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Overdue Library Look

The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and
perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between,
surrounded by very low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably,
the upper and lower floors.

The distribution of the galleries is invariable. Twenty shelves, five long shelves
per side, cover all the sides except two; their height, which is the distance
from floor to ceiling, scarcely exceeds that of a normal bookcase. One of the
free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, identical
to the first and to all the rest….

This passage from Jose Luis Borges’ "The
Library of Babel
" has always inspired us to imagine the Ultimate
Library, with all of human knowledge and wisdom collected, preserved,
intensively cross-referenced
and instantly available to anyone, anywhere and at any time.

An article in today’s Boston
by Harvard librarian
Matthew Battle reminded us of this dream, as well as of our own favorite
Harvard librarian, that Bloggin’ Fool j (she of the Scratchpad):

of Google’s agreement, announced this month, with a host of major research
Harvard’s, where I work) to digitize their collections and make
them available on the Internet, might lead one to believe that we have
entered a final phase in the long-sought emergence of a universal library

a compendium of knowledge at once comprehensive, densely cross-referenced,
and instantly accessible.

from the Boston

~ by glasscastle on .

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