For fun: Guess the newest addition to the OED

For fun: Guess the newest addition to the OED

Language is, among many things, ever evolving. Also fun. I mean, you have to approach it with some fun, don’t you? How many brands of humor involve words, after all?

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED for those of us on a first name/had to haul it out of the stacks into the Cremens room basis) publishes updates once a quarter– language is ever changing after all. This quarter had a fair bit of fun in it, though, as the folks at the OED celebrated the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth. So if you ever need to find a definition for frightsome, scrumptious, splendiferousness, or scrumdiddlyumtious, you’ll know where to go

New Congressional Record available to view

New Congressional Record available to view

For the political science nerds and those who love original source documents, this from the GPO:

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress (LC) to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1991-1998 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates of the 102nd thru 105th Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The Persian Gulf War
  • Bill Clinton’s Presidency
  • Enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Republicans gaining control of both the House and Senate since 1954

You can read the rest of the release here, and access the records here.

The British Library’s Greek Manuscripts Project – Medieval manuscripts blog

New digital resource alert! This one is a fun one too. The British Library launched a new website with a large collection of Greek manuscripts, including the Athenian Constitution. The political science geek in me is in raptures, of course. Beyond the digital manuscripts, they have write ups and information the manuscripts and their contents. The blog entry linked below gives a general overview, and a link to the website itself.

Happy Summer!

Graduation was this past weekend, so all was quiet on the library front to allow for a smooth celebration. For pictures be sure to check the College’s Facebook page.

Now that we are entering summer, the time has come to assess the semester and determine order of importance for our coming projects. We’ll share those here as we suss out the order and progress through the summer.

Look for more to come!

Digital Resources: Online Library of Liberty

The Library received a donation several years ago comprising a large portion of the Liberty Fund catalog. Poli sci major and history lover that I am, I could happily spend months reading my way through. I remember seeing their booth on the exhibit floor of ALA annual the year I was able to go. They had a beautiful 2 volume set of the works of James Wilson and I bought it as fast as humanly possible (And who is James Wilson? The most important founding father you’ve never heard of, and I swear I will write his biography one of these days).

At the time, they were happy to sell a set that must have accounted for a decent chunk of the shipping bill. They threw a few CDs into my bag as well, telling me it was a large portion of their collection in eBook form. I was still very much in the print only realm, so I thanked them and moved on. When I finally started to get into eBooks, I messed around with the digital library but never found a good way to get a handle on eBooks and PDFs.

Fast forward to now: Google books is my go to reader, with a heavy assist from Overdrive and the public library collection. Google, of course, will allow you to sideload PDFs into the app and there you are. Sadly, my Wilson and my CD are a country away with the rest of my book collection (to the everlasting delight of my parents, who are graciously storing said book collection.) I decided to poke around, as my cyclical interest in the American founding is picking up steam.

To my everlasting delight, the whole thing is online! And now I share it with you: The Online Library of Liberty. Don’t let my love of politics scare you away; the works available span Ancient Asia, Greece, and Rome to modern day thinkers across a variety of disciplines. You can download works in a variety of formats, including PDFs, ePubs, and Kindle format. I like the ePubs a bit better than Project Gutenberg; they’re cleaner and neater, as you’d expect from a larger organization. Project Gutenberg has, of course, a much larger range and is worth your time as well.

The Libraries of Herculaneum

A quick note to point you to the following article: The libraries of Herculaneum: Not quite destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius? The news came out a week or so ago so some of you may have already seen it, but its worth another highlight.

There are really two things worth noting. First, prior to this discovery, the first known usage of leaded ink was the 4th century. Herculaneum, of course, was destroyed in 79 AD, well before that benchmark. Second, there is the technique for reading the scrolls. Obviously you don’t try to unfold burnt paper; you really don’t try to unfold it when it was burned over 1900 years ago. Having the ability to read these scrolls would be important to our understanding of these communities as well as the Roman world at the time. Paper being a natural fiber, it doesn’t last very long. I wonder what the scrolls hold…