I’ve found a few interesting odds and ends from the websites and blogs I regularly check for library news, ranging from a new copyright search resource to a really, really neat online collection of medieval manuscripts from the British Library.
Before I go into list mode with the news items, I first want to highlight a great library news website that a coworker introduced me to: Library Technology Guides, a site run by Marshall Breeding. I’ve added the news section of Library Technology Guides to my morning news check, since it lists daily announcements from major library service and database vendors. The site also has a wealth of information about database/library service vendors, such as a database of library automation companies and a collection of guides related to industry trends and products.
Now on to library news that caught my eye from the past few weeks:
- Farewell, PubMed Commons: The NCBI Insights blog announced on February 1 that comments would no longer be accepted through PubMed Commons after February 15, and comments from PubMed Commons will no longer be visible after March 2. PubMed Commons always seemed like a really interesting idea (allowing researchers to comment on PubMed articles), but it unfortunately sounds like usage of the feature was too low to justify (“comments submitted on only 6,000 of the 28 million articles indexed in PubMed”).
- Virtual U.S. Copyright Office Card Catalog: In late January, InfoDocket described a new Virtual Card Catalog proof of concept website released by the Library of Congress (LOC), where users can browse through almost 18 million scanned images of cards in indexes from 1955-1970 and 1971-1977. The site isn’t very practical for fast, easy searching, but it sure beats actually going onsite to the Copyright Records Reading Room. I’ve written in the past about what a pain in the neck it can be searching for pre-1978 copyright registrations, so I’m very happy to see that LOC is finally making the digitized versions of the catalog cards available online (even if the viewing options are a bit clunky). To celebrate, you can browse through Walt Disney copyright registrations from 1955-1970.
- Medieval Manuscripts Online at the British Library: Information Today posted an announcement that the British Library “made 50-plus rare medieval manuscripts and early print editions freely available via its Discovering Literature: Medieval resource”, including “the single surviving manuscript of Beowulf, the first complete translation of the Bible into English, an illustrated print edition of The Canterbury Tales, and the first English-language work written by a woman.” You can also read fascinating articles analyzing the works, such as a look at Monsters and heroes in Beowulf and an incredible article describing the evolution of Old English.
So much library news (and amazing digital collections to explore), so little time.