by Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
December 15, 2014 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on December 15, 2014.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: email@example.com
Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Bibliologie Médiévale: le livre manuscrit au Moyen Âge" : this very interesting website is online in-French -- herewith, then, a few excerpts translated by me [JK] en américain, to give you some idea of the flavor, and of the great and very useful rewards, to be found there --
Jean-Luc Deuffic, "Les bibliothèques médiévales. Bibliographie sélective", dans Bibliologie médiévale [En ligne], Saint-Denis, 2014, https://bibliologiemedievale.wordpress.com/bibliotheques-medievales-bibliograhie/
Deuffic observes, "The manuscript book held a privileged place in medieval society. A vehicle of cultural knowledge for humanity since Antiquity, it acquired, as an object fabricated with the greatest care and beauty, the notoriety of a work of art..."
-- of the universal bibliography and global scholarship now attainable online, despite the financial & political & other vicissitudes on-earth which heretofore has made such easy access so difficult... this one a particularly-good example of same...
Deuffic's comment here : "Volume LV of the 'Mémoires de la société d'histoire et d'archéologie de Bretagne', published in 1978, gave a large place to the queen and duchess Anne de Bretagne, and five serious studies were devoted to the subject. We present below a particular aspect of her cultural environment, her manuscript books, written or composed for her... One will find here a list, one as exhaustive as possible, of the manuscripts of the duchess, her personal books, as well as those she possessed in-common with her husband."
Deuffic comments, "Centered nearly exclusively on Brittany, these notes on bibliology, 'are engaged in that noble approach to research which uses all methods of codicology and the archeology of the book... fundamental research which does homage to a culture too little known and too rarely considered, a contribution to so many disciplines which may be found joined together in the science of the ancient book, and something we always need' (E. Kœnig). One thing which may be said is that the medieval manuscript doubtless is at the heart of this work..."
Deuffic quotes from the BnF site, "The first Roman de la Rose, written around 1230 by an Age of Chivalry poet, Guillaume de Lorris, recounts the initial steps in a love affair at the heart of a Garden of Love. Uncompleted, it ends after 4,058 verses when the lover, disappointed, is separated from the Rose (the Lady) by the walls filled with people of the Castle of Jealousy... The Roman de la Rose was completed around 1270-1275 by Jean de Meun, a Parisian cleric and translator of Latin works. Toward the middle of the work he gives his name, Jean Chopinel, of Meun-sur-Loire... At the beginning of the 15th c. it was the object of the first written quarrel of French literature, when Christine de Pizan attacked the anti-feminist positions of Jean de Meun..."
And as to that overall title and term, "bibliologie", Deuffic says,
"Until 1989, bibliologues thought the term 'bibliologie' dated to only the early 19th c. and Gabriel Peignot... then Dominique Zidouemba and Gilles Vilasco found the use of the term "bibliologia" by the Italian Ulissis Aldrovandi around 1580... and per Mohammad Rehbi there was the bibliographic work of Ibn an-Nadim in the 10th c. and Wahid Gdoura in the 15th c...." Deuffic cites Joumana Boustany, "La production des imprimés non-périodiques au Liban de 1733 à 1920 : étude bibliométrique" (1997).
Deuffic declares, modestly for the excellence he has produced here: "J'ai voulu développer dans ce site quelques thèmes qui me sont chers autour des manuscrits médiévaux et de la Bretagne." -- "I wanted to develop, on this site, several themes dear to me regarding medieval manuscripts and Brittany..."
-- and at the above site you will see the following link which will take you to the also-well-designed site-version for "mobiles" / "portables" / "handhelds" / "cellphones"... and whatever else we call those tiny extensions of ourselves and our respective universes we all now carry in our pocketses these days, and nights, and always & everywhere --
"Voir le site pour les portable"
-- and you can reach the website from one of those things, which always will default to the mini-version... although the web-version too often is more complete and less likely to drive you blind or into a parking meter while you walk, or into a tree or an oncoming truck while you text'n drive...
Deuffic: "This blog is dedicated to the great manuscript scholar Léopold Delisle (1826-1910), and to François Duine, clericus dolensis (1870-1924), and (almost exclusively!) to medieval manuscripts, up to and including their relationships with early printing. All contributions to this subject are welcomed, as well as any additional commentary or opinions..."
Deuffic and his publishers:
"Medieval cultural production cannot be imagined without taking into account the manuscript book in all its forms. Abandoning the monastic scriptoria, then the cathedral libraries -- and de facto the privileges of being men of the Church -- the book landed upon the city with the coming of the great university centers and their associated institutions, their considerable forces of lay workshops and the pecia system.
"Around them developed innovative trades, where the illuminator emerged as a first-rank position, symbolizing all the importance of The Image in medieval society.
"From the simple reader to the known collector, the manuscript book thus built a new public, larger than before, and from the Bible moralisée to the Livre d'heures -- best-seller of individual piety -- the cultural object sometimes was transformed into a commercial object, penetrating the imposing collections of new-princes and gentlemen-bibliophiles.
"But the book also was a place of memory... The Church continued to use it for its ministry liturgy -- évangiles, missels, psautiers, bréviares, etc. -- and for its funerary solemnities -- nécrologes, obituaires. At the university the masters established approved collections, in law or theology or medicine; the student copied his course-reader. Each manuscript is in this sense unique: object of the diffusion of knowledge, documentary resource of the first order, its study remains indispensable to the understanding of the medieval world.
"Pecia : Le livre et l'écrit -- promotes the study of bibliologie through the publication of contributions dedicated to the history of the manuscript book of the Middle Ages. Each volume focuses upon a central theme... ISSN 1761-4961..."
-- if Abélard & Héloise were alive today they'd have iPhones, and they'd be using those to use all of the above.
And now an online-digital-library Note:
Re. the Internet Of Things, IoT needs a doctor...
I've long thought of "digital library" as a mere marketing-tool, just a re-packaging concept -- like the roll, the codex, the boards, just a new "box" --
-- the Internet itself having been a thing used originally to pop a single toaster for making toasted-bread, per Toaster Control Protocol / "TCP" at Interop 1990 :-) --
-- it became a network, then a network of networks inter-networked, & now networks of networks of networks & ditto... And lately it is become sensors, in everything: in surgical instruments & surgeons & hearts & patients & hospital walls, roads, patient records, ambulances, first-responders, employers, insurance companies, car bumpers, family phones... also the new one-stop "bracelet" for emergencies & banking & shopping & everything else, which identifies you by your unique heartbeat & shuts-down & self-erases if it's ever stolen... -- so if time is of the essence, in a cardiac case, we'll all know right away & so be able to respond more quickly, now... all of us... maybe a lot more of "us" than we'd like...
A librarian-ly illustration of the new Internet of Things, then, for those unsure of what all this "means"... also for those perennial sceptics always persuaded that, "If something is Everything, then maybe it's Nothing..." -- well, IoT could do the following, and may be in the process of doing it now --
What would it take, now, to implement the Internet of Things / IoT in French libraries? They'd need,
"Early estimates suggested that the Deep Web is 4,000 to 5,000 times larger than the Surface Web... since more information and sites are always being added, it can be assumed that the Deep Web is growing exponentially at a rate that cannot be quantified..." [caps added]
-- so how much data, would be involved here, where would it be stored, & how would it be accessed? We do not have precise answers yet, but we are close: IoT tools such as chips & sensors & systems & mobiles & The Cloud -- some "Cloud" some "place_" -- are getting us there, Moore's Law and its many corollaries long ago rendered axiomatic the proven industrial truth that greater and greater technical amounts of digital capacity not only would become available but also would be needed --
And a second series of questions, then, less certain of resolution than the implementation-measures listed above -- grouped-around, generally, the sort of question at which the French are adept, their interest forever having been greater in the "ought" than in the "is" --
Should we do it?...
-- a very different path than that taken by copyright in the UK & US and in modern states generally, where the assumption too often is made that commercial considerations are all that is involved -- arguments between the two positions often fail for fundamental misunderstanding, ships passing in the night;
But, a thought --
A friend of mine is a retired doctor... as with librarians & lawyers & politicians, & parents & children, & businesspeople & professors, the Internet recently has appeared to be taking over his profession as well...
Amid all this digital activity, however, there is an almost-desperate need for synthesis: lawyers need legal "essence" as boiling that out of much data is their essential job, politicians need compelling issues to mobilize a critical mass of voters, parents need to "understand" children & vice versa, businesspeople need strategies, professors must inspire... librarians need "reference interview" techniques tailored to their vast variety of users...
I am doubtful that The Digital can do this "synthesis" job, myself.
If we insert tiny silicon or perhaps even dna-encoded sensors into everything, and then network and even inter-network the result, we surely will assemble more "data" than we ever have had before; but we do not have useful or even interesting "information" until we add synthesis & understanding to all those data-bits -- better, anyway, than Google's data-mining & Wikipedia & other brave initial organizing efforts have brought us so far.
So much of our current digital information effort is too dark and too deep --
-- to reach and use and even understand, with our current techniques -- and a new Internet of Things, insofar as that is more than just the latest advertising slogan, promises a reach farther and deeper than any made so far, involving far more "data" but perhaps even more "darkness".
In every case though there are, still, professionals who mediate the contacts between users and the systems -- doctors, & lawyers & politicians & parents & businesspeople & professors -- all still individual humans, albeit-assisted increasingly by systems and even robotics perhaps, whose chief task in the process is that "synthesis & understanding"... both those crucial functions demand abstract thinking, & leaps of faith, not the specialties of systems or robots so-far-constructed, the imaginative dreams of Kurzweil & others notwithstanding... -- but therein lies a simplest-solution to our current guesses as to how all this enormous Internet of Things will scale-up, that in there somewhere, tying its many strands together including all that data, still will be human beings, helping make sense of it all, even if only to other human beings.
Jean-Luc Deuffic's cherished manuscripts revolutionized the Medieval World ; the Internet's bits & bytes & systems are radically changing our own -- we need to ask how much and how far, and we just are beginning, this effort to truly understand our new Digital World may take a thousand years, as it has for the Medieval.
Among its many innovations, though, our Digital World carries forward many constants, as well -- the users, the user interface, some very old epistemological mysteries, the reference-interview... the surgeon searching for the right tool, and for words to explain her choices to her patient... -- some things, and characteristics of "things", don't change, even in an era of an Internet of Things.
Joyeux Noël et bonne fête,
Jack Kessler, email@example.com
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found on the Internet at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/, or http://www.fyifrance.com. Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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