Anglo-Saxon Chronicles Now Online - Medieval manuscripts blog
We are pleased to announce that four of the British Library’s Anglo-Saxon Chronicle manuscripts have been digitised in full as part of our Anglo-Saxon manuscripts digitisation project and are now available on our Digitised Manuscripts website: Anglo-Saxon Chronicle B Anglo-Saxon Chronicle C Anglo-Saxon Chronicle D Anglo-Saxon Chronicle F 'Always after...
Go on a virtual blind date with a book!

No date? No problem. Why waste your Valentine’s Day with some random schmo at an Olive Garden when you could be home in bed with an amazing book? We’ve rounded up some potential suitors – just click on the image to reveal their true identities. 

(If you’re reading this on the Tumblr dashboard, go here to be able to click on the books!)

…and check out the amazing non-virtual Blind Date With a Book Displays at our various branches!


Currently on my bench is this book about a 1875 voyage to the Arctic. This particular passage reminded me of when I lived in Chicago, and simultaneously made me glad I now live in a MUCH warmer place!

Also I absolutely love how the title looks like it has little icicles dripping down from the letters.


Under Pressure

This box contains a vellum book.  Over time, the book’s covers have warped, pushing the clamshell box open. (Vellum warps when it experiences changes in temperature and humidity - see here for a previous post about this).

I prefer to use a phase box for vellum books, since this is a quick and easy way to keep the book under pressure and prevent warping.  However, a phase box doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal as a cloth clamshell box.  When a cloth clamshell is desired, you can create a pressure lid (see this excellent blog post from the Duke University Libraries about creating a box with a pressure lid).

Although aesthetically pleasing, a box with a pressure lid is somewhat time consuming to make.  The book shown here is being used by a class this semester, and needs to be available immediately.

I decided to modify the existing box by adding straps with a Velcro closure to help keep it closed.  I chose a linen/cotton blend bookcloth that is backed with paper.  I used a double thickness of cloth to ensure that it wouldn’t be prone to tearing or stretching.

If the straps fail to hold, I will replace the box with one that has a pressure lid.

This year’s Cityread book has been announced, which means we’ll probably be ordering a ton of copies of Ten Days by Gillian Slovo. 

It’s 4 a.m. and Cathy Mason is watching dawn break over the Lovelace estate. By the end of the day, her community will be a crime scene. By the end of the week, her city will be on fire.

Looks good, can’t wait.

If you don’t know what Cityread is, it’s worth watching the video below about this annual one month long City-wide book group.

25 Of the Most Magnificent Libraries Around the World - Right from the Pages of a Fairytale

There is an essence of timelessness when it comes to libraries and books. Even with the modern marvels of human technology, e-books, audio books, libraries have still preserved the atmosphere of exercising and feeding the human mind with rich text and pages of storytelling. These great feats of architecture we have featured below are the integration of great design and the age old love of ancient yellow pages that have the history of the world etched in them.

The priceless treasure trove of great minds, dreamers and scholars are documented in these buildings which have been designed and built with great care in order to make them stand forever as a monument over these articles of importance like no other.

The libraries below have become an enduring tribute to impeccable design; the best décor and space construction, and art are ingrained into the floors and ceilings and wood panelling. Some of these studies have been built to attract not only readers eager to ponder over pages of food for thought, but to keep the spirit of young minds eager to see the enchanting presence of a library no digital book can recreate.

When that unique smell of worn out books, dust mingled with sunny afternoons wafts through the stone cracks of these majestic structures, people once again are transported back to the classic charm of an intimate moment spent with a satisfying story in the solitude of a hall crammed with books to the ceiling.

The National Library Of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The Admont Library, Admont, Austria

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, Usa 

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

Bibliothèque Nationale De France, Paris, France

Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-generaal Den Haag Iii, Netherlands

Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portuga

The City Libary, Stuttgart, Germany

The Iowa State Law Library, Iowa, USA

The Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, Connecticut, USA

The Old Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France

New York Public Library

Walker Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Vennesla Library, Vennesla, Norway

Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris, France

St John’s College Library, Cambridge, UK

 The Library Of Congress, Washington, D.C., USA

Technical University “gheorghe Asachi” Library, Iasi, Romania

The Great Library Of The Reformed Church College Of Sarospatak - Sarospatak, Hungary

The National Library Of China, Beijing, China

via Bored Panda

Skeleton, The One About the

An African-American girl of about 3-years-old was in our children’s area with her father. After playing for a while, she told her dad she’d like to read a book.

Dad: “Sure, which book?”

Girl [pointing to a book on display]: “The one about the skeleton.”

Dad: “Skeleton? I don’t see one about a skeleton.” 

Girl: “Yes, this one!”

She held up this book:

Dad [with a kind laugh]: “No, that isn’t a skeleton, that’s a little girl…she, um, she is pale. She has light skin.”


On the fifth floor of South Korea’s sprawling National Library is a place far more fascinating than its name suggests: The North Korea Information Center.

Here you can read every edition of North Korea’s national newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, dating to its first publication in the 1970s. Or peruse a collection of 100,000 North Korean books and videos — fiction, nonfiction and the complete teachings of the autocratic dynasty that runs the country.

In addition to political propaganda, there is also a North Korean children’s book section. And there are textbooks. (Calculus problems are exactly the same in North Korea, but the textbooks have much less color.)

“There are very few places worldwide where you can get most of this stuff that is surrounding us,” says Christopher Green, a North Korea scholar from University of Leiden, who spends a lot of his time here doing research.

Researchers know about this place, which opened in the late 1980s during a thaw in inter-Korean relations. But the library isn’t advertised. Most South Koreans have never heard of it, and they can face jail time for having these materials out in the wild.

In The Heart of Seoul, A Trove Of North Korean Propaganda

Photos: Elise Hu/NPR


Hotel In Tokyo Created As An ‘Accommodation Bookshop’

Tokyo is known for its eccentric architecture and customs, yet one new hotel has rivalled them all. The Book and Bed Tokyo hotel, which opened its welcoming doors to people looking for a good read and nap in November 2015, is a dedicated haven for readers. The hotel has been imagined by Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida, designed around the concept of the blissful moment of falling into a deep sleep that only a good story can do.

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UV Magic!

Heather Bain, a graduate student from @uicb was taking a look at some pages under UV light in order to see some faded marginalia and inscriptions. Heather is compiling information about the copy-specific features of our incunables for inclusion in the Material Evidence in Incunabula database, part of the 15cBOOKTRADE Project. 

 She was very kind to share some photos with us. Here’s what Heather had to say about it:

“As you can see, in visible light you can just barely tell that the inscriptions are there at all, but they’re much clearer under UV. I especially like the inscription in the top right margin (image uvlight) that says “Joannes 1616 emit me” or “John bought me in 1616”. There’s also an inscription from Claudius Mingron (?–not sure about his last name) from 1672, another owner’s inscription at the top, and some Latin that is unfortunately still not very legible inside the versal.

The book is a copy of the Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Varagine from 1480 (Call # BX4654 .J3 1480). The inscriptions were washed or bleached out after the book was rebound in the 18th century, as was common practice.”


PSA:  Always protect your eyes when working with UV light.

Originally posted by outdoorsculture