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4,000 Houses for 4,000 Followers: No 1:

Holkham Hall, Norfolk, England. 

Built in the Palladian style by William Kent, 1734-64. 

  • Rockaway Beach
  • The Ramones
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Born Today: Dee Dee Ramone

Douglas Glenn Colvin (September 18, 1951 – June 5, 2002), known professionally as Dee Dee Ramone, was a German-American songwriter and musician, best known as founding member, songwriter and bassist for punk rock band the Ramones. Learn more about this 2002 inductee at the Library and Archives.

Audio clip: Ramones, “Rockaway Beach,” recorded at CBGB, New York, NY on October 29, 1977. From the James Brawley Collection.

Fifteen months after Edward Snowden provided the first documents describing the startling scope of the National Security Agency’s spying program, Congress has returned from August recess with a chance to vote on surveillance reform. Unfortunately, if the surveillance vote doesn’t happen in the coming weeks, it might not happen at all.

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Here’s Why We Need to Protect Public Libraries

We live in a “diverse and often fractious country,” writes Robert Dawson, but there are some things that unite us—among them, our love of libraries. “A locally governed and tax-supported system that dispenses knowledge and information for everyone throughout the country at no cost to its patrons is an astonishing thing,” the photographer writes in the introduction to his book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. “It is a shared commons of our ambitions, our dreams, our memories, our culture, and ourselves.”

But what do these places look like? Over the course of 18 years, Dawson found out. Inspired by “the long history of photographic survey projects,” he traveled thousands of miles and photographed hundreds of public libraries in nearly all 50 states. Looking at the photos, the conclusion is unavoidable: American libraries are as diverse as Americans. They’re large and small, old and new, urban and rural, and in poor and wealthy communities. Architecturally, they represent a range of styles, from the grand main branch of the New York Public Library to the humble trailer that serves as a library in Death Valley National Park, the hottest place on Earth. “Because they’re all locally funded, libraries reflect the communities they’re in,” Dawson said in an interview. “The diversity reflects who we are as a people.”

(Continue Reading)

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Dog prints in medieval chained library

I made this image in the chained library “De Librije” in the Dutch city of Zutphen. Established in 1564, everything about this place is still precisely as it was, including the tiles on the floor. Remarkably, throughout the library there are tiles with a dog’s paw prints. These 450-year-old traces of a large dog come with a local legend. One night, a monk called Jaromir was reading in the library while enjoying a meal of chicken, delivered to him by some nuns. He was not supposed to do this: not only does one not eat in a library, but he was also going through a period of fasting. Then suddenly the devil appeared in the form of a dog, scaring the living daylights out of the monk. The devil ate the chicken and locked the monk inside as a punishment - as devils do. Knowing the story, it’s hard to ignore the prints when admiring the books. 

Pics (top my own): Zutphen, Librije Chained Library. More on the legend on the library’s website, also source for lower pic, here (in Dutch).

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