It was morning in Baghdad, we were carousing,
stirred by a white face and deep-black eyes.
In a house where glasses are akin
to stars whirling in the dark among drinking companions.
Our cupbearer mixed wine or served it pure;
what a wonderful wine when mixed!
Saffron powder was sprinkled over us,
above our heads crowns of golden jasmine.
I was still drinking when sunset arrived,
between melodies of castanets and lute.'Stars whirling in the Dark' by Muti‘ ibn Iyas (704–85) from a new book released recently by Harvard University Press.
Men and women looking through the card catalogues at the Library of Congress, 1941.
A visual reminder to be grateful for OPACs!
Wow, this really gives you a sense of scale.
This is how scholars found the literature they needed: by going through alphabetical card catalogues - one on author, one on subject, containing thousands and thousands of cards. The bigger the library the more cards. The Library of Congress is obviously a sizable library…
WOW! I remember the old card catalogue at the Bodleian, snaking around the corridor of the New Library… but seeing the Library of Congress catalogue in one room… wow.
Someone should write a song about card catalogues.
I produced a one-hour documentary about the ethical dilemma presented by the US’s use of drones in Pakistan. You can listen to it here: