Last week’s “What We’re Reading” included numerous articles on the Gutenberg-e project going open access. This week, we begin with one more perspective on the issue, from Jim Jordan at Columbia University Press. Next, we include articles on two persistent topics covered by AHA Today: Google Books and Wikipedia. Then read about a new newsletter from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), an article on historians and the public, an interesting George W. Bush Library design project, and finally, reports of a new collection at the National Gallery of Art.
- Letter from Jim Jordan about Gutenberg-e
Jim Jordan from Columbia University Press presents the press’s view of the Gutenberg-e project’s switch to open access.
- Creating Gov Doc "Libraries" in Google Books
The Free Government Information blog notes that a number of valuable historical documents are now showing up in Google Books. This proves a real boon to a library that suffered damage from one of the recent hurricanes, despite the limitations in the Google Books view of the public domain.
- The Charms of Wikipedia
This article by Nicholson Baker in The New York Review of Books is an enjoyable read about the world of editing in Wikipedia and a review of John Broughton’s new book Wikipedia: The Missing Manual. Hat Tip.
- Digital Preservation Program Launches
The Library of Congress announced this week a new online newsletter with news from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). NDIIPP is “dedicated to the collection and preservation of important digital materials that are at risk of loss if they are not now preserved.”
- Historians and the Public: Premature Obituaries, Abiding Laments (PDF)
This article by the Historical Society’s president Eric Arnesen tackles the persistent problem of historians and their connections to the general public. Then read a follow-up article, “Eric Arnesen On Historians As Public Intellectuals: Where Does The Problem Lie?,” by Tim Lacy at the History and Education blog.
- The Back-of-the-Envelope Design Contest
The Chronicle shows off the finalists of their “back-of-the-envelope design contest,” a challenge for readers to design the future George W. Bush Library on the back an envelope (as they might if they were sitting down with the president discussing their ideas). They received about 120 entries “that were good, bad, serious, humorous, abstract, or really angry.” See them all here. Hat Tip.
- Meyerhoff Estate to Become Wing of National Gallery
The Washington Post reports that philanthropist Robert E. Meyerhoff has agreed to give his collection of 265 works art (much of it post-World War II paintings) to the National Gallery of Art.
Contributors: Elisabeth Grant and Robert Townsend.