how to destroy special collections with social media

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Rare Book School to deliver a talk in their 2015 lecture series. It was the last week of their summer season in Charlottesville, the week when the Descriptive Bibliography course (aka “boot camp”) was in full swing, and the weather was in all its hot, glorious humidity. I wanted to keep things light as well as make some points I feel very strongly about: the importance of librarians and researchers using social media to help sustain special collections libraries.

Below are the slides and my notes for my July 29th talk. Since RBS records and shares the audio of their talks (go browse through past RBS lectures and listen!) I have, with their permission, also embedded the audio of my talk here so that you can listen and read along if you’d like (there are some variations between the two, though nothing substantive—I’ll leave you to decide which is the authoritative version…). § continue reading

Carnivalesque 103

Welcome to Carnivalesque 103! Carnivalesque is, in its own words, “an interdisciplinary blog carnival dedicated to pre-modern history (to c. 1800 C.E.)” and I’m delighted to play host for this issue.

If you’ve spent any time doing research into the past, you know the frustrations of not being able to find what you’re looking for. If you’re lucky, you’re as smart and interesting as Alun Withey and you can use that experience to strengthen your sense of possibilities. In “The Agony and the Ecstasy: Hunting for 17th-century medics with few sources!” (a post on his eponymous blog), Withey tells us about the difficulties in tracking down early modern Welsh medics. § continue reading

carnivalesque 86

Hello, and welcome to Carnivalesque 86, the early modern edition! Step right up for a look at things small and large in the world of early modern blogs.

I’ve been puzzling through the relationship between the fairly new field of big data in the humanities and what might be its opposite, small data, and so many of the posts that caught my attention are ones that are navigating between individual objects and networks of data. One of the objections that I have to big data is that I’m drawn to the ephemeral and the hard-to-measure. In “Early printed book contains rare evidence of medieval spectacles,” The Harry Ransom Center’s Cultural Compass blog takes a look at that trickiest of ephemera, not the object itself but the traces it left behind. § continue reading

why blog once when you can blog twice or even thrice?

A quick update for those of you who have missed my online promotions: I am now in charge of a new blog at work, The Collation: a gathering of scholarship from the Folger Shakespeare Library. It is what it says it is, a blog authored by staff and scholars at the Folger that shares research and resources at the Library in terms that are accessible to the general public and of interest to scholars. If you’re interested in the early modern aspects of what I write here, you’ll like The Collation, too. But it’s not all early modern! We’ll be touching on aspects of librarianship, digital curation, theatre history, and humanities research. § continue reading

UPDATE: commenting problems FIXED!

UPDATE: w00t! I think I’ve now solved the commenting glitch by returning to the hideous pop-out comments as opposed to embedded comments. The important thing is not the beauty of the design but that you can share your wisdom with me! So please do!

You can ignore what follows, except that if you find you are having problems, please email me at the address given below so that I can try to fix it!

I think the blogging powers that be are angry with me for being a once-a-month poster! But whatever the reason, there’s some sort of bug affecting the ability for some of you to sign in and leave comments. § continue reading

Why I blog, or, Why you should blog

Not only have I not posted in nearly a month (sorry!), I’ve missed my own blogiversary! That’s right, Wynken de Worde has been up and running for over a year now, which in blog years might mean we’ve hit cranky adolescence. Because this is a celebration, I’ll try to keep the crankiness to a minimum, although some of it is to my point.

I started this blog largely because I wanted to be able to direct students toward an example of what studying “early modern book history” might entail. In order to get students into my courses, I have to reach out to them and get them excited enough that they want to apply for it. § continue reading