Monday, March 24, 2014

British Library Digitizes More Historical Manuscripts

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After the successful digital makeover to the Mewar Ramayana, the British Library plans to apply that treatment to other historical documents. It took three years for the British Library to create the digital copies of the Mewar Ramayana, considered to be one of the best illustrated manuscripts of the great Hindu epic. Marina Chellini, curator of North Indian languages at the library, said the project to digitize the Mewar Ramayana is just the beginning for the British Library.

The collections that Chellini stated they have in their possession include “manuscripts, early printed books, research level publications, prints, and drawings.”

“The Sanskrit collection is small by Indian standards, but very choiced,” said Jeremiah Losty, Asian and African Studies head. “The Buddhist Sanskrit texts from 12th century from Nepal and Eastern India, with beautiful illuminations done in the monasteries particularly stand out.” Both Losty and Chellini were in Mumbai last week to mark the completion of digitization of the Ramayana, which can now be accessed from the CSMVS and the British Library sites.

The India Office of the library also has in their possession the Razmnama, the Persian translation of the Mahabharata, another great Hindu epic.

“Many people in the 18th and 19th century, who came to India from the UK and Europe, were avid collectors of manuscripts and paintings. The majority of the Indian miniatures come from the collection of Richard Johnson, who was in India in the East India Company’s service 1770-90,” said Losty.

Other digitization projects for the British Library include the Early Bengali Book Project, in partnership with the National Library situated in Kolkata. The British Library is also slated to take up digitization work of the Adi Granth, considered the most sacred book of the Sikhs.

As for the digitization project of the Mewar Ramayana, the British Library collaborated with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya in Mumbai, as the original manuscript was split between the two. Books two, four, five, six, and seven of the Ramayana are held by the British Library, while Book one is in the possession of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya. Book three is with the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute in Jodhpur. Unfortunately, the only part left of Book five is an album of eighteen paintings.

via TOI

British Library Digitizes More Historical Manuscripts is a post from: Good e-Reader

Podcast: iTunes for Android, Apple eBook Sales Rising in the US and International Publishing Markets


Welcome back to the Good e-Reader Radio Show, your definitive broadcast on digital publishing, eBooks and e-Readers. Today on the show, Michael Kozlowski and Jeremy Greenfield discuss Apple’s market share in the US with eBooks and how residents of the UK might be paying more for them in 2015. You will be taken a trip around the world on today’s show with an emphasis on the book markets in Canada, US, UK and China.

Podcast: iTunes for Android, Apple eBook Sales Rising in the US and International Publishing Markets is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top 10 things you can do in Marketplace besides order titles

Have you ever walked through your favorite store, noticed something new and thought, "Wow, I can get/do that here?" Yeah, Marketplace is kind of like that. It's much more than just a place to build and order carts, and the recent updates have made it even easier to use all the bells and whistles. Here are the top 10 things you can do besides ordering titles:

  1. Run reports. See how many titles are in your collection, how many checkouts you've had, how many individual people are borrowing titles and much more. Permission needed: Reports
  2. Use the Select Express tools. Make life easier by automatically keeping track of your holds, recommendations and more. Set it up to fit your budget and needs, and let it work its magic. Permission(s) needed: RTL Manager, Smart List, Publisher Presales (also requires Purchase), Holds Manager. *Note: Select Express can now be found under the SHOP drop-down menu.
  3. Upload Local Content. If you own the copyright to a title, you can circulate it at your digital library. Locally produced eBooks, music, educational materials, historical documents and video are just a few of the things you can add. Permission(s) needed: Local content to add/edit titles, Library site admin to set number of copies available.
  4. Submit invoicing questions. Want to know what your exact balance is, or get a copy of an invoice? Using the Invoicing Support form under the SUPPORT tab is the fastest way to get answers to all your billing questions. Permission needed: Invoicing.
  5. Access the End-user support tools. Return titles, move or cancel a user's hold and reset download links without needing to submit a support request. Permission needed: End-user support.
  6. Contact OverDrive Support Services. For those more in-depth issues and questions, visit the SUPPORT tab to open the Support form. Permission needed: None; automatically receive access with a Marketplace login.
  7. Merge the One Copy/One User and Metered Access catalogs. So this one does have direct ties to ordering content, but it's so useful it had to be on the list. Just like the round-table commercials with kids, what's better: searching for something once, or searching for something twice? Permission needed: Marketing settings.
  8. Stay informed with the NEWS tab. Have you seen our new blog site? Be taken directly to it, as well as our Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages, sign up for the ContentWire newsletter, and view important alerts regarding your OverDrive service. Permission needed: None; automatically receive access with a Marketplace login.
  9. Access all the help resources from one place. OverDrive Help? Check. Learning Center? Check. Marketing resources? Check. All under the SUPPORT tab. Permission needed: None; automatically receive access with a Marketplace login.
  10. Manage MARC record ordering. MARC records increase the discoverability of your digital library, and all your options and settings, as well as samples, can be found under the ADMIN drop-down menu. Permission needed: MARC records.

If you're curious about what else you can do, or want more information on user permissions, you can view the Marketplace User Guide, which is accessible from the SUPPORT tab. You can also always reach out to your Collection Development Specialist for any questions on Marketplace, and if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the site, please submit them using the "Suggestion" issue category on the Support form.


Beau Livengood is an Account Specialist at OverDrive.

Using Minecraft: Raspberry Pi Edition to get kids computing

After a workshop last week, Clive, our Director of Educational Development, sent me the following in an email:

A parent came up to me, and said: "I'm concerned that on Minecraft you can blow things up with TNT, it's all about destruction, I'm worried about the effect on children…"

If you ever want to make a six-foot-one Liverpudlian with a motorcycle cry, just repeat that sentence to him. Clive has been inconsolable for days. Why? Because Minecraft: Raspberry Pi Edition is a teaching and learning tool we’ve found absolutely invaluable. It’s a powerful way to get kids who didn’t realise they had an aptitude for programming excited about the Pi; it’s a creative, constructive tool; kids and teachers love it; and we find it’s enormously popular with kids all over the world. At an event this weekend, Carrie Anne Philbin and Alex Bradbury witnessed children crying (and I promise we are not the sort of people who try to make children cry) when asked to allow other kids to have a go.

Here’s Martin O’Hanlon, of Stuff About Code, to explain why teaching with Minecraft is such a good idea. This video was filmed at last month’s Raspberry Jamboree: thanks to Alan O’Donohoe for filming it.

We’re very close to launching our new website now: you’ll be able to see it, and the learning resources we’re producing, around the beginning of April. We’ll have plenty of Minecraft resources to show you then, packaged for teachers and for pupils. We hope you’ll enjoy using them as much as we have enjoyed making them.

BookNet Canada 2013 Report: Print Book Sales Declined

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New data comes in each year about the viability of the print and ebook markets in different regions around the world, and BookNet Canada has now released its findings for the print market in 2013. While it’s data is only on print sales (no digital editions) and does not incorporate the sales from online retailers either from within the country or abroad, it does still offer credibility to emerging trends in bookselling.

According to their report, “Unit sales across the total market in 2013 were down by 3.41% compared to 2012. However, some categories were stronger in 2013 than the previous year: unit sales increased by 5.57% for juvenile non-fiction and 21.91% for biography and autobiography. In addition, sales figures in The Canadian Book Market do not include ebook sales, nor online sales of print books, so the overall book market may be healthier than reflected.”

Despite all of the dire predictions of the death of print books and the even more ominous–but genuine–predictions on the death of brick and mortar bookstores, this report is actually a good sign that the dramatic drops in book buying are possible slowing. It’s also a positive sign that more consumers seem to be purchasing nonfiction, especially for juveniles; working under the assumption that a number of juvenile non-fiction titles may be school-related purchases, it might indicate that consumers are choosing to shop from their local physical book stores for their kids’ book needs. Of course, a 21% jump in one genre is also a good sign for the publishing industry.

BookNet Canada 2013 Report: Print Book Sales Declined is a post from: Good e-Reader