Monthly Archives: December 2013

3-D Printing, DOMA and Doughnuts

LM's Best of 2013

Library Manifesto recommends the following blog posts and articles from 2013:

People that use 3-D printers to make guns feature in this (slightly terrifying) video from Vice that shows the use and possible misuse of new technologies.

My friends know of my obsession with doughnuts. My obsession intensified in 2013 after seeing this doughnut-archive collaboration that helped University of Oregon purchase author Ken Kesey’s (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) archive.

WITNESS put together this comprehensive guide to digital recording for activists on a tight budget, which is basically every activist.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger offered some interesting analysis of Edward Snowden and the public in this A New York Review of Books article.

…But this GIF said it all.

I had a blast at Booklyn Artists Alliance for their 24-Hour Zine Spree.

This slideshow of Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer had me in tears when Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional.

NPR’s piece about the anticipated vast media archive of President Obama.

India said goodbye to telegrams.

And the funnest oral history project.

Thank you so much for reading and supporting the blog this year. Happy 2014!

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The People that Gave Us Great Music

Jason Lazarus

Inspired by a project by artist Jason Lazarus, Library Manifesto asked some friends to send in photos of someone who shaped their taste in music.

Lazarus asked people to send him a photo of the person who introduced them to the band Nirvana. I thought the resulting gallery of images captured quintessential ’90s adolescence and were a lot of fun to look through.

People form parts of their identity by finding music that they love. The photos Lazarus collected show other parts of this experimentation: teenagers hanging in basements, sporting XL tee shirts, blue jeans, buzz-cuts and bad dye jobs.

shoko music memorials

SHOKO My dad played me “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who when I was in elementary school, and it went right over my head. Ten years down the line, he watched me smash a guitar-shaped pinata on my 22nd birthday.

taz music memorial

TAZ Here I am with my friend Lauren in 2003. It’s the summer before I headed off to college. We’re sitting in my bedroom with walls plastered in collages. A year before this photo was taken, Lauren and I first started to hang out. We immediately bonded over a shared taste in music and movies. I knew about Joy Division before meeting her, but she really gave fuel to the fire of my obsession with their music, and she introduced me to The Smiths and Modest Mouse. Joy Division’s vibe really spoke to our suburban ennui. We loved the darkness and danceability of their music.  Lauren did and still does an amazing impression of Curtis’ seizure-like dance moves. She can really kill it on the dance floor.

alex music memorials

ALEX I don’t think I can say that my brother, Eric, introduced me to any one particular artist, but he totally shaped my musical tastes growing up. I was always a few years ahead of the normal age curve of music nerddom because of him. When I was in fifth grade or so my brother got me into classic rock when the rest of my classmates were more focused on radio pop. Then, by the time everybody was onto classic rock in middle school, I was in my punk/proto-punk/glam phase. And by the time they were onto that stuff, I was listening to Eric’s Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel albums. The only things I liked before he got around to them were hip-hop and jazz, but he has since voraciously devoured both genres to an extent I never reached. I am the musician in our family, but he is definitely the greater music appreciator. I have him to thank for most of my musical knowledge.

natalie music memorial

NATALIE This is a photo of my Uncle Harry and me at a softball end-of-season awards ceremony. I was a bit of a tomboy and he was our first base coach. Uncle Harry was obsessed with Fleetwood Mac. When I was ten he gave me my first CD, “Tragic Kingdom” by No Doubt. I listened to it on loop for months. I think I connected with Gwen on “Just a Girl.”

Top image from Nirvana by Jason Lazarus.

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Reissues that won’t be regifted

media gifts

Library Manifesto’s down-to-the-wire shopping suggestions for film and music.

1. Your special someone who thinks he’s heard it all: “A Band Called Death” DVD

Three teenagers formed the band Death in early-1970s Detroit. Directors Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett argue that they are the world’s first punk band.

2. Drinking buddy who doesn’t think it gets any better than The Beatles:  The Beatles “On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2”

The Beatles recorded hundreds of hours of footage at the BBC. “On Air” compiles performances from what some say was the band’s peak live show.

3. Documentary filmmaker intern you hired to follow you around: “Grey Gardens” on Blu-ray

Criterion Collection digitally restored Grey Gardens, a classic of cinema verite. The touch up gives the Maysles’ film a fresher look but all the quirks of Big Edie and Little Edie stay in tact.

4. Jazzy sister with the best vintage dresses: “Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald Decca Sessions (1934-41)”

Mosaic Records compiles the collaborative work of Chick Webb, an innovative drummer nicknamed “The King of Swing,” and the beloved Ella Fitzgerald. The collection sheds some light on the history of jazz.

5. Self gift – cause no one else would get it for you: Scott Walker “Scott: The Collection 1967-1970”

Scott Walker has always been an enigmatic person (he was most often photographed wearing dark sunglasses). This collection will help me get to know him better.

6. Neighbor who loves Turner Classic Movies: “James Dean: Ultimate Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray

Three films that made the icon. East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. Dean outshines today’s leading men.

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Gifts for the Literary Home

Decor Gifts

Library Manifesto suggests these home library gifts for the people in your life.

1. Old roomie devoted to snail mail: Card Catalog: 30 Notecards from the Library of Congress

Chronicle Books and the Library of Congress teamed up to make this box set, 30 note cards that reproduce  the card catalog entries for classic novels in housing that nods to the wooden catalog stations.

2. Brother who doesn’t shy away from color and still keeps books from middle school: Reading Fox Bookends

His dog-eared classics will look newly handsome stored between these foxy bookends.

3.  Crafty mom with a penchant for pretty penmanship: Walden Quilt

A great way to read in bed? A passage from Thoreau’s beloved work is sewn into this quilt created by Comma Workshop.

4. Collector grandmother with a metal detector: Antique Brass Curio Case

This case will keep the dust off of unearthed treasures and ephemera.

5. Hammock-lounging friend with a philanthropic heart: Luci task light

This solar-powered, inflatable lantern seems perfect for nighttime reading on the roof or in the backyard. Bonus: You have the option to buy more lanterns at a discounted rate to give to communities that need nontoxic, off-the-grid light.

6. New lunch buddy with an impressive ability to retell all the stories she’s read: Ideal Bookshelf Gift Certificate

A custom-made painting of all her favorite books will leave her speechless.

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The Gift of Lit

Gift of Lit Library Manifesto

Library Manifesto’s book suggestions for the diverse people in your life.

1. Pen pal with a film fetish: “A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940” by Victoria Wilson

Maybe not as well know as some golden-age stars like Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, or Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck appeared in some of the greatest movies of the time and always showcased her beauty and brains. New Yorkers can see her films on the big screen this December at Film Forum.

2. Lanky nephew with a future in special collections: “The Mighty Lalouche” by Matthew Olshan (Author) and Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)

This French postman-turned-boxer children’s story wins with charming illustrations. Archival research gives the story some historical backbone.

3. Uncle who doesn’t know the difference between Marvel and D.C.: “Super Graphic A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe” By Tim Leong

Comic con veteran and clueless novices will get a laugh from the way Leong has organized the worlds of superheros and villains into info-graphics.

4. Boyfriend’s equal parts bookish and artistic dad: “Journey to the Abyss” by Harry Kessler (Author) and Laird Easton (Editor)

German aristocrat and diplomat Count Harry Kessler (1868-1937) was friendly with some of the larger than life philosophers and artists of his time: Bonnard, Stravinsky, Rodin, Renoir, Gide, Monet, Mahler, Matissee, Verlaine, George Bernard Shaw, Munch, Nietzsche, HG Wells and many others. His correspondence is a snapshot inside an important period.

5. Photography loving boyfriend in journalism school: “Watabe Yukichi, A Criminal Investigation” by Yukichi Watabe (Photographer) and Titus Boeder (Author)

This book from 2011 looks like a scrapbook from the 1950s. Watabe’s photojournalism documents a murder investigation in Japan. Minimal textual information is given, recreating the mystery in black-and-white noir scenes.

6. Best friend who sees beauty in the small stuff: “Sylvia Plath: Drawings” by Sylvia Plath (Author) and Frieda Hughes (Author)

There are certain icons in history that the public grapples to understand better. Lives cut off too short that leave questions about the personalities and passions of great artists. Sylvia Plath is one. This book of drawings unveils another layer of her psyche.

7. Co-worker with all the underground tracks: “The Riot Grrrl Collection” by Lisa Darms (Editor), Kathleen Hanna (Preface), Johanna Fateman (Introduction)

The “Riot Grrrl Collection,” is an archive of assorted DIY culture, zines and ephemera from the feminist punk rock movement surrounding Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. As a bonus: throw in movie tickets to “The Punk Singer” about Hanna’s impact on the music industry and the world.

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Punk Papers

Mark Dirt Cover

Mark Morrisroe called himself dirt.

Mark Dirt, a new book, collects the writings, zines, and ephemera of Morrisroe (1959-1989), an artist known for his photographic experiments.

With Lynelle White, Morrisroe created Dirt Magazine, a zine of faux interviews and gossip with cut-out celebrity photographs. Morrisroe’s written stories and journals were stored with his ex boyfriend Ramsey McPhillips, who kept the archive for thirty years in his apartment. The papers have received little attention until now with the publication of Mark Dirt.

The writings are raw primary sources that appear as song lyrics or everyday rambling; one page from Dirt Magazine features a fanciful list of celebrities and what cigarettes they smoked. Medical records and letters from Mark’s friends, other artists and musicians, provide us with some insight into Mark’s life. The design of the book, with images bleeding off the page, is a nose dive into the mind of the artist with little guidance on how to interpret his retelling of the time period.

The book’s graphic designer James Brundage told LM, “it was a pretty interesting task – taking hundreds of TIFF files that weren’t arranged in any order and trying to piece together a narrative about his life.”

Morrisroe was part of Boston’s punk scene, made art, hustled, kept a diary of his adventures, and wrote poetry. He died from complications of HIV. Morrisroe’s art is in museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles  .


Mark Dirt Inside Spread

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