Oxford’s online Bodleian archive: illumination for all

One way libraries are opening their secret worlds to everyone is by putting some of their most curious or majestic items online. Oxford’s Bodleian, one of Europe’s greatest and oldest libraries, is the latest to do so with digital.bodleian giving users unprecedented opportunities to browse precious volumes and their wondrous illustrations from our armchairs, if […]

Not fade away… how robots are preserving our old newspapers

In the dark void of the National Newspaper Building, the robots are afoot. Towering 20 metres high and stretching far into the distance is an imposing expanse of racks, heaving with trays bearing volume upon volume of newspapers, laid flat and strapped between metal sheets. Suddenly, an enormous autonomous crane zooms forwards, stops abruptly and, […]

France’s libraries discovering a new lease of life beyond just books

Workshops, events, exhibitions, training courses and encouraging public participation in their management have become part of libraries’ roles. In some you may talk without whispering, use a phone, eat and even play computer games. Reading has become a source of sociability and the books on offer are supposed to encourage “social cohesion”. This trend towards […]