Comments: 12
Murder by Death 8 years ago
As I mentioned in the review, it was definitely inspired by the British Museum's History of the World - they did it first. The author of this one is very upfront about it in his Preface.
Murder by Death 8 years ago
I agree - I remember thinking, when I read BM's History of the World in 100 Objects, 'why hasn't anyone thought to do this sooner?!'. I'd love to see this done for say, the history of France, or Italy, etc.
Degrees of Affection 8 years ago
Wonderful review! And I'm soooo glad you liked it! I agree; once you start reading, it's easy to keep reading and get through 10 or more items without knowing it. I loved the essay at the end because several of the unused items mentioned I'd been expecting to see. And I'll agree with you on the Electronic Superhighway, except for one part. The discussion on how to keep it working as we move to HD, LED, etc. TVs is fascinating to me. There is already talk of issues that might crop up in the future from all the digitalizing of books and music. What if future technology proves incompatible with these, like microfile, microfish, etc? It's a real issue for museum curators, already being talked about when I did my intern with my college's curator. And that was...a bit ago.

And I won't get into how jealous I am that at your behind-the-scenes view look at the Museum of Natural History! That must have been amazing! I love watching all the museum shows that have popped up recently on TV.

Have you read Shakespeare's Restless World yet? I can't remember if we talked about it or not. I own that one and started it but other books jumped ahead of it.
Murder by Death 8 years ago
Yea - the part where he discussed the cathode ray tubes are failing *was* interesting. Does upgrading the displays change the impact of the art, even if the images are the same?

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the archiving of digital, well, anything. How *do* you not only archive, but curate and display a medium that is ethereal by its very nature? Add to that my relative disinterest for anything digital; unless I can hold it in my hands, it isn't very real to me.

My back-room tour of the Natural History museum is one of my best childhood memories. Honestly, it was like my Mecca. The only thing I wish I could change about it: I would have had that curator tell me 'you can do this, and if you want to, this is what you need to do'. I would have loved to have had someone (school counsellor?) think outside the box when it came to career choices for a relatively sheltered high school student.

I've not yet read Shakespeare's Restless World - another one to add to the list? I've ordered Hotel on Place Vendome and it should be here in the next week or so. I've also ordered The Inheritor's Powder based on your review, and one called "The Poisoner's Handbook" that my BFF was telling me about.

How's Dawn of the Belle Epoch going?
Degrees of Affection 8 years ago
They wouldn't upgrade the display. It goes against everything in their bylaws. Once a museum receives an object, its condition as received is the way it remains...in any way possible. To change out the TVs would, in my mind anyway, be akin to transposing a painting on a wall onto canvas. You'd lose the original...it simply wouldn't be that object anymore. That's why restorations are such tricky business. You want to keep the object repaired and in good shape...but there is a fine line between restoring and changing.

Digital is the new frontier for museums. Some are doing well with it...others aren't and some haven't really begun to deal with it. I don't know; a lot about the digital age worries me a great deal.

Yes, school counselors don't often think outside the box. My mom remembers telling her's that she wanted to go to Florida State to study music. "Oh no," she said. "Nobody from our school goes there." Mom had to do everything herself. She got in, did fairly well, and graduated. To be fair to many of them, though; there are just too many students and not enough of them.

The Poisoner's Handbook! Ooh, I want to read that one! I can't remember if the library has it or not. It sounded good though. The Inheritor's Powder was pretty good, I learned a lot and hope you like it. Some do, some don't. And I can't wait to see what you think of the Hotel on Place Vendome! As for Shakespeare's Restless World...how interested are you in him and his time period? There are 15 (I think) objects chosen, but there are tons of other pictures as well. It also is almost exactly like BBC Radio version of it (it's available as a podcast on iTunes), so at times I couldn't help but compare the two. One the other hand, I literally could hear the people's voices speaking the quotes, so there was a plus. I enjoyed learning about the society and how events that were going on and had recently took place play such a part in the Plays. It's a pretty well put together book too. Very colorful and very solidly made. (Those things matter to me...don't know if you care or not.)
Murder by Death 8 years ago
I've been learning a lot about the differences between restoration and conversation. I'm studying book repair/restoration and I'm absolutely loving it - hoping I can translate what I'm learning into a change of career. But I do struggle with the conservation aspect - I rationally understand why and how important it is, but emotionally, I desperately want to do as perfect a job as possible so the book looks like it was never damaged. :)

I'll check out Shakespeare's Restless World; I can't call myself passionately interested, but I am interested. I read Bill Bryson's book about Shakespeare and I enjoyed it. This sounds like it would be just the thing for me.

And yep! as you can imagine, I very much appreciate a well made, quality book binding. :D
Degrees of Affection 8 years ago
It's an issue for me too. I can really understand wanting to make it perfect and like new. But, for example, if a piece of furniture was owned by...Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, and William Randolph Hurst and a museum set around Jefferson bought it, they'd want to restore it to how it looked when Jefferson used it and the conserve it in that status. It's hard to get into the mindset of a museum or archives, but once you do...it's equally hard to let it go. Husband laughs at me at times because I'll tense up seeing someone use an historical object or pick up a packet of old letters without gloves. I've seen the damage that can be done just by storing photos on top of each other...or worse, in plastic. I really could be, like a teacher in college described, "a dragon guarding its gold." :-)

Book restoration sounds cool! It's an interesting and detail oriented task.

Sounds like you'd like the book then. I've found it intersting...just other books keep getting in its way. Can't wait to see what you think.

Books are just not well made anymore. I get so frustrated at the prices of poorly put together books, even hardcover, anymore.
Murder by Death 8 years ago
That was the one thing about the book "S." that drove me nuts: it's end bands were too narrow for the text block. I know sewn bands are too much to ask for in mass produced books but they could at least make sure the stick on ones are the correct size. :P
Degrees of Affection 8 years ago
Grr. That is annoying!