Happy International Archives Day!



Preserving Iraq’s Heritage


„Babylon is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and famous for its Hanging Gardens, Babylon is also home to Ishtar Gate and the Lion of Babylon, a national icon. It’s a site in Iraq that we, at the World Monuments Fund, have been conserving for more than a decade. And now, you can explore it, too.

Today, World Monuments Fund has joined forces with Google Arts & Culture to bring you Preserving Iraq’s Heritage, an online exhibit showcasing the unique stories of Iraq’s endangered heritage sites and the extraordinary efforts to preserve them. „

Habermas on blogs

„Internet has already opened up millions of useful niches of subcultures where trustworthy information and sound opinions are being exchanged. – not just the scientific blogs whose academic work is amplified by this means, but also, for example, [forums] for patients who suffer a rare disease and can now get in touch with others in the same situation on another continent to share advice and experience. There are undoubtedly great communication benefits and not just for increasing the speed of stock trading and speculation.“


Negative effect of paywalls on science


In 1942, the US Book Republication Program permitted American publishers to reprint „exact reproductions“ of Germany’s scientific texts without payment; seventy-five years later, the fate of this scientific knowledge forms the basis of a „natural experiment“ analysed by Barbara Biasi and Petra Moser for The Center for Economic and Policy Research, who compare the fate of these texts to their contemporaries who didn’t have this semi-public-domain existence.

Here’s the headline finding: „This artificial removal of copyright barriers led to a 25% decline in prices, and a 67% increase in citations. These results suggest that restrictive copyright policies slow down the progress of science considerably.“

Ireland Illustrated, 1680-1860


„Ireland Illustrated, 1680-1860, is a database of over 500 images of Ireland, with accompanying text, drawn from more than 50 manuscript and printed works, and highlighting several neglected or rarely accessible sources.“


The Munch Museum in Oslo publishes more than 7,600 drawings online for free


„The Munch Museum in Oslo has published more than 7,600 of the artist’s drawings online, making them free to access for any purpose—even merchandising. The three-year project to digitise the works, billed as a digital catalogue raisonné, responds to a wider call for museums to waive image fees for works in their collections that are out of copyright.“


Reconstruction of the Gottschalk Antiphonal

Lisa Fagin Davis: „I am very pleased to debut my Fragmentarium reconstruction of the Gottschalk Antiphonal, the manuscript that was the subject of my dissertation and first book:


The Gottschalk Antiphonal was written and illustrated in the late twelfth century by the scribe/artist/monk Gottschalk of Lambach and was used at the Lambach abbey for several centuries. Along with many other early manuscripts, It was broken for binding scrap in the late fifteenth century, and its leaves were used as flyleaves, pastedowns, and spine-liners for books found at the Abbey bindery. During World War II, many of the leaves were removed from the bindings and sold as a way to raise money for a new wood lathe for the abbey. The leaves are now scattered and have been identified at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, the St. Louis Public Library, a hotel in Badgastein (Austria), the abbey of St. Paul im Lavanttal, and in Lambach itself (although the leaves that were bound into incunables there as late as 1998 have now vanished and are represented in my reconstruction by my old black-and-white photographs).

As recently as 2016, an offset of a leaf of the Antiphonal was found in an incunable belonging to the Beinecke Library (ironically, it was there while I was working on my thesis at Yale, but it was only during a recent survey of the bindings by Elizabeth Hebbard (Indiana Univ.) that the offset was photographed and identified). The missing leaf was consecutive with one of the leaves at Harvard, and I have added a manipulated image of the offset to my Fragmentarium reconstruction.

For those of you who care about such things, it is worth noting that images of the two leaves at Harvard have been imported directly into Fragmentarium using a persistent IIIF url. The other images were uploaded as individual JPGs.

When I first studied the manuscript in the early 1990s, I did it with scissors and paste and black-and-white photocopies on the floor of my living room. It is truly thrilling to see it in glorious IIIF-compliant interoperable color in Fragmentarium! I hope that it will complement the liturgical, art historical, and musicological study in my book: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/music/nineteenth-century-music/gottschalk-antiphonary-music-and-liturgy-twelfth-century-lambach

Blogpost coming soon…“ (EXLIBRIS-L)

2018, May 22: Link of blogpost added.

A Caxton for the Fisher

„Toronto‘s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library recently announced the acquisition of a copy of Caxton’s 1481 Cicero (GW 6992; cf. http://gesamtkatalogderwiegendrucke.de/docs/GW06992.htm), see https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-library-acquires-oldest-english-language-book-canada. Congratulations!

Speaking of incunabula acquisitions, may I hereby renew my appeal: All institutions, libraries, museums, archives, that acquire (or find, or inherit) incunabula copies are very kindly asked to report these acquisitions to both the GW and to the ISTC. Many colleagues in the US and elsewhere are already doing it, and we are very grateful for that; alas, many others don’t. An e-mail saying “We just bought a copy of GW 6992” is completely sufficient! It may enormously increase the visibility of your holdings, whereas newly acquired copies listed in an OPAC – and only in an OPAC – will more often than not remain hidden from the scholarly community at large.

Thanks, Falk

Dr. Falk Eisermann“


USA: National Archives publishes online dashboard of its investigations into lost, altered or destroyed public records



New regulations for consulting manuscripts of the British Library

„Applications to view restricted manuscripts should be submitted in triplicate, on parchment, written in medieval Latin. Readers are advised to write clearly, preferably in uncial script. Applications in cursive minuscule will be rejected.“


Evidence of Open Access of scientific publications in Google Scholar: a large-scale analysis

Working Paper by Alberto Martín-Martín et al.: https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.06161

„This article uses Google Scholar (GS) as a source of data to analyse Open Access (OA) levels across all countries and fields of research. All articles and reviews with a DOI and published in 2009 or 2014 and covered by the three main citation indexes in the Web of Science (2,269,022 documents) were selected for study. The links to freely available versions of these documents displayed in GS were collected. To differentiate between more reliable (sustainable and legal) forms of access and less reliable ones, the data extracted from GS was combined with information available in DOAJ, CrossRef, OpenDOAR, and ROAR. This allowed us to distinguish the percentage of documents in our sample that are made OA by the publisher (23.1%, including Gold, Hybrid, Delayed, and Bronze OA) from those available as Green OA (17.6%), and those available from other sources (40.6%, mainly due to ResearchGate). The data shows an overall free availability of 54.6%, with important differences at the country and subject category levels.“

A non-documented method to search documents by their DOI in Google Scholar:

See also https://archivalia.hypotheses.org/71024


„RootsFinder is a free family tree that makes research easy with hints to records on multiple websites, including FamilySearch and Findmypast, and a web clipper browser extension that saves data-entry time and increases accuracy by automatically copying web-based records directly into your tree.“



„Our current publication system is poorly set up to correct papers“