Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Commune with the dead

Can you guess what they are?

I’ve made some major changes to members’ Legacy Library pages, bringing this wonderful member project—the private libraries of over 100 readers from the past—closer than ever before.

It has never been easier to compare the reading of Jefferson and Adams (427 books!), Hemmingway and Fitzgerald. And is has never before been possible to compare that of Tupac Shakur and LibraryThing’s Australian systems administrator John Dalton!

The core, default feature is a list of Legacy Libraries and the books they share with you. New features include:

  1. You can get it book-by-book, instead of person-by-person.
  2. From that, you can now see the top shared books across the Legacy Libraries, with you or any subset.
    The top books list is somewhat surprising. I’ve pasted it on the right, with the titles blacked out. See if you can guess number one. For combination reasons it’s not the Bible, but it’s probably not any of the others that leap immediately to mind. The top books between signers of the Declaration of Independence is also quite surprising. And why on earth did three American presidents bother to acquire General view of the agriculture in the county of Somerset?!
  3. The libraries are broken down into groups, so you can see what you share with actors, musicians, politicians, etc.
    Among these are the splinter project, the Libraries of Early America, which Jeremy, the Legacy Library project leader, is working on in collaboration with archives, libraries and museums across the country.
  4. You can filter everything in all sorts of clever ways.
  5. Although the page is a dynamic explorer, it provides a permalink to send to friends and a nifty “Share on Twitter” button. (Did you know you can enter your books through Twitter?)

Later today I’ll push out a podcast I did with Jeremy, a long but enjoyable romp through the legacy libraries, cataloging, the meaning of books through history and book-love generally.

Discussion going on here.

Labels: legacy libraries, new features


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