There are a few things I found out, discovered, learned recently that I thought I would share with you today.
First, while I was suffering from the worst of my cold, home in bed and miserable, wonderful reader Jule sent me an email to let me know that library I was trying to remember where the books are arranged by association, is the Warburg Library. Aby Warburg was a German art historian and cultural theorist who created a private library of cultural studies in Hamburg. Warburg died in 1929 and the library was rescued from Nazi Germany in 1933 and moved to the University of London. The 350,000 books are housed in their own building that has become known as the Warburg Institute. The collection has been added to over the years but the organization has remained the same.
The library takes up four floors. The categorization is a progression from the visual image to language to orientation to action, a scheme that Warburg saw as the progression of human awareness.
A few years ago, the University of London in an attempt to save money, tried to force the library to surrender its building and disperse the collection into the University’s regular library collections. The New York Review of Books had an essay about it it 2010. I tried to find updated information but I drew a blank. Since the Warburg Institute still exists, I assume the issues have been solved but I don’t have confirmation of that.
Not long ago I was trolling the library catalog looking for books of letters. Does anyone else do this, enter keywords or do subject searches and just browse the catalog? In my browsing I found a book called A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather. What an odd title. It turns out the book is a brief summary of each of Cather’s letters, an index, and a biographical directory. There is no book of actual Willa Cather letters available because Cather put a clause in her will forbidding publication of her letters and other papers. However, her letters and papers will become public domain in 2017 so in four years someone will be able to publish them. Doesn’t that make you really want to know what’s in the letters?
There was a study just published showing that while people say they prefer to read print books for adults over 60 it is actually easier to read on a tablet or ereader. Researchers found that the brains of older adults did not have to work as hard to read on a digital device. The thought is that a digital device provides better text contrast and backlighting which made them easier to read than a print book. Very interesting.
I thought I had more but that appears to be it. That will just have to do for tonight.