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Joyce Carol Oates: A Love Letter to Libraries in Longhand February 26, 2010

Author Joyce Carol Oates. “I try to write in the morning very intensely,from 8:30 to 1 p.m…I hand write and then I type. I don’t have a word processor. I write slowly.”(By Landon Nordeman for Smithsonian Magazine.) Contrary to Thomas Wolfe’s dictum You Can’t Go Home Again, in an article in the current issue of Smithsonian Magazine, “Joyce Carol Oates Goes Home Again,” the eponymous author begs to differ. Joyce Carol Oates regales readers with…

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Has This Library Solved "The Mystery Of The Mummy Paper?" February 19, 2010

Under Wraps: Egyptian Mummy from the Vatican Museums. Reality or urban legend: were the wrappings of ancient Egyptian corpses recycled and pulped to create so-called “mummy paper?” Archaeologists and other scholars have long debated the veracity of claims that mummies were imported into the U.S. in the mid-nineteenth century, stripped of their burial shrouds, and their bindings (largely composed of linen and other fibers such as papyrus and something akin to canvas) repurposed into printing…

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A "Great Wave" Hits Montreal Archives February 17, 2010

400 Books Combine to Form The Great Wave Or Saltwater Memories. (Mixed Media Installation By Marc Lincourt, 2008. All Photos by Barbara Laborde.) 400 names, 400 journeys, 400 stories, 400 books: all are connected to form the foundation of a great city. That is the theme of The Great Wave or Saltwater Memories, a monumental art piece created from 400 hardcover volumes to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city of Quebec. Conceived and constructed…

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Olympic Fever Iced By Canadian Library February 15, 2010

Two Time Olympic Gold Medalist In Women’s Hockey, Canada’s Cassie Campbell. (Silver Gelatin Print by Bryan Adams, 1999. All Images Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.) Canada’s caught Olympic fever, and the country’s libraries are not immune. Library and Archives Canada has mounted two outdoor exhibits, one in Vancouver and one in Ottawa, featuring portraits of Olympians past. Twenty-three of the finest athletes the land of the maple leaf has produced are the stars of…

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Lovers Live On In Library’s Victorian Valentines February 12, 2010

Display Card For Valentine Maker Jonathan King, London c. 1870’s. (All Images Courtesy of Bodleian Library.) A permanent collection of temporary items. That’s one way to sum up what libraries and archives call “ephemera.” Preserving items that were meant to be briefly used and thrown away seems like an exercise in futility at first glance. But paper ephemera — such as leaflets, tickets, programs and playbills, posters, bookmarks, trade and calling cards, advertising inserts, and…

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