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Re: [ANE-2] re: Open Access publication - A view from the trenches

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  • hfeltham@bigpond.net.au
    At least there s a fair chance the books will be there to be found. Out here in Australia even interlibrary loan can t always provide a solution, and the
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 24, 2006
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      At least there's a fair chance the books will be there to be found. Out here in Australia even interlibrary loan can't always provide a solution, and the explanation that there just isn't the demographic base to acquire the books you want leaves you desperate, frustrated, or with a six weeks later delivery and an enormous overseas currency bill. At least the stacks are open, though.

      Heleanor Feltham
      IIS UTS

      ---- "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...> wrote:
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: victor avigdor hurowitz <victor@...>
      > To: Peter T. Daniels <grammatim@...>
      > Cc: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 8:00:34 AM
      > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] re: Open Access publication - A view from the trenches
      >
      >
      > Dear Peter,
      > I'm sure that here on ANE you will find many, many probrowsing
      > sympathizers. My own adage is "the book you really need will always be
      > next to the one you're looking for". Unfortunately librarians seem not to
      > appreciate how people look and find things and force us into catalogues,
      > lists, etc, anything but hands on contact with the books. Every gambler
      > knows there is no "system" which will guarantee winning all the time; but
      > librarians figure that by introducing more and more search methods and
      > instruments order will some how produce better results than random, hit or
      > miss browsing.
      > Best, Victor
      >
      > ******* reply starts here *******
      >
      > Just last week, I had occasion to visit the NYPL's innermost inner sanctum of Rare Bookitude, the Arents Collection (in connection with a reissue about to appear from Gorgias Press -- they have the only copy known to me of the original monthly-installment issue of a set of plates and commentaries that in its book versions, from 1838ff., is now enormously expensive in the antiquarian market), and the Curator (she isn't even a rare books or special collections librarian!) did her very best to dissuade me from requesting the originals, saying that they have other copies of the book version.
      >
      > Well, I've already made use of the book version! We borrowed the Princeton University copy, and we already had a complete pdf of the Rutgers University copy (but they only hold vol. 1). The monthly portfolios probably contain information not in the book version -- such as the dates they were published!
      >
      > I'm hoping to be able to see it tomorrow instead of Thursday as originally planned.
      > --
      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      >
      >
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: ANE-2 On: Browsing in Libraries From: Bruce We lately had this exchange: A: But isn t that what you do when browzing the stacks - check the index or table
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 24, 2006
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        To: ANE-2
        On: Browsing in Libraries
        From: Bruce

        We lately had this exchange:

        A: But isn't that what you do when browzing the stacks - check the index or
        table of contents to see if there are any articles of interest?

        B: No! I _leaf through_ them! Found good stuff in *Kadmos* that way -- the
        titles there are entirely too specific sometimes.

        BRUCE: I agree in general with the latter position, and would like to say a
        word in further support of it, from a different angle. Browsing is not a
        slow and heavy way of finding what you know you want. It is taking in,
        physically, what happens to be there.

        The advanced researcher who has a particular page or article in mind, or
        even a particular topic, is very well served by present retrieval methods,
        and is being better served all the time. But in my field, the time is not
        long gone when the primary way for advanced US students of traditional China
        to learn their trade - get a sense of its discourse, discover what problems
        were attracting attention, watch people at work, including people at
        argument; in short, to go through an apprenticeship by contact - was to read
        through the files of the leading periodicals (at that time three in number,
        all Continental). Not looking for any one thing, but being alert for things
        in general; learning how to behave.

        There are now twelve leading International journals in that field, and
        people now read Chinese scholarship as well, so that the task of first
        acquaintance and inscenation is eight times greater, but it seems to me that
        that that is still the best way to do it. I don't see any real substitute
        for it, and I find that this important learning experience is made
        increasingly difficult at worst, and is unaided at best, by the current
        initiatives in electronic publishing and retrieval.

        The electronic gizmos are great when you know what you want; no question
        about it. But when you are still learning what is there to be wanted in the
        first place, I don't see any substitute for the broad physical contact of
        browsing. The old library rule against circulating journals was devised, I
        imagine, to protect this activity, and one need only think of the Lesezimmer
        at the Göttingen math department in its glory days, where nothing at all
        could be taken out, nor book nor journal, and where the students went, even
        more than to the professors' classes, to learn the field.

        We need to keep that function in mind, it seems to me, along with everything
        else, when we are redesigning the universe of learning.

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Bea Hopkinson
        I always thought it a privilege to bag a desk number in the Round Room and hand in your request for a title, but while waiting to look round the open stacks in
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 25, 2006
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          I always thought it a privilege to bag a desk number in the Round Room
          and hand in your request for a title, but while waiting to look round the open stacks in the room how overwhelmed I felt at the grandeur of that collection where one could spend a lifetime browzing.

          Bea Hopkinson
          >----- Original Message ----
          >From: Bea Hopkinson <beahopkinson@...>
          >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          >Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 2:16:38 PM
          >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] re: Open Access publication - A view from the trenches
          >
          >
          >Peter,
          >
          >>Don't people recognize the value of browsing? I've happened upon all sorts
          >>of fascinating and even useful stuff just by once in a while looking
          >>through sheves adjacent, or not so adjacent, to what I was looking for,
          >>and especially by leafing through old journal volumes -- something not
          >>possible with an electronic "library" unless you deliberately select each
          >>table of contents and then each title to give special attention.
          >
          >But isn't that what you do when browzing the stacks - check the index or
          >table of contents to see if there are any articles of interest? Its
          >*******
          >No! I _leaf through_ them! Found good stuff in *Kadmos* that way -- the
          >titles there are entirely too specific sometimes.
          >*******
          >also very
          >exhausting to browze the stacks: finding your reference number, hoping
          >your title has not been checked out, reaching the highest shelf (mine are
          >always there :( , carrying and checking out heavy books - takes a lot of
          >energy
          >that can better be reserved for the brain and think time :)
          >
          >*******
          >Speaking of being allowed into stacks, on my one day at the British Museum
          >(before there was a BL), I hoped to see the engraving of the India Stone
          >that was published ca. 1803 that was Hincks's principal text in
          >deciphering cuneiform. Their copy is bound in a volume of miscellaneous
          >broadsheets, and they couldn't find it; eventually, a librarian took me
          >and Assistant Keeper Irving Finkel down into the stacks, to the very ones
          >underneath the domed Main Reading Room (it's circular down there, too) and
          >had us hunt around to see whether it was misshelved somewhere.
          >
          >Hopefully they found it when they moved to the new building.
          >
          >I'd still like to know whether the plate of the India House Inscription in
          >one of the Rawlinson vols. (is it 1R?) is the same as that original
          >publication, or was a new copy made in 1860 or so.
          >--
          >Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
        • Peter T. Daniels
          There s a small sign up in the Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library that the open-shelf reference collection will be disrupted for a while --
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 25, 2006
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            There's a small sign up in the Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library that the open-shelf reference collection will be disrupted for a while -- because they're switching it to LC classification!
            --
            Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...


            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Bea Hopkinson <beahopkinson@...>
            To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 5:35:22 PM
            Subject: Re: [ANE-2] re: Open Access publication - A view from the trenches


            I always thought it a privilege to bag a desk number in the Round Room
            and hand in your request for a title, but while waiting to look round the open stacks in the room how overwhelmed I felt at the grandeur of that collection where one could spend a lifetime browzing.

            Bea Hopkinson
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