Three hundred years after the first foundation stone was laid, the 250,000 ancient books and manuscripts – including the ornately decorated ninth-century Book of Kells – printed on vellum, paper or silk are to be moved one by one, along with 500,000 others, to make way for the restoration of the building.
It is a monumental task that will take the best part of five years and cost €90m (£75m).
“Moving 750,000 vulnerable books is quite an undertaking, so we are having to pilot everything to see what is involved,” says TCD’s librarian and archivist Helen Shenton, who is leading the daunting project involving a 50-strong team.
The Daughter as Detective. A bibliophile tries to understand her father through his favorite Swedish mystery books.
I don’t know why it’s so frustrating that my dad refuses to say or even think about why he likes the things he does, when his preoccupations run so deep and are so consistent.
Don’t wear gloves when you handle old books. From the British Library:
Whenever a manuscript is featured in the press or on television, we inevitably receive adverse comments about our failure to wear white gloves! The association of glove-wearing with handling old books is in fact a modern phenomenon, and one that has little scientific basis.
Essentially, we recommend that it is preferable to handle manuscripts with clean dry hands.
We were told the same thing when I studied book design at Reading. Gloves tend to cause more damage than they prevent. It’s one of those things that looks nice in photos.
I just finished reading Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans (h/t @boop). I thoroughly enjoyed it, and learned quite a bit. I’m also a sucker for computing history, and remember things like gopher, so your mileage might vary.
American War is the first novel from Omar El Akkad. If you’re into dystopian sci-fi, I’d definitely recommend picking up a copy. His prose can be a bit of a slog at times, but worth seeing through. The world building is amazing, I found myself wanting to know more about it.
Full disclosure: Omar is an old friend, so I might be a tad biased. He has always been a prolific wordsmith, and one of my favourite writers, so I’m super-stoked that the book has been well received. Go Omar!
The University of Iowa’s Special Collections posted some photos from their copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated by Salvador Dali. I had no idea this existed, definitely going to need to see a copy of it at some point. You can see the illustrations on Retronaut, but there’s something to be said for seeing them in the original context.
I started using Sass and Compass last summer. It has probably been the biggest thing to happen to my web development style since the transition from table-based to pure CSS layout. Just bought the book this week and am super stoked to read it.