Library

ISIS BURNS MOSUL LIBRARY, DESTROYING OVER 8,000 HISTORIC BOOKS

Wow, between the barbarians and the unfortunate series of fires, our libraries are seriously under threat right now! **DB

“ISIS BURNS MOSUL LIBRARY, DESTROYING OVER 8,000 HISTORIC BOOKS”

Mary Chastain via “Breitbart

AFP PHOTO / YOUNIS AL-BAYATI

The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) burned down the Mosul public library, which was home to over 8,000 rare books and manuscripts.

“ISIS militants bombed the Mosul Public Library,” said library director Ghanim al-Ta’an. “They used improvised explosive devices.”

The terrorists regularly destroy shrines, tombs, books, and manuscripts as they attempt to implement their caliphate over Syria and Iraq. Elderly residents begged the men not to burn the building. From Yahoo:

The former assistant director of the library Qusai All Faraj said that the Mosul Public Library was established in 1921, the same year that saw the birth of the modern Iraq. Among its lost collections were manuscripts from the eighteenth century, Syriac books printed in Iraq’s first printing house in the nineteenth century, books from the Ottoman era, Iraqi newspapers from the early twentieth century and some old antiques like an astrolabe and sand glass used by ancient Arabs. The library had hosted the personal libraries of more than 100 notable families from Mosul over the last century.

“900 years ago, the books of the Arab philosopher Averroes were collected before his eyes and burned,” said activist and blogger Rayan al-Hadidi. “One of his students started crying while witnessing the burning. Averroes told him… the ideas have wings… but I cry today over our situation.”

“What a pity!” exclaimed Akil Kata, who fled Mosul years ago. “We used to go to the library in the 1970s. It was one of the greatest landmarks of Mosul. I still remember the special pieces of paper where the books’ names were listed alphabetically.”

The militants also destroyed the church of Mary the Virgin and the Mosul University Theater on the same day.

The terrorists raided the Central Library of Mosul in December to destroy all non-Islamic books. The library was “the biggest repository of learning the northern Iraqi town.” More than likely the terrorists destroyed “Iraq newspapers dating to the early 20th century, maps and books from the Ottoman Empire, and book collections contributed by about 100 of Mosul’s establishment families.” After that raid, the militants targeted the library at the University of Mosul. They burned science and culture textbooks in front of the students.

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A million rare documents damaged in Moscow library blaze

That’s always a tragedy, the loss of books/written works is just sad 😦 **DB

“A million rare documents damaged in Moscow library blaze”

via “AFP

Moscow (AFP) – A fire that ripped through one of Russia’s largest university libraries is believed to have damaged over one million historic documents, with some describing the fire as a cultural “Chernobyl.”

The blaze, which started Friday and was still not completely out on Saturday evening, ravaged 2,000 square metres (21,500 square feet) of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences (INION) in Moscow, which was created in 1918 and holds 10 million documents with some dating back to the 16th century.

“It’s a major loss for science. This is the largest collection of its kind in the world, probably equivalent to the (United States) Library of Congress,” Vladimir Fortov, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences was quoted as saying by Russia press agencies.

“One can find documents there that are impossible to find elsewhere, all the social sciences use this library. What has happened here is reminiscent of Chernobyl,” he said referring to the 1986 nuclear catastrophe.

Fortov said about 15 percent of the collection had been damaged at the library, which includes one of the world’s richest collections of Slavic language works, but also documents from Britain, Italy and the US.

Fortov told Kommersant FM radio that much of the damage was caused by water from the firefighting operations.

No one was injured in the inferno.

The fire broke out on Friday evening on the library’s second floor and continued burning all day Saturday despite 200 firefighters’ efforts to douse the blaze.

Library authorities initially said the documents were not in danger, but once the fire caused 1,000 square metres of the roof to collapse they were less certain about the risk to the collection.

A rescue service source told state-run RIA Novosti news agency it was impossible to remove the books because of the intense heat in the building.

According to Russian media, investigators looking into the cause of the blaze suspect an electrical short-circuit was to blame.

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Curating the Digital Humanities: How to Save the Humanities With Just a Few Clicks

Curating the Digital Humanities:

How to Save the Humanities With Just a Few Clicks

by Mary Flanagan via “Ozy

Asian man in library looking at computer

“Save the books. And the film reels. The photos, the manuscripts, the letters, the maps.

These artifacts that fill our libraries threaten to sink into oblivion. But the good news? You can save them. As it turns out, the fate of media soon to be housed in the Digital Public Library of America lies in the hands of everyday Internet users, thanks to the power of crowdsourcing.  How? You just have to play (sic) little online games. 

These particular games just happen to add keywords to help organize media files like images, manuscripts, and more. Welcome to the future of digital curation: gamified Wikipedia.

The goal: to make printed words and imagery imminently findable once they’re moved from physical shelves to virtual ones. The British Library announced in 2012 that millions of cultural heritage artifacts could be effectively lost to the world if they were not put online — the photos and maps stored in boxes all around the world will simply be forgotten as we move further into our digitally connected age. 

For the generations who’ve grown up without the library as a core part of their lives, this mission might seem a strange one. But ever since the first libraries in ancient Southern Iraq started archiving clay cuniform tablets over five and a half thousand years ago, libraries have held each successive society’s greatest treasured documents and artifacts of learning and knowledge.

As vast as Google’s reach is, the mega-corp’s multiyear Book project has, to date, scanned only about 15 percent of the world’s books.

After the books and photos and manuscripts and home movies are scanned, all of that material must be labeled by name, type or category — along with a description with detailed words to help us find it. 

These archives have all the stuff Google doesn’t show you. . . . “

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“14,000 Latvians Form Human Chain to Deliver Books to New Library”

“14,000 Latvians Form Human Chain to Deliver Books to New Library”

by Sarah Dougherty via “Global Post

 

 

“On Saturday, about 14,000 people in Latvia’s capital formed a human chain of book lovers to kick off Riga’s year as a 2014 European Capital of Culture. The crowd braved icy temperatures to pass library books — by hand — from the old National Library to the new building 1.2 miles (2 km) away. As you can see from this video, there was much dancing and rejoicing:

According to the AFP, Saturday’s event recalled 1989 Baltic Way, a peaceful demonstration by citizens of the Baltics to demand independence from the Soviet Union. On Aug. 23, 1989, some 2 million people joined hands to create a massive human chain. They stretched 370 miles (600 km) and linked the Baltic capitals of Vilnius (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia) and Tallinn (Estonia). Within two years, all three countries were independent. . . . .”