[Ads-l] News Article: Cold Book Storage at Harvard

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Feb 9 01:15:59 UTC 2015

At 2/8/2015 06:06 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
>Yale's Library Shelving Facility was squarely based on the Harvard 
>Depository model.  If a book is processed incorrectly for LSF, it 
>can indeed be lost forever, very much like the final scene in 
>Raiders of the Lost Ark.  So it's good that the rarest books are 
>kept at Houghton Library (except for the Gutenberg Bible) or, for 
>Yale, at the Beinecke.

Houghton books are in a kind of depository also -- they are brought 
up from somewhere downstairs, and I've experienced some waits as long 
as 20 minutes or so.  I suspect Don Giovanni has them in his 
carrel.  After all, he did say that Hell was more interesting than 
the other place.

What has changed in the last year or two is that one must request a 
book through the on-line catalog -- actually, through a different 
portal than other requests -- some time before one actually arrives 
... and then one fills out a request slip anyway.  (Or if not "must", 
is firmly "asked to".)

I suppose the next step is to embed a chip in Depository books, 
either to sound a beep when called (pun intended) or to communicate 
with a GPS.  While this might be more expensive than the replacement 
cost for books lost, Harvard could perhaps do it only for those 
Depository books that would be hard or costly to replace.


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