-known lament shared by bibliophiles all over the world. It’s a tragic tale in which technology defeats the David Catalogue of culture and art.

While it may seem superficially appealing to others, it is not for everyone. It overlooks the fact that writing is a technology. It is a great technology, just like the lever and the wheel. Writing has existed since before the invention of the book. It is an integral part of the history and evolution of other forms of technology.

Mechanical Marvels In The History Catalogue

For example, take the book wheel. This is the scholar’s technology from the 16th century. It is a clever mechanical device that can operate by foot or hands. The book wheel allows a reader to navigate backwards and fort between. Volumes and editions, and refers to many books at once.

Nearer to our century is the Boston Public Library’s 1895 Book Railways. These tracks laid around the stacks to transport books. The ultra-modern teletype machine, conveyor belt and conveyor belt that were use by. The Free Library of Philadelphia to transport book requests in 1927. The current book retrieval system at the University of Chicago boasts a number of robotic cranes.

I believe that the dream of an infinite library, which can be assemble in bits and pieces wherever a reader requests it to become, is not as fanciful as Kells. This is in keeping with the democratic dream for mass literacy poker pelangi.

Thousand Year Catalogue

An archaeologist may need to work for a thousand years before they can unlock the data on our obsolete floppy disks and CD Roms. It took Jean-Francois Champollion several hundred years to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Henry Rawlinson even longer to discover the secrets of ancient Mesopotamia’s cuneiform scripts.

Kells’s latest book isn’t a history of writing or reading. It’s a history of books and artifacts. It describes books with a questionable or uncertain provenance that found in private libraries lost or unaccessible. These books either stolen by book thieves or craze book collectors or at the request of wealthy or royal patrons. It’s a story, but it has an unfortunate, cobbled together nature. It is full of strange anecdotes about small numbers of books, and lost books that yield strange surprises, such as discarded condoms or misplaced dental appointment slips.

Kells loves to visit the medieval monks’ libraries, as well as the scandalous and bawdy collections of wealthy patrons of the 18th century. For example, the library at St Gall houses one of largest medieval collections anywhere in the world. The Bodleian at Oxford was not intend to be inclusive, but its founder Thomas Bodley state that it sought to exclude almanackes and plaies and other unworthy matter which he call baggage bookses or riff-raffe.

I love books. I’ve had the opportunity to spend hours in libraries all over the world, including Belgrade, St Petersburg and Buenos Aires. It is hard to believe that this bibliophile can be trusted in these times of economic inequality and privatised public service pay walls, firewalls, and proprietary media platforms not to mention Google or Amazon.

Aiming To Embody A Concept Of Society

When I lived in New York 20 years ago, I made a living as both a copyeditor, and more often as waitress. I also became a regular at 42nd Street Library, also known as New York Public Library. It is located on Fifth Avenue between 40th Street and 42nd Streets. I used to live in Midtown.

I was attracted to the collection’s size, but also the 120-kilometre-long bookshelves that house one of the most important collections in the world. Or the ornate ceilings in the main reading room with 42 oak tables and 636 readers. The bookish dimminess is interrupted only by the soft glow of the reading lamps. The library’s pneumatic system fascinated me.

This labyrinthine device, which was state-of the-art at the beginning of the 20th Century, sent call slips flying through brass tubes, descending deep underground, and down seven stories steel-reinforced stacks, where the book was located. Then, the call slips were sent up on a conveyor belt that curves around to reach the reading room.

With its retro steampunk and defunct book technology, the pneumatic system seemed to suggest a futuristic future. Libraries are more than just books. They can also be social, cultural, and technological institutions. Libraries house not just books, but also the idea of society.

September 17

Zimbabwean Artist Kudzanai Chiurai Idea Of A Library

Zimbabwean Artist Kudzanai Chiurai Idea Of A Library

Kudzanai, a Zimbabwean artist, is a sensation. His work is among the most innovative and challenging in contemporary African art. His work can found in some of the most prestigious galleries and collections around the globe, including large-scale photos of imaginary African dictators and experimental films, protest posters, rich oil paintings, and minimal sculptures.

Chiurai is not a fan of gallery spaces and prefers to exhibit in streets, warehouses or urban areas. The Library of Things We Forgot to Remember is his latest project. It is located in 44 Stanley in Johannesburg. The project is based on his collection practice, which focuses on the preservation of archives and the memorialisation of social and cultural history from south Africa. He has turned his personal archive and library into a public art project.

This idea is based on Chiurai’s obsession with history and accumulation of artefacts like books, pamphlets and zines, newspapers and vinyl records, posters, audio recordings, and other ephemera. These materials explore the relationship between cultural productions and social movements.

Non-Traditional Approach Zimbabwean To Archive

This work is a markedly non-traditional approach to archive. Interaction is key to selection and acquisition. It is manage as a type of commons, where everyone can benefit from the artist’s collection and those donate by others. While most libraries and archives emphasize the preservation of material, Chiurai’s library encourages physical engagement and active use to preserve their relevance.

This library is a reflection of Chiurai’s artistic style, which uses mixed media to address cultural, political, and social issues. It recalls his 2011 exhibition State of the Nation, in which he explored conflict through the construction of an African utopia. This allowed him to combine forms and media, juxtapose political ideologies, and evoke historical figures, such as a speech by Patrice Lumumba, the slain Congolese independence leader, delivered by Zaki Ibrahim, alongside a performance from Thandiswa Mawai, contemporary musician.

Chiurai’s work focuses on new ways to activate and share, present, reinvent, and present the archives. This is what he did with the library, his latest project.

The Zimbabwean Library

The Library of Things We Forgot to Remember, which was first created in 2017, had no permanent home. It was often incorporat into artist’s exhibitions. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the idea of a mobile library. It restricted movement and made it difficult to hold live events. The library is not about gathering materials but people. It is meant to a place for people to meet.

Chiurai invites other people to help him curate the archive and re-arrange it so that regular public viewing can done in a rent location. The library is, according to him.

It is a kind of liberated space. It works independently. I can find a new librarian each time… and different people view cataloguing differently. It can be view visually or aurally by some people. Different librarians bring me different information.

Zimbabwean Chimurenga

The artist’s vast collection of vinyl records, including those from Zimbabwean Chimurenga as well as South African anti-apartheid struggles music, is include in the library. You will also find recordings of speeches from historical political figures like Ian Smith, Kwame Seko, Mobutu Seleko, Dr Martin Luther King, and even a dramatic reenactment the trial of Bobby Seale, co-founder of Black Panther Party.

It has grown steadily. It received digital recordings from Freedom Archives, a US-based educational project. These radio interviews were with political figures and women who participated in liberation movements in Zimbabwe. Individuals and institutions may also donate other materials.

Chiurai takes great care to preserve these traces of struggle. Some of these posters and historical documents are now framed and hung up on the white walls. These materials were once used to document life in Black Africa and Black America as it occurred. They are now artifacts that preserve frozen moments of history. His library was designed to be a place for contemplation, reflection and meditation. A large green couch is available and there are several listening stations.

Remembering Is The Art Of Remembering

The Library of Things We Forgot To Remember is part of an effort expand ideas about what a library could be and decolonize it. It’s an extension of the new ways people use the “library” as a place to inquire and have conversations with the past.

The most fascinating thing about Chiurai’s library, is the fact that it isn’t static. It is rearranged in the hands of a guest Librarian and has traveled from Harare to Cape Town, Kalmar and Sodertalje. The political writing platform Chimurenga, in Harare, the writer and DJ El Corazone, in Cape Town, as well as film director and deejay Sifiso Khanyile, were previous librarians.

Chiurai’s goal is to develop a new model of artistic creation and knowledge production that does not interfere with the preservation, display, and circulation of cultural objects. Who is entitled to value? Who decides what history is? What materials should be collected and how? What can done to expand access to new audiences?

Passive Observers

Visitors have a responsibility. Visitors are more than passive observers. They can also be interpreters, collaborators and readers. Because value is negotiate, the library becomes a place that provokes and allows multiple registers to be register. It is also about the reinvention and expansion of the library’s role as a place for contemplation in multiple ways. It remains a place for scholars, artists, curators, collectors and others to engage in research on southern African history.

Chiurai believes that remembering is a virtue. It is often a luxury or a privilege in Black communities. This new space, which is a combination gallery, community center library, archive and library, allows for remembering to be transform into a collective process of reimagining heritage and sharing it. It also demonstrates the generosity of Chiurai’s art practice and its commitment to care and community.

September 17

Humanist Ideal, Social Glue And Now, Tourism Library Hotspot

Humanist Ideal, Social Glue And Now, Tourism Library Hotspot

Christian Lauersen (Danish librarian) and Marie Eiriksson (Danish librarian) founded Library Planet. An online library travel guide that is crowd source worldwide. Library Planet, according to them, is design to inspire travellers to open the amazing. Book that is our universe of libraries, cities, and countries.

The online project’s name is an intentional nod to Lonely Planet, which was create in Australia. It is easy to understand and powerful. The founders collect library photos and profiles from lovers. They then curate the posts and publish them.

Why should libraries be a focal point of travel? Libraries offer many benefits, both cultural and practical. Libraries are, for the most part, safe and welcoming spaces. They tell stories about people who built and appreciated them. Libraries are the foundation of civilisation. They provide windows into national souls. These libraries are a treasure trove of information. That can be use to trace the past and provide reassurance for the future.

Library Planet has many interesting profiles, including those from Burma and French Polynesia. One recent entry was about the Melbourne Cricket Club at MCG. This site is quickly becoming a favourite among the bibliographical subcultures. And communities of Instagram and Twitter such as #rarebooks and #amreading.

The Grand Tour Of Library

Library Planet is a new concept, but library tourism has existed for a long time. Italian humanists traveled to Europe’s abandoned monastic libraries in the Western Renaissance. To save unique manuscripts that had been left behind by the end of the Middle Ages. Old libraries were the focus of the Grand Tour in the 18th century. And became the subject of rich travel literature.

Some visits were not smooth. Friedrich Hirsching, historian and author, called the directors of Germany’s public libraries arrogant misanthropes that view their positions as sinecures. People still visited libraries well into the 19th century and still saved manuscripts. Obadiah Rich, a bibliographer, wrote an 1843 letter to Sir Thomas Phillipps, a bibliophile.

Ignorant people are more likely to destroy manuscripts than civil wars. One time, I saw a Madrid bookseller occupied with removing the parchment covers from a pile of old folios. He was selling them by weight to the grocers. I bought the entire collection (120 volumes) for two shillings each. You will not believe that one of them was a volume of original documents. About England during the reign of Philip the Second!

Biblio Treasure Hunt

Indiana-Jones-style, the era of the biblio treasure hunt lasted into the 20th century. Villagers were digging for fertiliser in the area of the Monastery of the Archangel Michael. That had been destroy, located in Egypt’s Fayyum oasis near Hamuli, in the spring of 1910. 60 Coptic manuscripts found in an old stone cistern by the villager. Evidently, monks had placed the entire monastery’s library in a safe. Place for safe keeping, just before the monastery was close.

The manuscripts were written in Sahidic, a Coptic dialect, and date back from 823 to 914 AD. They are the oldest and largest group of Coptic texts with one provenance.

The discovery was a delight for bibliographers and dealers alike. The manuscripts were soon purchase by J.P. Morgan, an American bibliophile and banker. They are now part of New York’s remarkable biblio-temple, which is the Morgan Library and Museum.

Modern Pilgrimage To Ancient Library

Fiona, my wife, and I followed the footsteps of some of the original library tourers in 2017. We visited libraries in Switzerland with our daughters, five-year-old and one year old. Including the stunning Abbey Library of St Gallen (Sankt Gallen), which was once a monastery. Also, we saw the beautiful Zentralbibliothek in Zurich. We visited the Bodleian Library in Britain, the Wellcome Library Lambeth Palace Library, University College Library, and the irreplaceable British Library.

We also visited North America, Asia and Oceania as well as major regional and state libraries in Australia. These were life-changing experiences that included visits to institutions such as the Morgan, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Libraries and Harvard’s Widener, Houghton, and Harvard libraries.