Archive for the ‘widener’ Category

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

More books than Harvard

LibraryThing has passed Harvard University, the second-largest library in the United States. LibraryThing members have cataloged some 15,731,298 books, putting us 175,000 above Harvard’s count (as reported by the American Library Association).

There are, of course, many similarities between Harvard and LibraryThing. For example, neither institution was founded by a Harvard graduate. Also Harvard has a copy of the Gutenberg Bible. If members can be believed—and why not?—LibraryThing has one too. But there are also differences. Where Harvard has 53 books by J. K. Rowling; LibraryThing has 117,866!

Anyway, it’s a great excuse for a party—in Cambridge. We propose a big, open cookout for Saturday, July 28, possibly ending with Scorpion Bowls at the Hong Kong. Abby and I will plan and discuss it on the Bostonians Group.

It will be fun to drive down from Portland, ME. We’ve got a lot of Cambridge connections at LibraryThing. I grew up and spent much of my life there (over by Fresh Pond). Abby currently lives in Cambridgeport. And Altay graduated from Harvard. It certainly my favorite place; I’m positively itching to get back to the Harvard Bookstore!

We’d love to hang out with local LibraryThing-ers. Pencil us in?

PS: We also hit 20 million tags. Yipes!
PPS: No, we’re not comparing LibraryThing’s virtual “collection” to Harvard’s real one in any way except size—if you gathered all of LibraryThing members’ books together, and put them on shelves, they’ve fill about the same space (give or take).

We find these numbers a good way to get people to understand that LibraryThing isn’t somy tiny, geeky hobby project (“Catalog your books? Who would want to do that?). Anyway, if you’re tired of the milestone, we don’t have another one until 20 million books, which won’t be until the Fall.

Labels: cambridge, harvard, harvard university, librarything size, party, widener