A Random Walk Through The Library of Congress: LOC Serendipity
March 10, 2019 3:12 PM   Subscribe

A Random Walk Through The Library of Congress: LOC Serendipity
The Library of Congress contains vast troves of digital resources. LOC Serendipity is a website that simulates the experience of exploring a library and skimming eye-catching or interesting titles. From books like, "Dainty dishes for slender incomes," which contains a delicious recipe for beignets, to the oddball early-1800's "Memoirs of the notorious Stephen Burroughs of New Hampshire" to "The forgotten book," published in 2018, this tool enables serendipitous and deeply engaging discovery every day.

This website contains a group of serendipitous finds in the Library of Congress, and a third column that loads random content based on randomly generated LCCN IDs. With each refresh, and for each user, the content is different. Links to find content at the Library of Congress, Amazon, and Google Books are included with each entry.
Role: Programmer, Designer, Creator
posted by metasunday (3 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by mandolin conspiracy on April 5, 2019: A Random Walk Through The Library of Congress

Wow, this is such a cool idea! Thank you for making this. I anticipate many happy hours spent reading.
posted by daisyk at 9:24 AM on March 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks daisyk! I have updated the website to avoid bombarding the LOC server with JSON requests, which caused some difficulties in functionality (and the LOC catalog's proper function). The updated site now has links only to full-text sources. There are over 200,000 such full-text open sources, so every click brings new books. Thanks to all for visiting!
posted by metasunday at 10:01 PM on March 26, 2019

Dear metasunday

I have used and enjoyed LOC Serendipity since I saw this post. Almost endless walks down the digital bookshelves - randomly opening books, eyeing the contents, images, tables of content.

So much enjoyment!

I want to say thank you for opening this window into the Library of Congress.

(I also want to report that as of June 2024, the website for LOC Serendipity is not reachable.)
posted by Rabarberofficer at 9:48 AM on June 30

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