Tag Archives: Manuscripts

eBooks: 1998 – The Electronic Beowulf Project

The British Library began offering digitized versions of its treasures, for example Beowulf, the earliest known narrative poem in English and one of the most famous works of Anglo-Saxon poetry.

The British Library holds the only known manuscript of Beowulf, dated circa 1000. The poem itself is much older than the manuscript  — some historians believe it might have been written circa 750. The manuscript was badly damaged by fire in 1731. 18th-century transcripts mentioned hundreds of words and characters which were then visible along the charred edges, and subsequently crumbled away over the years. To halt this process, each leaf was mounted on a paper frame in 1845.

As explained on the website of the British Library, scholarly discussions on the date of creation and provenance of the poem continued around the world, and researchers regularly required access to the manuscript. Taking Beowulf out of its display case for study not only raised conservation issues, it also made it unavailable for the many visitors who were coming to the British Library expecting to see this literary treasure on display. Digitization of the manuscript offered a solution to these problems, as well as providing new opportunities for researchers and readers worldwide. Continue reading eBooks: 1998 – The Electronic Beowulf Project

Amazon.com Novel Writing Contest

Amazon is getting into the author-writing contest arena, launching the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award today in cooperation with Penguin and Hewlett-Packard. Amazon will accept submissions through November 5 and the winner will have his or her novel published by Penguin, which is also offering a $25,000 advance. PW will serve as preliminary judges of the material as well.

The contest is free and open to unpublished authors in 20 countries who have English-language manuscripts (complete contest rules and requirements are available at www.amazon.com/abna).

Extract taken from;

Amazon Launches Debut Novel Contest
Publishers Weekly, 2007-10-1

Einstein’s “Most Important Decision”

Einstein said that the most important decision you ever make is whether you live in a friendly universe or a hostile universe– in a positive universe or a negative universe.

This relates very strongly to what is perhaps the greatest idea I came up with in all my college years, which was that you make more difference in the world taking something good and making a better thing out of it than by undoing something bad. . . .

When we describe our heroes and superheroes, we often described them only in terms of the bad things they have undone.

However, this is not ALWAYS the case, as TIME magazine managed, in an era of fairly unprecedented biased journalism, to elect a “Person of the Millennium” who had actually taken a good thing, A VERY GOOD THING. . .books. . .and MAKE THEM HUGELY BETTER.

Herr Gutenberg did not have to think he was undoing some evils, all he had to do was think of making more books, better books– faster books, etc. . .as more books were published in just that first fifty years of his invention’s use than in all of history for five thousand years. Continue reading Einstein’s “Most Important Decision”

Word for Word

Electronic publishing is replacing print, changing reading as well as society.

Cavemen used charcoal to write on walls. Ancient Egyptians scrawled hieroglyphics on papyrus scrolls. Medieval monks penned illuminated manuscripts on parchment. Then Johannes Gutenberg changed the world with movable type, making writing available to all.

Now a revolution is under way that is rapidly making ink on paper obsolete. Books as we know them are dead, many experts say.

But questions go unanswered as technology advances. How can we preserve the world’s knowledge in rapidly evolving electronic formats? How can copyrights be protected when books can be duplicated in the blink of an eye? Continue reading Word for Word

New Mozart Work Premiere

A recently discovered 18th-Century keyboard work believed to be one of the earliest by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been performed in Austria.

The piece – about two minutes long – was played by Florian Birsak on a harpsichord in the Salzburg Residenz.

The discovery came in the 250th anniversary year of Mozart’s birth, which was marked by festivities in his homeland and Mozart concerts worldwide.

Experts think Mozart wrote the piece when he was aged between six and 10.

It bears the title Allegro di Wolfgango Mozart and was contained in a volume of anonymous manuscripts given to Salzburg Archdiocese archivist Ernst Hintermaier, Austrian media report. Continue reading New Mozart Work Premiere