October 22, 2013—In 1905, a woman in Maryland was commissioned to drive a horse-drawn wagon filled with books into remote areas without libraries—which was a good idea until the cart was hit by a train. Luckily there were no human or equine casualties.
Since then the history of the traveling library, or bookmobile, was considerably more positive, said Derek Attig, an American studies scholar, at a talk at Harvard earlier this month. Bookmobiles, he said, have had a considerable impact on American history—from aiding diplomacy to helping connect and unify communities in rural areas.
“The most powerful role of bookmobiles has been to move books through space and create communities,” Attig said...read more
October 22, 2013—In the 1930s, Bernard Berenson, an avid collector, published a series of articles about “homeless” Renaissance Italian paintings—works that had been documented at some point in a photograph but subsequently dropped out of sight. By using an early example of crowdsourcing, Berenson hoped to identify the whereabouts of the items.
A collaboration between Biblioteca Berenson and metaLAB at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society aims to update Berenson’s efforts for the 21st century. Biblioteca Berenson, part of Harvard’s Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy, digitized, cataloged and ...read more
October 22, 2013—The Library Innovation Lab and Access Services developed Map It, which incorporates a map of an item’s exact location into the HOLLIS record. A soft launch for Map It, available to Library staff members only, goes live this week for most books in Widener Library, Lamont Library and the Law School Library. During the test period, staff will see a link to a map next to an item's call number—see an example here.
“Map It is a fantastic example of technology simplifying part of the research process for library users,” said Annie Cain, developer for the Harvard Law School Library. “The...read more
I hope you enjoyed your Columbus Day weekend. I am happy to be back in the US and to have familiar holidays. Although I loved being at Oxford, it was strange to be in a place where people didn't celebrate Thanksgiving, and of course, the 4th of July was definitely not mentioned.
A lot has been happening in recent weeks. Following the announcement that I was appointed as the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, I have been absorbing more information about the FAS budget and the work that has been going on with FAS library restructuring. I moved into Widener 110, about 30 feet away from where my desk was in Room 191 when I was in charge of departmental...read more
October 15, 2013—2013 has seen many milestones towards improving access to biomedical research. In February, President Obama issued a directive requiring most federal research agencies to implement public access policies; official guidance in this respect is expected shortly from the Office of Science and Technology Policy. This spring, the National Institute of Health (NIH) began implementing the enhanced compliance requirements for its Public Access Policy announced in December 2012. State-level open access bills have been passed in Illinois and are pending in California and New York.
In celebration of Open Access Week 2013, please join the Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) on Monday, October 21 for...read more