design


My final digital library collection resource is NYPL’s Planning Digital Projects for Historical Collections. This site provides information about the purpose of digitizing historic materials, the planning of a digital project, the selection of materials, the organization of information, and the effective delivery of the materials. It’s an older site, but I found much of the information relevant today. In particular, I agree with the statement, “Preserving and presenting the true context of the materials are critical in delivering digitized materials on the web.” Last semester, I wrote a digital project proposal for a local history collection. The physical collection consisted of hierarchical vertical file folders. Another intern and I looked for similar collections online and found this one at the Fayetteville Public Library significant as the online collection represented the structure of the physical collection.

I have posted before about library buildings and design. Yesterday, I was rifling through suggested bookmarks on Diigo and came across a few sites that I’d like to mention including a post on Curious Expeditions titled, “Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries.” Some of these I have seen, many I have not, but there are some amazing libraries pictured. Who knew Portugal harbored so many beautiful libraries? Well, I bet many of you did, but I didn’t. I think my favorite is still the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam that I’ve pointed to before.


Libsite.org is a recommendation service for library-related websites. Here you will find annotated links to library websites and online collections. In some cases, they describe any notable features or collections. In other cases, they indicate the content management system or provide a general description. Sites can be recommended by registered users, so if you want to promote a site/collection, this is one avenue.


The National Archives Experience lets users build their own collection, create pathways denoting the relationship between items, and create posters and videos with their collection materials. The materials are from the National Archives, and they include pictures and documents. They provide tags and links to related resources and media as well as lesson plans and teaching tools. I don’t usually share collections with my family unless relevant, but I did this one because it’s so cool. AND, not only did their eyes not glaze over, they wanted to see more- remarkable…

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I wandered over to the Design Observer last night and followed a long trail of cool collections. These design collections were interesting not only for their content, but I also thought about the way non-librarians (assuming that they did not enlist a librarian’s help) addressed metadata and copyright issues.

A Brooklyn design firm, Fwis, has created an online collection of book covers. This collection focuses on the design of covers. They include the designer in the metadata and the subject of comments are mainly design related. Certainly before the Internet but also sometimes now, I have chosen books based on the cover design. Some of these books I now consider favorites. Their copyright statement is a blanket one: “All covers posted are the copyright of their respective holders.”

An online archive of communication design is presented by the professional association for design, AIGA. The collection includes AIGA competition selections from categories like advertisements, commercial printing, communication graphics, and book design in the years 1924-2008. They provide a lightbox and allow users to annotate and share items in the collection. The collection can be filtered by category. Book design metadata differs depending on the item but can include information about the typographer, the printer/binder, paper, jacket designer, and engraver. I could not find any copyright statements here.

Not coming to a theater near you” presents a collection of movie credit sequences by Saul Bass. He designed the credits for movies like Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, and a few Hitchcock films. The credit images from each film are accompanied by a short description of the credits and the film itself. I found this copyright statement, “All images, unless otherwise noted, are taken from a Google image search and are used in accordance with the Fair Use Law. When optional, screen captures are taken from DVDs. Some images taken with consent from DVDBeaver.”

A collection of book trade labels is available from Seven Roads. Information about the labels include: institution (publisher, printer, binder, importer, distributer, seller), location, size, contributor, and occasionally, the history. The collection can be browsed by geography or topic. Topical collections include bibliomorphic, fauna, ships, and readers. I did not see a notice of copyright or use.

Randy Cohen and Nigel Holmes of the New York Times have created a literary map of Manhattan, indicating the location of book settings and passages on the map. There are 99 books indexed and marked from authors like Edith Wharton, Johnathon Franzen, and Mark Twain.

Lastly, I learned of an open access design journal, International Journal of Design, for anyone interested.

Access has been a recurrent theme in library school and rightfully so. Any design decisions should, of course, reflect our profession’s commitment to universal access. That said, it’s wonderful to see a space that goes beyond functional (and we’ve all been to a few libraries were the term “functional” should only be used loosely) to aesthetically pleasing. I can already hear the grumblings about funding, and undoubtedly, money allows a certain freedom to improve. On the other hand, maybe small changes could make more of an impact on the environment than one might think. Kimberly Boylan at WebJunction has a few ideas and not all of them require a fat bank account.

So, I may never have the opportunity to work here:

bnf-paris.jpg

or here:

rijkmuseum-amsterdam.jpg

photo credits: nonist

but I know I will be thinking about feasible ways to enhance my place of work.