Saturday, August 30, 2008

Atlas of Early Printing

This neat and informative Atlas comes courtesy of the University of Iowa Libraries. Designed primarily as an interactive teaching aid, it is still useful to the general reader with an interest in the history of the books:

[via the Scout Report]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Revolution by the Book

A new blog from AK Press. Early posts include a wide-ranging interview on "anarchist scholarship" with Dave Berry, author of the forthcoming paperback edition of A History of the French Anarchist Movement, 1917–1945. There are also reviews of Murray Bookchin's Social Ecology and Communalism, and of a new film about anarchism:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blogging with George Orwell

George Orwell has joined the bloggers! The Orwell Prize has set up a blog based on George Orwell's diaries - "to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries, each diary entry will be published on this blog exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell’s recuperation in Morocco his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war in real time. The diaries end in 1942, three years into the conflict."

Hidden Depths at the British Library

The Londonist explores the hidden depths of the British Library in M's "Into the Bowels of the British Library".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fifty New Libraries for Africa?

The Waterloo Charity plans to build 50 new libraries across Africa, starting with the first one in the town of Waterloo in Sierre Leone. At the end of the war the people of Waterloo were asked what one project would improve their lives. In a country where there are just 20,000 books for a population of five million, a library was the obvious choice.
Full article in the Sunday Herald.

Resonance FM

From the London Musicians' Collective comes Resonance Radio "a summer school on the radio" with some great programmes this month , including:

Peter Rea on Visual Literacy, illustrated with audio from Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd and the rural blues of the 1930s; Julian Stallabrass talks about visual representations of war; Jean Seaton has recourse to George Orwell’s enduring relevance; and Roberta Mock asks what constitutes avant-garde performance. Monica Janowski on Potency, Hierarchy and Food in Borneo, Magnus Marsden on Muslim village intellectuals.

Historian Ariel Hessayon will offer a new view of the 17th century Diggers “Restoring the Garden of Eden in England’s Green and Pleasant Land,” while Mark Miodownik of King’s College’s Materials Library takes us through "an elemental reading of the making of a cup of coffee – illustrated in robust fashion in the station’s kitchen". The station continues during September when the programme will include Ian Bone (author of the best "confessional" autobiography of 2006 - Bash the Rich) talks to Phil Ruff about the history and identity of "Peter the Painter".

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Legacy of the Oasis

Matthias Schulz and Anwen Roberts describe "The Rush to Save Timbuktu's Crumbling Manuscripts" in Der Spiegel. Some experts estimate that as many as 300,000 "forgotten" manuscripts in Timbuktu, originally hidden from European colonialists, are at risk from distintegration, and fading inks. "The Ahmed Baba Library alone contains more than 20,000 manuscripts, including works on herbal medicine and mathematics, yellowed volumes of poetry, music and Islamic law. Some are adorned with gilded letters, while others are written in the language of the Tuareg tribes. The contents remain a mystery.",1518,569560,00.html

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Exiled Writers Ink!

Great idea - a magazine, conferences book group evenings, a series of publications in conjunction with the excellent five leaves, and a monthly book cafe, with a fascinating programme of events that opens up a whole new world of literature and brings writers from many countries together: