For some bizarre reason I can’t comment on Eliza’s post. I’m assuming I’m doing something dumb, but decided to just post this on its own instead:
I also really enjoyed that article, Eliza. I was pleased they did not just point out the problem, explain why it is a problem, and then end their article (like the depressing ones we’ve read earlier do).
I was also struck by a thread I found running through most of the articles on libraries we read for class today- thinking about libraries as community-oriented, and in terms of their physical space. Almost like books, libraries to me have always represented abstract information I can take, but after reading the articles I thought about what it feels like to be in one. In Alderman, I know I will get work done, but I also know that I will see friends, drink copious cups of coffee, etc. It is not just gleaning information. Even in terms of research- before I really knew how to use online sites like Jstor or even the Carleton library site, I would find where critical books were, and physically browse them. It seems sad to me that we could lose that if books are all kept elsewhere, though I do agree with embracing the physical space and communal significance of a library by removing some of its books.
To change topics entirely, I’m interested in how we could make our books an engaging, interactive experience. The BL’s site has an excellent introduction to _Alice’s Adventures under Ground_, as well as a virtual version, and even an audio version.
The text’s transcription is set underneath the images from the original manuscript. We obviously could not do all of this. So how can we make our objects as interesting on a smaller scale?
I think one of our big selling points with these books is how intensely personal some of them are. Though as English grad students we are probably more book-loving than most, the personalities that emerge when we look at the marginalia would (I hope) be interesting to everyone; I’ve told my friends about books I’ve found, and even those in science thought that the notes/drawings/letters were exciting (no offense to the scientists of course, I’m just using them as an example). I think we need to categorize the works no matter what (we just have too many), and I think a way to do this could be to prettily display different groups of what we’ve found. So you could click on drawings, and get to all of them, etc, etc. I’d love to hear you guys’ feedback on this, especially since we’ll all potentially be working on this project soon!