Boston College Sponsors New Open Access Bibliography

The Boston College Jesuit Bibliography, an open access resource created by Boston College faculty and library staff in collaboration with Brill Publishers, is now available in an early release version. BC is providing the funds to make it freely available.

Edited by Prof. Robert Maryks, Associate Director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College, this comprehensive online bibliography covers books, book chapters, journal articles and book reviews pertaining to the exponentially growing field of Jesuit Studies. In addition to basic bibliographic information, entries include (English) abstracts, detailed subject headings, direct links to items available in electronic format where available, and a link to an item’s WorldCat entry.

A more extensive description is available on the Brill website.

Digital Treasures from the National Library of Scotland

JamesVIJust hours after the result of the historic referendum where a majority of Scots voted to retain the union with the United Kingdom, it might be opportune to consider one of Scotland’s great institutions, its national library. The National Library of Scotland is the country’s largest library. In addition to over 15 million printed items, it contains seven million manuscripts, two million maps, over 32,000 films, and 25,000 newspaper and magazine titles. It also has an outstanding number of digital projects which cover a broad variety of subject areas. Brief mention may be made of Jacobite Prints and Broadsides, a collection of portraits of people and illustrations of events relating to the Jacobite Rebellions in Scotland in 1715 and 1745-1746. Gazetteers of Scotland, 1803-1901 is a digitized collection of 20 volumes of the most popular descriptive gazetteers of 19th-century Scotland, covering towns, counties, parishes, glens and more. The Word on the Street is a collection of about 1,800 broadsides that informed and entertained Scots between 1650 and 1910. There is an Early Gaelic Book Collection of several hundred books in Gaelic and other Celtic languages, plus works about the Gaels, their languages, literature, culture and history. There is also a digitized copy of the very rare Gutenberg Bible, the first book to be printed with moveable type. Especially interesting perhaps, on this day after the referendum, is the website James VI and the Union of the Crowns which explores the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603.  Numerous other fascinating projects are available on the National Library of Scotland’s Digital Gallery page.

Siegfried Sassoon’s War Diaries Published Online

"The Soul of an Officer"

From today, almost 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany, the First World War diaries of the poet, writer and soldier Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1867) are freely available online. Cambridge University Library, holder of the world’s richest assemblage of Sassoon’s manuscripts and archival papers, has digitized 23 of his journals and two of his wartime poetry notebooks.

The digitisations make available online for the first time 23 of Sassoon’s journals from the years 1915-27 and 1931-32, as well as two poetry notebooks from 1916-18 containing rough drafts and fair copies of some of his best-known war poems. Sassoon wrote in a small and legible hand, frequently using his notebooks from both ends. The images of them are both powerful and evocative, showing mud from the trenches and spilled wax, presumably as he sat writing in his dug-out by candlelight.

Access to the Sassoon Journals at Cambridge Digital Library.

P.S. Burns Library has an original manuscript of Sassoon entitled AN UNWRITTEN ESSAY ON SATIRE, as well as letters to Katherine Kendall.


Important James Joyce Collection Digitized

joyceThe National Library of Ireland has digitized and made freely available the important James Joyce collection owned by the Zurich James Joyce Foundation. This significant collection, the Hans E. Jahnke Bequest, is valuable for revealing a more personal aspect of Joyce. The collection includes “[l]etters of a personal nature to Joyce’s son Giorgio, daughter-in-law Helen, and Georgio and Helen concerning everyday matters such as health and weather, offers from publishers as well as Lucia Joyce and her illness. Joyce’s marriage to Nora Barnacle in London and the Frankfurter Zeitung affair are also addressed. There are also some letters to Joyce’s grandson, Stephen, and to the Joyce family in general. Papers on Joyce’s work consist of notes and galley proofs from Finnegans Wake and one sheet from a fair copy of the Circe episode from Ulysses, fair copies of poems from Pomes Penyeach as well as other autographs and typescripts.”

DPLA wins award to simplify rights structure


The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) announced today that it has received $300,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight News Challenge, an open contest seeking ideas that strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation. Selected from more than 650 applicants, DPLA’s “Getting it Right on Rights” project will create a simplified and more coherent rights structure for digital items, making access to, and use of, items found in large-scale digital collections like DPLA easier and more straightforward for users.

From the award application:

In ONE sentence, tell us about your project to strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation.
Working with a global set of expert practitioners, copyright lawyers, and metadata specialists, we will establish a common system of rights and a neutral international namespace for the scanned contents of libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage sites so that the maximal number of items from these institutions can be made available to the public, with clear designations around use and reuse.

Open Access Map Collection


Trace the past with NY Public Library’s Open Access Maps Project

GPS can’t quite capture the beauty of historical maps. Thanks to the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division at the New York Public Library, 20,000 high-res maps are now available for download.

For over 15 years, the Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division at the New York Public Library has been scanning maps from all over the world including those of the Mid-Atlantic United States from 16th to 19th centuries and even topographic maps of Austro-Hungarian empire ranging from 1877 and 1914.

New Fagel Maps Project to Bring Golden Age of Exploration to Life

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin are developing an interactive website, Fagel Maps, featuring thousands of magnificent pre-1800 maps. This open access Fagel Maps project will comprise 10,000 maps including battle plans, urban streetscapes and architectural drawings. “The website will allow users to view the maps as an image gallery with full zoom functions and also via a Google Maps interface which will overlay these early modern maps on modern topography. The Google interface will include a ‘time’ feature which will allow users to drill down through maps of the same area drawn up at different periods to explore how the area developed. The website will also incorporate a number of novel visualisation tools including 3-D modelling of selected battle plans and urban streetscapes.” For more information see TCD’s press release.

Below is a brief video on the Fagel Maps Project:

California Digital Newspaper Collection

californianewspapersToday’s Scout Report rightly brings attention to a very useful newspaper digitization project. It’s the California Digital Newspaper Collection, a freely accessible repository of digitized California newspapers from 1846 to the present. The collection currently contains 61,412 issues comprising 545,955 pages and 6,364,529 articles. Included is the first California newspaper, the Californian, and the first daily California newspaper, the Daily Alta California. Though the bulk of the content only goes up to 1922, the collection also contains issues of several current California newspapers that are part of a pilot project to preserve and provide access to contemporary papers.

The Shelley-Godwin Archive

frankensteinThe first phase of the Shelley-Godwin Archive has just opened.  It consists of a digitized version of all the known manuscripts of Frankenstein. These manuscripts consist of the disbound pages from five notebooks of Mary Shelley. The ongoing goal of the Archive is to add to this digital Frankenstein and provide the digitized manuscripts of all the literary works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, “bringing together online, as for the first time ever the widely dispersed handwritten legacy of this uniquely gifted family of writers.”