Saturday, 29 September 2007

Script & Print Online Shop!

Some readers may think it a little sad, but the fact is I want a coffee mug with the S&P logo on it. I also want a book-bag (a tote-bag) with the BSANZ logo on it. And, it also occurred to me that the cover of S&P 30.3 would make a very nice t-shirt, in a nerdy kind of way. I then began to wonder whether there might be other people as unhinged as I am, people who might like a t-shirt, BBQ Apron (!), Mouse mat, Cap, Blank Journal or Messenger Bag with a logo on it.

On the off-chance that there are people this unhinged (and the Internet is a big, weird and wonderful place), I have set up a Cafe Press 'Online Shop' that will allow anyone to buy any one of three designs on a total of 25 selected products. Unfortunately, the free version of Cafe Press only allows one design per product, so you can't have your choice of deign on each product.

The designs I have used are the BSANZ Logo, the S&P Logo, and the cover of S&P 30.2 (the one with the pulp cover). I have tried to do a mix of each image, and a mix of full-size and pocket-size images. I have also tried to include a mix of male and female apparel. With luck everyone crazy enough to want something, will be happy.

Here is a few pictures and a complete list of the products

Using the BSANZ logo
BSANZ Fitted T-Shirt
BSANZ Golf Shirt
BSANZ Long Sleeve T-Shirt
BSANZ Mouse pad
BSANZ White T-Shirt
BSANZ Women's Long Sleeve Dark T-Shirt
BSANZ Women's Long Sleeve T-Shirt
BSANZ Women's T-Shirt

Using the Script & Print logo
Script & Print Baseball Jersey
Script & Print Cap
Script & Print Dark T-Shirt
Script & Print Journal
Script & Print Large Mug
Script & Print Light T-Shirt
Script & Print Long Sleeve Dark T-Shirt
Script & Print Messenger Bag
Script & Print Organic Cotton Tee
Script & Print Sweatshirt
Script & Print Value T-shirt
Script & Print Women's V-Neck Dark T-Shirt

Using the BSANZ and Script & Print logos
Script & Print Tote Bag

Using the cover from Script & Print 30.2
Script & Print Cover Ringer T
Script & Print Women's Cap Sleeve T-Shirt

Anyone who would like to make a request for a different design combination (or for products I have not selected, such as a stein, thong, or dog-shirt) should contact me about it and I will see what I can organise

If we can ever afford the USD60 to make multiple versions of each product available I will add the cover of S&P 30.3 (the one with the Elephant and the Bookseller on it), but for copyright reasons it is unlikely that S&P 30.1 will ever be available. I will also try to add each new cover as it is released, and I may do some colour variations on the black and white logos.

BTW: I have opted for the uniform 'medium' markup on each product. The piffling amount of money that returns to us from the sale of each item will be spent as credit towards upgrading the store and purchasing our own promotional material for S&P to give away.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries

Curious Expeditions has posted a blog entry on beautiful libraries. The images are amazing. So, if you like the look of the Biblioteca Angelica (Rome), the Cathedral Library (Kalocsa, Hungary), the Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura (Rio De Janeiro) or the Rennie Mackintosh Library (Glasgow), below, then you should visit Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries.

How to Operate a Book

The following video is in Norwegian with English sub-titles; it is from a Norsk rikskringkasting [NRK or Norwegian Broadcasting] comedy show Øystein og jeg. The skit was written by Knut Nærum and is acted by Øystein Backe (helper) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). It was screened in 2001 and has been doing the rounds on the internet every since. The YouTube video below has already been watched almost half a million times!

Another copy of the same clip is available here, which has larger subtitles, positioned so they don't obscure the book on the desk, but the screen is dark and the ending has been lost.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Synchrotron To See Hidden Texts

BBC News report by By Liz Seward (based on research presented at the British Association science festival).

'Super-Scope' To See Hidden Texts

The hidden content in ancient works could be illuminated by a light source 10 billion times brighter than the Sun. The technique employs Britain's new facility, the Diamond synchrotron, and could be used on works such as the Dead Sea Scrolls or musical scores by Bach. Intense light beams will enable scientists to uncover the text in scrolls and books without having to open - and potentially damage - them.

Iron gall ink, which is made from oak apples, has been in use from the 12th Century, but causes parchment to deteriorate rendering precious documents unreadable. Both paper and parchment - thinly stretched skins from cows, sheep or goats - contain collagen, which reacts with iron ink to become gelatine. When dry, gelatine is very brittle; but as soon as it gets wet, it turns into jelly, destroying some documents if they are disturbed.

Now, scientists from the University of Cardiff have developed a technique that uses a powerful X-ray source to create a three-dimensional image of an iron-inked document. The team then applies a computer algorithm to separate the image into the different layers of parchment, in effect using the program to unroll the scroll.

Professor Tim Wess, who led the research, said: "We've folded up a real piece of parchment and then done a process of X-ray tomography on it. We've been able to recover the structure where we can see the words that are written inside the document."

The team now plans to use the Diamond synchrotron's powerful X-ray source to penetrate many layers of parchment. The synchrotron, which covers the area of five football pitches, generates light beams that can probe matter down to the molecular and atomic scale. Professor Wess explained:

"The letters have got iron in them, so you shine a band of X-rays through, and you end up with an absorption image, rather like your bones would absorb on an X-ray. This is something we can take forward with Diamond, to try to unravel the secrets inside documents that we're too scared to try to open, or that are beyond the point of conservation."

The National Archives has donated some 18th Century fire-damaged scrolls that have never been unrolled, due to their condition. But the team also has a wish-list of works that they plan to probe. Professor Wess said: "There are some parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls which have not been unrolled."

Reading books without opening them was a goal of the project, added Professor Wess. The technique works best with rolled parchment. The flat nature, as well as the thickness of books, presents a challenge. He said: "I know of books which have been damaged by iron gall ink corrosion where the conservators are actually afraid to open the book because of all the letters. You really end up with a stencil rather than the lettering."

Another target of the project is to image documents before they become too damaged, to monitor levels of gelatine. The team can then advise on the most appropriate conservation methods, depending on the state of the parchment.

Professor Wess said: "If you can bring together a £260m ($527m) synchrotron, and the cutting edge science from that, the provenance and the depth of history that you can access when you see these things is actually a revelatory moment."

Thursday, 13 September 2007, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK

For information on the Monash Synchrotron (below) see Australia's first synchrotron springs to life

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Meet The Editor

It was hard to chose the right animation for this silly Meez version of me, as editor: caffeinated, frantic, and impatient, or smiling, waving, and cheerful. Unfortunately, I can't do both at once, so I have decided to change it periodically from one to the other. On special occasions I might even try the gymnastic, somersaulting, version. We'll see.

Melbourne Museum of Printing

In the "Metro" section of The Age today, there is an article, "Letter for Letter," by Viviane Stappmanns on Laurie Harding and the Melbourne Museum of Printing (which is at 36 Moreland St., Footscray).

As Stappmanns explains, this is the second incarnation of the Melbourne Museum of Printing, which originally opened in 1990 but closed eight years later due to funding difficulties. In 2005, Isaachsen, "who can passionately explain the history of each and every artefact in his museum, once again wrestled the doors open to the public."

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

BSANZ 2007 Conference in Hobart

The BSANZ 2007 Conference, Spaces of Print: Exploring the History of Books will be in Hobart from 7 to 9 November this year. Fifteen papers will be presented on a wide range of subjects, from Lawrence Warner on fourteenth-century manuscripts to Sydney Shep on emoticons: which are these things:


The full BSANZ 2007 Conference Program is attached here.

[NB for technical reasons the file is temporarily being hosted by a free file host. It will take a few seconds before you will be given the option of downloading].

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Update for September 2007

S&P 30.3 Issued

S&P 30.3 was posted last week and should be arriving in Australian letter-boxes today. The contents are unchanged from what was previewed in the Update for July/August 2007 (here).

S&P 30.4

The contents of our next issue has not been finalised, but will probably be as follows:

Article 1: Patrick Buckridge, "Bookishness and Australian Literature"

Article 2: John N. Crossley, "One Man’s Library, Manila, ca. 1611—a first look"

Article 3: Wallace Kirsop, "Museums, Lyceums, Athenaeums and Mechanics' Institutes"

Bibliographical Note: B. J. McMullin, "Silk for Posting: Sir Francis Burdett’s Address to The Constituents of The City of Westminster, 6 October 1812"

Obituary: 'Harold Love' (by Wallace Kirsop)

Reviews: "Theories of Reading: Books, Bodies, and Bibliomania" (reviewed by Simone Murray); "Gender, Society and Print Culture in Late-Stuart England: The Cultural World of the Athenian Mercury" and "The London Journal, 1845–1883: Periodicals, Production and Gender" (reviewed by Roger Osborne).

We are aiming to have S&P 30.4 in the hands of members well before the Hobart BSANZ Conference in November.

Future Issues

Anyone wishing to contact the the editor with suggestions, submissions etc, for future issues should do so via the following email address:
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1796 playbill discovered, given to NLA

Harper to present rare gift, address Parliament in Australia

The oldest known document printed in Australia--a theatre playbill from the former British colony dating back to 1796--is returning home via Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is in Australia this week to deliver a speech to Parliament on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, is expected to present the gift on Tuesday. He is scheduled to address Australian MPs in Canberra in the morning. Harper will then present the historic playbill, which a Canadian government official said lists three plays performed by Jane Shore [sic !; see Comments below].

Australia's national archives currently holds Australian-printed documents that go as far back as November 1796. But the playbill once stored in Canada, coming from a former Victorian British botanist's scrapbook, predates it to July 30, 1796.

Library and Archives Canada rare-book specialist Elaine Hoag found the 211-year-old theatre program, which was printed on a wooden screw press, earlier this summer. Library and Archives Canada acquired the rare piece of Australia's past in 1973, but it's a mystery how it ended up in Canada.

Australian historians and politicians were "absolutely delighted it's coming home," a Canadian official told the Canadian Press, speaking on background. The playbill is of "huge significance," the official said.

"It speaks to the very beginnings of Australia and two very important milestones in the new colony: the capacity to print and the rise of cultural institutions."

CBC News: Monday, 10 September 2007, 8:36AM ET.

See also Pauline Portelance, 'Australians Delight in Canada's Gift of Historic Document' Library and Archives Canada (with video footage [which seems to be not working]), Gloria Galloway, 'Australia's oldest printed document heads home' Globe and, 'Harper to return Australia's oldest printed document' from and 'Canada presents Australia with oldest known Australian printed document' The Canadian Press.

Here are a few snippets:

Printed on July 30, 1796, the playbill is a few months older than what was previously believed to be the oldest printed document in the country - a list of instructions for constables of the country districts.

Hoag found the playbill in the scrapbook of a British banker who lived from 1775 to 1858. While archivists were able to match it up with Australia's first printing press that arrived in Sydney with the first British fleet in 1788, they have no idea how the scrapbook wound up in Canada's national archives. All they know is that the small wooden screw printing press was left unattended for eight years until George Hughes arrived in the colony to establish Australia's first printery behind its Government House.

While it might not have a huge financial value, Canadian government officials say it will be priceless piece of history that speaks to Australia's beginnings as a colony -- the first printed documents and cultural institutions such as its theatre.

"It is a humble and modest document in and of itself, but it tells a great story and it's a very important part of Australia's history," said a Canadian government spokesperson.