In this highly entertaining essay (HLB 9.1, Winter 1955), Fernando Zobel de Ayala describes an 18th century manuscript held by Houghton Library that testifies to “one of the most grotesque chapters in the history of calligraphy.” On February 3, 1758, a newspaper in Madrid printed a notice by an anonymous figure, who announced he possessed singular skill and talent at calligraphy, and penmanship “so neat and accurate as to cause the copy to be mistaken for the original.” He then challenged anyone in Europe to best him.
Humans rely on plants for our most fundamental individual and social needs: from food, medicine, and construction, to aesthetic pleasure and the solace brought by our encounters with them in the natural world. Although we think of plants as rooted in place, their global travels over the millennia offer fascinating pathways into the past and illuminate some of the most burning issues of today, including legacies of colonial violence and displacement.... Read more about Introducing the Plant Humanities Lab
In fall 2018, the current editing team of Harvard Library Bulletin began the project of converting the journal from a subscription-based print publication to online and open access. During those golden autumn days, we looked towards a hazy but pleasant future when the project was over and we could turn our attention to collaborating with colleagues to further the work of the journal.... Read more about The Best-Laid Plans: A Letter from the Editors
Relaunching Harvard Library Bulletin (HLB) as an online journal presents us with a paradox. As a publication, it is at once a vestige of earlier eras of academic librarianship and scholarly communication, while, in its online form, it will use new approaches and sensibilities to promoting collections... Read more about Publisher's Note
Based on a 1991 address given by novelist Michael Crichton (1942–2008) at the Meeting of the Overseers’ Committee to Visit the Harvard Library, this conversational essay (HLB New Series 3.1, Spring 1992) is at once an autobiographical sketch of how technology impacted his experiences and workflows as a writer; a survey of recent and new technologies available to researchers; and a prediction of how libraries would have to cope with the surge of information made possible by computing and electronic storage. During his long career, Crichton wrote a great many...
When we began planning the relaunch of Harvard Library Bulletin as an online, open access publishing portal, we could not have known that the common expectations and opportunities we were addressing would become paramount in Fall 2020.... Read more about The “voice of a distinct community”