The Future of the Book -
Watching the world of books, ebooks, libraries, and publishing
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Norway's National Library Discovers Rare Atlas — With A Little Help From Reddit
Anders Kvernberg was deep in the vaults of the National Library of Norway when a beautiful atlas caught his eye.
So, you know. "It was an ordinary day at work," he says.
As a reference librarian, Kvernberg spends his days digging through the library's collections to answer questions from the public — on absolutely any topic. Writing a history book and want to know when a train would run from city A to city B on a particular year? "We find the old timetables," he says.
He was chasing down an unrelated request last month when he saw the atlas. He couldn't read the title or any of the text, but he could make out the printing year, and could identify it as an Ottoman atlas — a very, very early Ottoman atlas.
"And on top of that it was a beautiful copy — it was hand-colored, it had very nice printing, so it was fascinating," he said.