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. [more inside]
You're The Expert is a live show and podcast that makes academic research fun and accessible through comedy. I appeared on a special episode taped at the Boston Book Festival in my capacity as a rare book and manuscript librarian at Harvard's Houghton Library. Also available from Stitcher or as a direct mp3 link.
We're constantly digitizing new material at my library, which is Harvard's largest for rare books and manuscripts. I post about larger collections on our blog, but I wanted to have a place to put interesting single images as well. Right now, I plan on posting one new item per day. Each image links to the record in our online catalog, for anyone who wants to know more about the source or come in to see it in person.
Our default display interface for digitized books and manuscripts uses frames (I know) and worked very poorly on mobile devices. We've just released an interface that autodetects visits from these devices and routes them to an alternative interface that is much more usable, and offers orientation awareness and gesture based page-turning and zooming . To try it, follow this link on your touchscreen device. Try it out, and please leave me any feedback you have about your experience.
I'm one of the contributors to the blog of Houghton Library, Harvard's primary repository for rare books and manuscripts. This year we've inaugurated a new feature called You've Got Mail, which highlights a letter from Houghton's collections every Friday. Posts so far have included letters from Ben Franklin, Herman Melville, Rene Descartes, and the conjoined twins Chang and Eng.