library

Bartolomeo Platina and the Vatican Library

Bartolomeo Platina and the Vatican Library

On June 15, 1475, Pope Sixtus IV issued the papal bull ‘Ad decorem militantis Ecclesiae‘ in which he regulated the complex structure of the newly founded Vatican Apostolic Library and appointed Renaissance author Bartolomeo Platina as its first head librarian. For sure you will heave heard about the famous Vatican Library and even more about the Vatican Secret Archives, which are part of the library. Even in popular culture such as Dan…
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Melvil Dewey and the Dewey Decimal System

Melvil Dewey and the Dewey Decimal System

On December 10, 1851, Melvil Dewey, librarian and inventor of the Dewey Decimal classification system for libraries, the DDC, was born. Early Years Melvil Dewey was born as Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey into a rather poor family in the upper New York state. After a school-fire, he was told to live only for one more year and became obsessed with efficiency, wherefore he gained his interest in simplified spelling early. Dewey left…
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To Preserve a Copy of each printed Book – The German National Library

To Preserve a Copy of each printed Book – The German National Library

On September 2, 1916 the opening of the ‘Deutsche Bücherei’, i.e. the German National Library, was celebrated. Founded already in 1912, the German National Library has the task of preserving at least one copy of every book in print in Germany starting 1913. The Concept of a National Library Today, almost every country has a national library for the preservation of its literary cultural heritage. A national library is a library specifically…
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Jorge Luis Borges and the Library of Babel

Jorge Luis Borges and the Library of Babel

On August 24, 1899, the famous Argentine writer and blind librarian Jorge Luis Borges was born , who is considered one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th century. He is considered to be one of the most important figure in Spanish-language literature since Cervantes. Most famous in the English speaking world for his short stories and fictive essays, Borges was also a poet, critic, translator and man of letters. “Reading … is…
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Ray Bradbury – The Illustrated Man with a Heart for Libraries

Ray Bradbury – The Illustrated Man with a Heart for Libraries

On August 22, 1920, the American novelist Ray Bradbury, best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, was born. Ray Bradbury has won every achievable writing award including the National Medal of Arts in 2004 and the National Book Foundation Medal in 2000. “We think, I’m not a fool today. I’ve learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a…
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Thomas Bodley and the Bodleian Library

Thomas Bodley and the Bodleian Library

On March 2, 1544, English diplomat and scholar Sir Thomas Bodley was born. His greatest achievement was the re-founding of the library at Oxford that was named in his honor. Moreover, he established new ideas and practices library of which also modern libraries still benefit today. The Roots of the Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford and it is one of the oldest…
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Eratosthenes and the Circumference of the Earth

Eratosthenes and the Circumference of the Earth

Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist. He was a man of learning, becoming the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He invented the discipline of geography, including the terminology used today. He is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth. “Eratosthenes of Cyrene, employing mathematical theories and geometrical methods, discovered from the course of the sun the…
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