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Showing posts from September, 2011

Alice Underground

The British Library has recently released Lewis Carroll's book title Alice's Adventures Under Ground (later re-titled Alice in Wonderland). While you can purchase the iPad version, the Library has a free online application that displays the book and provides an number of great tools as you read the book using the museum's "Turning the Pages" system. The book itself is composed of detailed scans of the original text hand written by Lewis Carroll with his own drawings. Using the library's tools, not only can you read the text you can also explore the images with the Magnifier tool, read the text as print, and even listen as someone with a great voice reads it aloud to you.

I found that just reading Carroll's handwriting to be it's own experience, as here is the whole book in a booklet form with page numbers on each page and areas where he had added his own drawings. While I'm sure that there are drafts of each section, just looking at what he did in…

Art Project - adding ebooks to art

I'm beginning a new project to update some classic art that involves books to incorporate ebooks. Here are the first two that I have gotten done so far:

Jean-Hanore Fragonard's A Young Girl Reading (a Sony Ebook)

John Singer Sargent - Simplon Pass Reading (a Nook Color), 1911

Amazon, your future library?

In the changing online world we may be seeing a renewal of the subscription library service. Yes, the libraries that most people are familiar with are public libraries, and people do think that they are free, but they are actually supported though regional taxes, and I know that my library has been having trouble with budget cuts, so they have never actually been free. For a long time subscription libraries were common, actually the first library in the US, when in 1731 Benjamin Franklin established a subscription library called the Library Company that started by sharing collections of individuals - a library that still exists today. While I am always saddened when I hear about library closings or cutbacks, I'm glad to hear that others are stepping up to improve book access. While Amazon my be doing this though a direct cost to the users, there are also the recent creation of online book sharing organization that will allow people to lend books out of their personal collection. S…

A Sad Note - the death of who was perhaps the first online librarian - Michael Hart

Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg and who started with ebooks by typing up the US Declaration of Independence into a computer and sharing it back in 1971, has died this week. From that first document we today have Project Gutenburgs around the world in multiple countries. Today his project, Project Gutenberg, has over 36,000 ebooks available in 60 languages. The number at PG isn't the real impact though, by his leadership in creating the free public domain online library we now actually have over five million ebooks available online.

Early this year Michael wrote: “One thing about eBooks that most people haven’t thought much is that eBooks are the very first thing that we’re all able to have as much as we want other than air.”  So as you see people with Kindles, Nooks, or other e-readers you are seeing the impact today of what that first ebook created back in 1971.

So as we say goodbye to Michael Hart, we should also say thank you, you will be missed.