The University of Chicago Library takes a cue from nearly 500 year old publishing practices to curate personalized, “individually bound” introductions to their digital collection of the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae:
In 1540 Antonio Lafreri, a native of Besançon transplanted to Rome, began publishing maps and other printed images that depicted major monuments and antiquities in Rome. These images were calculated to appeal to the taste for classical antiquity that fueled the cultural event we call the Renaissance. After Lafreri published a title page in the mid-1570s, collections of these prints came to be known as the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, the “Mirror of Roman Magnificence.” Tourists and other collectors who bought prints from Lafreri made their own selections and had them individually bound. Over time, Lafreri’s title page served as starting point for large and eclectic compilations, expanded and rearranged by generations of collectors.
The article is by Sydni Dunn – a Staff Reporter at CUE and it discusses a topic of direct relevance the upcoming conference we are hosting here: Publish or perish? The future of academic publishing and careers February 13 – 14, 2013 UC Davis. The article focuses on some discussions that came up in association with the annual meeting of the MLA – the Modern Language Association. The discussion was about how to assess scholars in the humanities – especially those who are heavy on the digital side of scholarship. And the discussion is both scary (to me at least) and fascinating as scholars struggle with how to get their institutions to accept digital scholarship and assess it.
It is definitely worth a read and I note we will have extensive discussions of this general topic at our meeting …