In 2016, John’s Hopkins University Press received a $938,000 grant courtesy of The Andrew Mellon Foundation, which allowed them the funds to continue building an Open Access (OA) platform for monographs in humanities and social sciences.
This was all part of MUSE Open, a non-profit organization aimed at making scholarly texts, journals, articles, and more readily accessible. The organization was founded in 1995 and, in the past twenty-three years, has teamed up with nearly 300 publishers to make works from all categories available online.
via Project MUSE
This is vital because people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to read and learn from these texts have been given a platform to do exactly that.
In April, Johns Hopkinsreceived another grant for $200,000 from both The Andrew Mellon Foundation and The National Endowment for the Humanities which will allow them to take over 200 out-of-print works and release them back into the world via MUSE.
Expanding their database to include texts that were previously out-of-print will give these books new life and allow them to be seen again for the first time in years.
Johns Hopkins has taken the lead on this, but maybe in the future we’ll see more out-of-print works raised from the dead, along with other Open Access platforms making texts accessible for all!
Here at Bookstr, we’re all about making you wiser, and sometimes richer. Here’s why free virtual libraries are our newest obsession, and now, they’re going to be your kid’s newest obsession too.
The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature at the University of Florida contains more than 130,000 books and periodicals published in the United States and Great Britain from the mid-1600s to the present day. The library also has manuscript collections, original artwork, and assorted ephemera such as board games, puzzles, and toys. They have put 6,000 children’s books online, for free.
Image Via UFDC.com
Children’s literature didn’t make much headway until the 1700s, before which time it was pretty scarce. During the Middle Ages, few children’s books were published at all. The earliest children’s books came about in the early 18th century, before which they were mostly instructive moral tales, usually of a pious nature and written in Latin. The first book written purely for children’s pleasure reading was John Newbery’sA Little Pretty Pocket-Book, which was published in 1744.
The popularity of children’s literature owes a lot to the advent of illustration. Illustration became an indispensable feature of children’s books, so much so that an entirely new genre was created: the picture book, a form that continues to dominate twentieth century juvenile publishing today.
Image Via Wikipedia
If reading bed time stories is a ritual in your home, then you may benefit from the thousands of options this online library offers to keep the little ones occupied on the go, or just before bed.
What books helped you become who you are? What books do you reach for to help you disconnect from your daily life? What books do you recommend most often to friends? What books do you find yourself taking off the bookshelf again and again? What books have helped you Thrive? What classic books should we be rediscovering? And what are you reading right now?
These are the questions Arianna Huffington and her new online community Thrive Library have for you. In an introductory post on the newly established website, Huffington says, “I’m thrilled to announce the Thrive Library, where we’ll discuss books that have inspired us, moved us, encouraged us, and given us insight, solace, courage, strength and wisdom.”
So what is Thrive Library? It’s an online forum featuring interviews, excerpts and conversations relating to books old and new. Huffington states:
Because the power of books is so enduring, we’re not going to limit the conversation to current releases or whatever the hot new book of the moment is—the Thrive Library is going to be more timeless than timely. We want to revisit, rediscover and learn from the amazing and compelling stories of the past—from the classics to the underrated or undiscovered gems that should be classics. So in the Thrive Library you can find great excerpts of books both old and new. And we’ll also be featuring conversations with authors on Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.
In the post, Huffington talks about the enduring power of books, and how, contrary to popular belief, print book sales are on the rise, “with 674 million books sold in the U.S. alone in 2016.”
Thrive Library, which aims to create an online community to discuss and engage with books old and new, is partnering with Book of the Month “to create a home for this rich conversation.” Read the full statement here! Thrive is asking you to email Zoe at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers to their questions about your book habits, book loves and book longings. Get involved!
You no longer have to travel to the Museo del Prado in Madrid to see Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, as it just became less earthly and more digital with the creation of an interactive documentary that is available to everyone online. This is the internet we have dreamed of, people!
Image Via Wikimedia Commons
In a web interface the visitor will be taken on an audio-visual journey of the triptych oil painting to the position of their choice. Music, video, and high resolution images are included to enrich the storytelling of this very famous piece of art, dating from 1490 to 1510.
The project was created by photographers, filmmakers, and art historians as part of an upcoming documentary by Pieter van Huijstee, titled Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil. The painting can be explored in incredible detail down to its most minute brush strokes. In total, through its series of audio essays, it describes over forty areas of the painting.
For example, if you want to know why Bosch painted such gruesome images on the third panel, then all you have to do is zoom in and click on a text logo. Something like this will appear, audibly or visually explaining the part of the painting in depth:
Image Via tuinderlusten-jheronimusbosch.ntr.nl
The body of another figure is pierced by the strings of an enormous harp. On top of the hurdy-gurdy sits a blind beggar. One more turn of the handle and the triangle-playing lady will lose her head. An ominous-looking fabled animal is beating the drum, while inside a man is trapped crying out in fear.
The church disapproved of anything other than religious music. Allowing spontaneous music-making would only lead to secular dancing and debauchery. No longer sources of amusement and pleasure, these musical instruments have been turned into instruments of torture. The sinner is punished and tortured with the very objects that lead to lewd and lascivious behaviour.
Visitors can treat the website like a book on a bookshelf, with the option of opening it up and putting it back at their leisure and reading about different stages of the painting whenever they want. The image is in such high resolution that you can zoom in to your heart’s content and learn what life was like in the late Middle Ages, and in particular what role religion played in the daily lives of those featured in the masterpiece.
New York’s Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn (1968), a famous fantasy novel, has called the painting an “erotic derangement that turns us all into voyeurs, a place filled with the intoxicating air of perfect liberty.” With the artist having been 40 to 60-years-old while creating this piece, artists and students over the years have interpreted the intricate symbolism of the artwork as a dire warning on the perils of life’s temptations or an evocation of ultimate sexual satisfaction. Either way, what we are seeing is pretty kooky.
Image Via tuinderlusten-jheronimusbosch.ntr.nl
The perfect remedy for attempting to teach art history online seems to have arrived and we are impatiently waiting for the next interactive painting to be revealed.