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Digitization of the Hevelin fanzines is underway!

We are beginning with the earliest fanzines, from the 1930′s-50′s.  I took the first stack upstairs last week, and began photographing them with our preservation-quality digital camera and software.  

These photos are a little foggy because they were taken in the darkroom in our preservation department.  Our wonderful conservators created a special cradle just for the fanzines, built to accommodate all the anomalies specific to the medium, such as old staples, weak spines, and brittle paper.  Thus, we can capture preservation-quality images while keeping the physical object safe. 

The digital images will be stored on the library’s server.  A select group of fans will then transcribe the fanzines, making them text searchable.  This way, researchers and fans alike will be able to easily search the material. More information about the transcription project will be available in the months to come.

It is truly exciting to have this massive project underway!!

-Laura H.

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Paper marbling is a fascinating process involving paint, paper, and water.  The video above was produced by the Folio Society for their letterpress Shakespeare series, and it gives a good overview of the craft. 

For more information on marbled paper, look for the book Marbled paper: its history, techniques, and patterns by Richard J. Wolfe at your local library. And here are a few more posts that feature marbled papers in Special Collections.

Thanks for your question, myotherurlisurmom!

Librarians storm ramparts of rapacious ebook publishers

The ebook edition of Donna Tartt’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch costs $12.99.

But if you’re a library, you will pay $114.

Canada’s librairians are mad as wet hens over what they say is unfair pricing.

They’re gearing up for a literary brannigan aimed at getting pulbishers to dial back these price barriers between people and the books they love.

“It is quite shocking when people realize how much libraries are paying for ebooks,” says Roxanne Toth-Rissanen, chief executive offcer and director of public libraries at the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library.

“So we pay over $100 for an ebook title that you could order for at most $15 or $20 and then the library can only loan that book for our 12 times and then we have to purchase another copy of the ebook and loan it out for another 12 times.

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Ready for a road trip?  This week’s Travel Tuesday poster advertises excursions by car from Avignon at a time when automobile travel was novel and exciting.   The Pont du Gard is a Roman aqueduct constructed in southern France in the first century A.D.  Paris - Lyon - Méditerranée, the company referenced at the top of the poster, was a French railway created between 1858 and 1862.

Couronneau, E., artist. Le Pont du Gard (1er siècle) : circuits automobiles au dèpart d'Avignon / E. Couronneau. [France] : [Compagnie des chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée], [1923]. MU Ellis Special Collections Poster NC1849.T68 C68 1923 and soon to be in the MOSpace Digital Library.

Conceptions, Ms.

Questions about my gender come up every time I do outreach with kids. Yesterday, I visited a kindergarten class.

Kid: “Are you a girl or a boy?”

Me: “I’m a girl.”

Kid: “You look like a boy.”

Me: “Some girls look like boys.”

Kid: “You want to see something cool?”

Me: “Sure.”

He then proceeded to take off his prosthetic foot.

Kid: “It’s my new foot.”

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If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again. Of course, you don’t have to be homeless to use a library, but that’s the point. You don’t have to be anyone in particular to go inside and stay as long as you want, sit in its armchairs, read the news, write your dissertation, charge your phone, use the bathroom, check your email, find the address of a hotel or homeless shelter. Of all the institutions we have, both public and private, the public library is the truest democratic space.

Federal funding for libraries is down nearly 40 percent since 2000. Our democracy may never wholly recover