Tuesday, 25 September 2012

memory alpha or library of last resort

Founded originally in 1800 as a collection of law books for the convenience of Congress and a depository of patents, the US Library of Congress has grown its stacks and archives immensely through acquisitiveness and inquisitiveness (all publishing houses are required, through what is known as mandatory deposit, to provide the Library with two copies of all published works) and has continued to move towards independence as a resource, styled the “library of last resort,” for academics, as well as the research arm of the legislative branch. Pioneering the public frontier since the mid 1990s, the Library is continuing to make its holdings freely accessible.
Though the digital collection has been steadily growing for years, with some fifteen million images available besides, it is always inspiring to return here amd search the collection and turn up something new. That’s only the surface, too, with the depths of history and discipline buffeting beneath—not to mention the chance for invention and scholarship. It is a great resource for browsing and discovery, with many special exhibits and programmes, however, no substitute for getting lost in the shelves of one’s neighbourhood archives and for the intensity of local and native knowledge. Librarians are a fiercely independent and impassioned breed and eager to ensure their caretaking is palpable and apparent.