Archive for rare collections

the world wide weird of the New York Public Library

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , on July 23, 2018 by phanteana

the New York Public Library is a cultural institution to both residents and visitors of the city (and not just because it was featured in the opening scene of Ghostbusters). it houses more than 53 million items, which are spread out over 92 locations throughout its 5 major boroughs. among its collection include several items of literary paraphernalia that can best be described as “non-traditional”…you know, things like Walt Whitman’s hair or the lucky foot of Charles Dickens’ departed cat Bob (even back then, cats ruled the world…or just their owners).

if you happen to find yourself in the Big Apple, take a tour of NYPL’s Berg Library where you can see these and other weird objects on display (and maybe even a few ghosts).

 

 

 

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Bangorian Horror Story

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , on January 18, 2018 by phanteana

talk about a horror story: a burst pipe destroyed tens of thousands of dollars worth of rare Stephen King manuscripts at a specialty bookstore in Bangor, ME (King’s hometown). the owner had moved part of his inventory to the basement temporarily to rearrange the shop (which is a huge no-no when it comes to preservation and conservation) when a pipe had burst outside, resulting in the flooding of several downtown Bangor businesses. roughly 2000 books had been damaged in the incident, though the owner managed to recover some that he thought were lost. water damage is a nuisance for librarians/archivists, and now it’s become the stuff of nightmares for Stephen King fans. Mr. King, if you’re out there reading this…how about writing a novel about all the scary stuff us librarians go through to preserve your work!

 

See the source image

 

 

 

unread, unread, unread

Posted in Art & Photography, Music with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2017 by phanteana

since it’s Friday the 13th and all, it only makes sense to post something Halloween-related….but instead of bombarding y’all with Jason Voorhees memes, let’s talk about this monster of all coffee table books being (appropriately) released for pre-order on Halloween.

Bauhaus (specifically Peter Murphy) have been in my collection and my heart for decades. they are the band that started it all. without them, none of the artists they influenced would exist. i have seen Bauhaus as a collective twice during their resurrection, and separately (again, specifically Peter Murphy) on more occasions than i can count (most recently was the summer tour of Poptone and their re-imagined versions of some notable works). they may have long since called it quits, but the boys of Bauhaus* still know how to market themselves. well done, gentleman.

 

 

*i was at this performance…still seems like only yesterday, even though it was almost 20(!) years ago.

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.

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.”

 

Image result for hbo hey beastmaster's on meme

“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.

 

 

a lending library of coziness

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2017 by phanteana

ever go to the library in the summertime to escape the heat and cool off with a good book, only to be frozen by the air-conditioning? or maybe you’ve ducked in during the winter, but are still shivering from the outside elements. some libraries offer coffee (just don’t drink it near the computers) to perk up their chilly patrons, while others provide free lunches to kids during summer vacation. then there’s the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, whose staff have taken to lending hand-knitted shawls to researchers spending hours in the library’s reading room. since temperatures have to be kept at a certain level in the reading room to protect the rare books, patrons are prone to feel a bit cold. but the shawls, designed by the room’s Head of Circulation, will help keep them nice and cozy.