Archive for the Library Science stuff Category

magical manuscripts & spellbinding sources

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by phanteana

transcribing manuscripts is only one facet of an archival role. depending on the subject matter of what needs to be translated, the work involved can either make you look forward to setting your alarm early, or cause you to count down the minutes until lunch. in other words, work isn’t always meant to be fun (it is called work, after all)…but it can be, if you invoke the right frame of mind. the Newberry Library in Chicago has opened up a portion of its roughly 80,000 documents pertaining to religion for the public to transcribe, including a number of manuscripts dealing with the occult, bizarre healing remedies, witchcraft, and spell casting. the Newberry would love any assistance with this otherworldly project, so while you might want to brush up on how to call the corners, you don’t need a Ph.D to translate the materials. just be careful not to summon any demons; they’re known for not returning books on time.

 

 

Send(ak) in the clowns

Posted in Art & Photography, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2017 by phanteana

there are plenty of authors, actors, musicians, etc. who have passed on yet they still manage to crank out bodies of work long after they’ve physically departed this world. JRRT released a best-selling book this year, despite the fact that he set sail for the Grey Havens in 1973. the more recently-deceased Maurice Sendak will also be publishing a new illustrated book set for next year…although, it’s not entirely new. it was actually conceived in 1990, but the manuscript was set aside and discovered when the author’s former assistant was sorting through Sendak’s papers following his death in 2012.

throughout his career, Maurice Sendak was no stranger to the infamous Banned Books List. several of his stories were deemed too disturbing for his target audience, but that didn’t seem to put a dent in his reputation. only time will tell if the new one, titled Presto & Zesto In Limboland, will be among those controversial classics.

the enduring suspense of Suspiria

Posted in Film, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by phanteana

one of the joys of being an archivist is discovering copies of materials that were thought to either be lost or damaged. for those in the film archives industry, it means bringing new life to a movie that has previously been screened by audiences, but perhaps missing essential footage or dialogue. such a breakthrough occurred recently at an abandoned movie theater in Italy, whose storage room harbored an uncut 35mm print of Dario Argento‘s Suspiria that hasn’t seen the light of day since its initial release nearly 40(!) years ago. the print was discovered by the Chicago Cinema Society, and after careful inspection appears to be in excellent condition (always a plus when handling rare materials). in fact, this version of the film is in such great condition that it will be embarking on a mini-tour of the US in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Seattle (the CCS website lists dates and locations). so if you’re in or near any of the above metro areas, are a fan of horror/foreign cinema, or simply looking for something different to do, this is your opportunity to see Suspiria on the big screen! hooray for film archivists and their valiant efforts to save movies!

 

…and since Hollywood loves to reboot classics, that long-brewing remake is finally unveiling its “secret” “irises” on the Internet. two elements that have (hopefully) eased the anxiety of long-time fans are that the new version is not set in modern times, and original star Jessica Harper is among the cast. Ms. Harper (who i’ve met, and is a lovely lady with a wonderful sense of humor) is also known for appearing in the film that inspired a considerable portion of my WordPress, so she can clearly do no wrong. 🙂

 

{author’s note: i admit i haven’t seen too many of Argento’s films. but of the ones i have viewed, my favorite is Phenomena}.

hey, Beastmaster’s (still) on

Posted in Film, Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , on June 8, 2017 by phanteana

 

as technology and media continue to advance forward in new formats, the VHS tape still lingers as a reminder of the past (especially since HBO isn’t showing Beastmaster ad nauseum anymore) thanks to organizations like the VHSPS. but the folks at VHSPS aren’t the only ones working hard to preserve the life span of videotapes; meet the XFR Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving at-risk A/V media through digitization services and education.

according to a recent interview with NPR, the life span of a videotape is decreasing, thus resulting in a “magnetic media crisis“. most VHS tapes typically don’t last more than 15 years (i managed to hold onto a copy of this gem for 13 years before it set sail for the Grey Havens). this is where the fine folks of the XFR Collective come in to reverse the aging process. it can be painstaking work, but it’s also a labor of love as many of these archivists, technicians, and librarians grew up with VHS tapes and are fighting the good fight to see them continue to bring joy to nostalgia-obsessed audiences everywhere…and while it might not have the same effect as it did 30 years ago, we can still say “hey, Beastmaster‘s on.”

 

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“hey, we’ll still be on!”

rock you like a…

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music with tags , , , , , on May 26, 2017 by phanteana

do you have a vast knowledge of music? do you enjoy cataloging library resources and giving tours? are you willing to brave brutal Midwest winters, sticky summer humidity, and swarms of Cleveland Browns fans to get to work everyday? if so, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is looking for a librarian*!

for those about to apply, we salute you.

 

*this posting has been up for quite awhile, so clearly they still haven’t found what they’re looking for.

 

 

Encyclopedia Metallum

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , on May 23, 2017 by phanteana

we know that computers are smart (ahem, Watson). but can they learn to sound Metal? apparently, they can thanks to the Encyclopedia Metallum. the site provides hundreds of thousands of bands, sub-genres, countries of origin, etc. that have been produced by a neural network. so if you’re in the market for a band name that hasn’t been taken yet, there’s plenty to choose from!

 

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everyone’s a critic

Posted in Film, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by phanteana

it’s common knowledge that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a unique friendship. since social media and the Internet weren’t around during their time, we don’t actually know what a typical conversation was like between the two authors, and can only assume it usually involved meeting at the local pub to discuss what they were working on. despite the lack of technology that was readily available during the early half of the 20th Century, movies were common forms of entertainment both in the U.S. and in England. among those churning out motion pictures was Walt Disney, whose brand of animation seemed to draw the ire of both Tolkien and Lewis. while they may have phrased their opinions more eloquently, their general consensus after attending a screening of Snow White was that “it sucked.” Lewis claimed the dwarves had “bloated, drunken, low comedy faces.” JRRT, on the other hand, described “feelings of nausea” upon seeing the film. early 20th century fantasy authors: they’re just like us (except without social media)!

 

 

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Aslan, those aren’t dwarves! i should know, i’ve spent waaaay too much time with them.