Magazine article American Libraries

Global Reach

Magazine article American Libraries

Global Reach

Article excerpt

UNITED KINGDOM 1

The British Library is embarking on a major project with its collection of medieval and Renaissance royal illuminated manuscripts, which will culminate in the first-ever exhibition of the collection in 2011-12. In 1757, King George II presented approximately 1,950 manuscripts from the royal library to the newly founded British Museum; they survive as the largest collection of medieval and Renaissance paintings owned by English monarchs.--British Library, Aug. 4.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

SWITZERLAND 2

Some 20,000 books damaged in a June 29 fire that spread through a wing of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, have been freeze-dried in an effort to save them. About 30,000 other books, which were not as thoroughly soaked, were dried out by ventilators. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire, which took place during the widely watched European Football Championship.--La Tribune de Geneve, July 1-4.

MALI 3

Timbuktu, once the site of the world's southernmost Islamic university, harbors thousands upon thousands of long-forgotten manuscripts. But its legacy is beginning to fade. Roughly a dozen academic institutions are now involved in saving and evaluating the documents. The French are developing a database, while the United States has donated a device to digitize the damaged documents. The Norwegian cities of Oslo and Bergen are training locals to become conservators.--Der Spiegel, Aug. 1.

SOUTH AFRICA 4

A state-of-the-art R374-million ($47.7 million U.S.) new home for the National Library of South Africa opened August 1 in Pretoria. The building design was a joint venture between Jeremie Malan Architects, Impendulo Architects, and Gandhi Maseko Architects. The facility is 10 times larger than the previous space and offers quality climate control for rare materials. …

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