Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What do we want? Standards! When do we want them? Now!

Putting this on my to-read list. The title is certainly a statement I agree with: We Need Publishing Standards for Datasets and Data Tables.

The plan, man

Exeter just published its Digitization Workflow and Guidelines. The more transparent universities are about the steps involved in their digitization process, the less groups just starting out will need to reinvent the wheel.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Triple Decker Combo

If you have ever spent a pleasant evening reading a little Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer, you may love some of the recent novels digitized by the University of Illinois. There is currently a project underway to produce digital copies of the library's complete holding of Victorian triple-decker novels, works that were issued in multiple volumes so that the proceeds from one volume could fund the subsequent one.

Works digitized so far can be found on the Internet Archive in the 19th Century Novels collection.

A particularly charming example, although only totaling two volumes, is Emily Eden's The Semi-Attached Couple (vols. 1 and 2). With a mother to rival Mrs. Bennett in amusement value, explicit references to Austen's novels, and the romantic fortunes of not one, but three couples decided by the end of volume two, the work can more than hold its own with any example of modern chick lit.

Anyone looking for light reading for their commute, or a deeper insight into women writers of the Victorian era will find a treasure-trove here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Life in 1898

As if getting that copy of the Necronomicon didn't cost enough!
You must pay "two dollars for each exhibition or performance" for a city license to perform "feats of jugglery, sleight-of-hand or necromancy." (pp. 15-16)

Can't a robot get a drink around here?
"Subject to the regulations and restrictions hereinafter contained, persons engaged in the business of vending drugs, commonly called druggists, may sell intoxicating liquors in less quantity than one gallon for medicinal, sacramental, mechanical and chemical purposes only." (p. 55)

Is it possible to have a bar without "loud or boisterous talking"?
"Sec. 22,. No dealers in liquors shall suffer or permit any loud or boisterous talking, obscene or profane language, singing, fighting, or other disturbance in or about his place of business, or in any place adjacent thereto, under his control, to the annoyance or disturbance of any persons passing along any street or public place in the vicinity thereof, or to the disturbance of the peace and quiet of persons doing business or residing in the neighborhood thereof, under a penalty of not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for each violation thereof." (p. 83)

On national holidays, all bets are off.
"Sec. 70. No boy or person shall, in the inhabited part of the city (except on national holidays or other public and general celebrations) make or kindle any bonfire, or fire, explode or set off any fire-arms, fire-balls, fire-crackers, torpedos, rockets, or other fire-works, or shall otherwise pursue any amusement or exercise calculated to impede travel or frighten animals, or injure or annoy persons passing along the streets, or sidewalks, incur a penalty not exceeding five dollars in each case." (p. 106)

Ah, those nuisance bicyclists. Always frightening the mules.
"Sec. 75. Whoever shall, by riding any bicycle in the streets or or. the sidewalks of the City of Urbana, or shall by any other means willfully or negligently frighten any horse, mule or other animal being at the time ridden by any person or attached to any vehicle, shall be subject to a penalty of not less than three dollars, nor more than fifty dollars." (p. 107)

From Revised ordinances of City of Urbana Illinois : published by authority of the City Council of the City of Urbana, Illinois, December 3, A.D. 1898 (1898)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Librarians of the Past

I've recently been doing some work for the UIUC University Archives, digitizing a selection of photographs that detail the history of what eventually evolved into the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. So far I've made it up to about the mid 1920s. It's fascinating to see the people who have made the profession what it is today. And it's even more fascinating to imagine some of the stories behind the photographs. More of the collection can be seen in the University of Illinois Archives.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Watch Out Mister!

It's been a long time since I posted here on Shelf-ish, so I'm going to get back in the game with a few posts about digitized content.

Last night, while searching for illustrations of 1920s men's clothing styles, I came across some catalogs digitized by the New York Public Library. My favorite pages were the ads in the back for the new-fangled "zipper" technology. The Talon Trouser Fastener helps when you don't want "any possibility of embarrassing fastening failure."

Ah! Like death and taxes, the wardrobe malfunction is eternal.