Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries

„Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is an emerging method that allows libraries to loan print books to digital patrons in a “lend like print” fashion. Through CDL, libraries use technical controls to ensure a consistent “owned-to-loaned” ratio, meaning the library circulates the exact number of copies of a specific title it owns, regardless of format, putting controls in place to prevent users from redistributing or copying the digitized version. When CDL is appropriately tailored to reflect print book market conditions and controls are properly implemented, CDL may be permissible under existing copyright law. CDL is not intended to act as a substitute for existing electronic licensing services offered by publishers. Indeed, one significant advantage of CDL is addressing the “Twentieth Century Problem” of older books still under copyright but unlikely ever to be offered digitally by commercial services.“

Signatories to the Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries include:

Authors Alliance
Digital Public Library of America
Duke University Libraries
Internet Archive
UC Berkeley Library
California Digital Library

On the Digital Lending Feature of the Internet Archive see here:

See also

Edward III And Philippa Of Hainault’s marriage contract goes up for sale

„The 1326 marriage contract between Edward III and Philippa of Hainault will be going up for sale at auction later this month. It is expected to be sold for between £100,000-150,000.“

„Legally Binding“ exhibition now online

„A number of people have expressed interest in seeing images from the Yale Library’s current exhibition, „Legally Binding: Fine & Historic Bindings from the Yale Law Library.“ Images are now available in the „Legally Binding“ album on our Flickr site, at

For several of the books, there are images of both the front and rear covers. Clicking on an individual image brings up a downloadable image plus the text from the exhibit label. There is also a link to the „Legally Binding“ album in a recent post for the Yale Law Library Rare Books Blog…
… together with links to related resources, including „Bookbindings on Incunables: The Scott Husby Database at Princeton University Library,“, which kindly gave permission to use its images of our books.“ (EXLIBRIS-L)


For an overseer of Roman prisons, ca. 1720

News from Old Books

„An intriguing, previously unknown 13th-century version of a tale featuring Merlin and King Arthur has been discovered in the archives of Bristol central library.

The seven handwritten fragments of parchment were unearthed bound inside an unrelated volume of the work of a 15th- century French scholar.

Written in Old French, they tell the story of the Battle of Trèbes, in which Merlin inspires Arthur’s forces with a stirring speech and leads a charge using Sir Kay’s special dragon standard, which breathes real fire.

The fragments are believed to be a version of the Estoire de Merlin – the story of Merlin – from the Old French sequence of texts known as the Vulgate Cycle or the Lancelot-Grail Cycle.“


The Bodleian Library in Oxford announced its acquisition of a rare, fifteenth-century French Gothic coffer, or book chest, once used for the transportation of books.


Historic ‘Dublin Apocalypse’ manuscript (saec. XIV) goes online


The Oldest Surviving Printed Advertisement in English (London, 1477)


The ARK Identifier Scheme is a joke

Answer by the British Library:

„“I think there may be some confusion about what an ARK is.

The use of ARK identifiers does not require participation in external ARK resolvers. Please see the specification for details but specifically, the discussion around the Name Mapping Authority Hostport (NMAH, 2.1)

As you can see from the site itself,, the British Library is not currently a partner in their project, and our ARKs cannot therefore resolve through it.”

A persistent identifier scheme accepting only local resolvers ist for me nothing but a joke.

About ARKs:

URL isn’t working!

Answer of the British Library regarding the not working BL-link of the London/Paris cooperative project:

„Please contact the site owner concerning broken links.

You may view the full manuscript on the British Library website at:„“

Bad suggestions regarding Plan S

MIT representatives and Peter Suber for Harvard have bad ideas for the future of Open Access:

They dilute the strengths of Plan S by unnecessarily putting green Open Access at the forefront.

„Without a reasonable green OA option, early-career researchers will be torn between the demands of their funders and the demands of their promotion and tenure committees.“ I have no sympathy for that. These people need to change their attitude.

Green OA has serious disadvantages. Green OA is OA by the grace of the publisher. From the point of view of the humanities only the version of record is acceptable. Why should publishers accept a free competitive offer to well-paid gold open access if green open access does not have significant disadvantages?

„Reduce the barrier to meeting the green OA requirements by allowing Creative Commons licenses other than CC-BY and CC-BY-SA.“ NO! Libre OA is a core feature of OA, and ten thousands of articles are published each year under the default license CC-BY. It is generally accepted that it best fits the relevant definitions. BOAI 10 says very clear: “ We recommend CC-BY or an equivalent license as the optimal license for the publication, distribution, use, and reuse of scholarly work“. See also my statement in 2012:

„While immediate OA is a laudable goal, the existing language leaves no room for inevitable logistical delays in obtaining and depositing articles.“ This is nonsense. I do not think that any funder will reject deposits with a short delay (1 month or so). Accepted Author Manuscripts (AAM) are available at an early point of the publishing process, and if a Version of Record is allowed funders will likely very happy to wait a short time. If a delay is accepted no funder will ask for the reason of the delay to avoid bureaucracy. One can foresee that It ends with an embargo of 6 months.

“including the early view version.” – this refers to publisher’s practice not to author’s preprints. The statement focuses on unimportant details. I have the impression the authors want to intentionally misunderstand the Plan S.

With a career veto nothing but nothing will change at all.

Plan S accepts AAMs – no small concession, unfortunately not only for a transitional period.

Plan S will immediate OA. MIT and Suber are saying: oh no, not really immediate in all cases.

Plan S will libre OA with the default license CC-BY. MIT and Suber are against that.

Gold OA is extremely expensive, and the conditions for green, the free alternative, are dictated by the publishers. Green is a ladder that you have to throw away when you reach a new level (Wittgenstein’s ladder).

Crowdsourcing: business records of W O Oldman, a British collector and dealer in ethnographic art

„William O. Oldman was an early 20^th century British dealer who sold
many collections to museums and collectors around the world.

The National Museum of the American Indian initiated a collaborative
project with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to digitize the
Oldman ledgers and make digital images accessible to the public. Te Papa
has digitized five Oldman sale registers and two collection ledgers
dating from 1902 to 1916. These collaborative research materials are now
available for review on the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archive
. Since the ledgers date from the early 20th century and are
handwritten, they have also begun a Smithsonian Transcription Center
project to have them transcribed . You can
read about the project here

Also, here is a blog the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
posted about the

Oldman sold many types of ethnographic art (Oceania, African, Native
American), archaeology (the Americas and Europe), and European weaponry
among other items so these ledgers are relevant to many types of
collections. Once these ledgers are transcribed, they will be easily
searchable for collectors and institution names and may provide
invaluable provenance information.“ (Museum-L)

Proteomics of Medieval Manuscripts

Some excerpts:

„In recent years, proteomic studies of art works and archeological remains have yielded biological information of startling clarity, revealing gossamer-thin layers of fish glue on seventeenth-century religious sculptures and identifying children’s milk teeth from pits of previously unrecognizable Neolithic bones. In 2008, researchers were able to sequence the proteins of a harbor seal that remained on the surface of six-hundred-year-old cooking pots found at an Inuit site in northern Alaska. Three years later, chemists found a hundred and twenty-six different proteins in a mammoth femur. With new proteomic techniques emerging constantly, the field has a heady, chaotic atmosphere of possibility. […]

Righetti was elated to see seven-hundred-and-fifty-year-old proteins showing up clearly in the data. He described the findings in a paper, which added to the small but growing literature about the proteomics of medieval manuscripts. […]

Seventy-five years after his death, Bulgakov’s molecules were all over his papers, and Zilberstein had found them, while leaving the documents intact. “This was the opening of the Ali Baba cavern,” Righetti told me. […]

Since 2011, Collins has used the rubbings to gather biological information about medieval European cattle, sheep, and goats. He calls his work “bio-codicology”—an updated form of the traditional study of physical manuscripts. […]

I showed a draft of Righetti’s paper to Ulinka Rublack, a history professor at the University of Cambridge, who is an authority on Kepler’s life and writing. She, too, was unconvinced. Unlike Brahe, who was a wealthy aristocrat, Kepler was always hard up, and he avoided working with his hands, an unlikely combination for an alchemist.“

European funders detail their open-access plan

„Plan S, the contentious plan that a group of European science funders hopes will end scholarly journals’ paywalls, has fleshed out its rules—and softened its tone a bit. In seven pages of implementation guidance released today, the funders explain how their grantees can abide by Plan S rules come 2020, when it goes into effect.“ (Sciencemag)