“turning the pages” into a working vacation…

It’s a rainy day in Portland. I’m ready to head back to sunny San Miguel de Allende for a working vacation…

Instead, I’m spending my evening looking at books online. Have you had the opportunity to use “Turn the Pages” technology? I stumbled on it while browsing the British Library website. Illuminated manuscripts? Yes, please!

I studied calligraphy for a few years and book arts, briefly. calligraphy exampleI imagined a future for myself creating hand-scribed books but talked myself out of the life of a starving artist and into a career in librarianship. In this blog I’ve written about repurposing books, but I’m also a proponent of preserving books based on their historical, cultural, or artistic value.

Amazed is all I can say. This technology links user with book and from what I can tell, the books were likely those chained to a bookcase or encased in glass, never to leave the safety of the library. Now, the information contained within these rare books is available to anyone with an internet connection. Speaking of which, my connection is pretty decent, but I did have a hard time getting the books to load in the Windows Vista format–it inexplicably opened tab after tab–I put away a load of laundry and it was still opening tabs! I started over. Had great success using Silverlight (option 2). I only looked at a few selections from the British Library website. I can only imagine what other libraries, museums, universities, and even private collectors are using this technology.

I am proud to be part of a profession that values history, art, and knowledge. This is a brief post on a vast subject; I plan to revisit the subject of digitization and conservation soon. And, just maybe, I’ll head back down to SMA and help them digitize a few of their more valuable books…I could use a working vacation. Thank
you for reading.

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Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 9:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

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