Documents from Papal Private Archives on Exhibit

This Da Vinci Code-like video (complete with spooky/ominous choral music) advertises an unprecedented public exhibit of documents from the Vatican’s “Secret Archives” that opened last month.

You might also want to poke around the exhibit’s website.

Found via New York Times


Vincent van Gogh: Passionate Reader

Excerpt from a blogpost about a current exhibit of Van Gogh’s letters:

“Van Gogh’s letters reveals him to be passionate lover a books, a man equally enamoured with the art of the image and the art of the word. As a young man, Vincent van Gogh actually worked in a bookshop. Throughout his short life–he committed suicide at 37–he was a voracious reader. In the just over 900 letters of Van Gogh that still exist, over 150 authors are mentioned, and over 200 literary works. Van Gogh was fluent in French and English, as well as Dutch, and read widely in all three languages. French literary giant Emile Zola is mentioned 96 times in the letters, Victor Hugo is a close second with 62 references, and Honore de Balzac is brought up 35 times. English great Charles Dickens shows up 54 times, followed by George Eliot at 29, and William Shakespeare at 23.”

Read the entire Book Patrol blogpost  for more about van Gogh’s reading, and about the searchable online database of his letters (a website which we posted a link to a few months ago).

Online Exhibit of Van Gogh’s Letters

Booklovers fortunate enough to have read excerpts or entire collections of Vincent van Gogh’s letters will be thrilled to learn of the remarkable online exhibit of all of Van Gogh’s letters – over 900 of them – assembled by Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum.

The online exhibit, available to anyone with Internet access, is beautifully designed and remarkably thorough. The letters are searchable by keyword, by period, by correspondent, by place, and by whether or not they contain one or more sketches.


The exhibit, Van Gogh’s Letters: The Artist Speaks, contains numerous other features as well, such as essays explaining the importance of the letters, biographical information on Van Gogh and the people he wrote to and received letters from, a chronology, and a bibliography.

Lovers of Van Gogh’s paintings will appreciate his work even more after exploring the artist’s letters.  And for those who prefer to read those letters -or who might want to revisit the paintings – from a printed book, the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library System has several collections you can borrow.

Found at Peter Scott’s Library Blog

Homage to Sir Arthur


May 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Fans of Doyle’s writings might enjoy browsing (from the comfort of the chair in front of their computer screen) the Toronto Public Library’s virtual exhibit of the items in their Doyle Collection. (Did you know Doyle made four visits to Canada?)

Meanwhile, the City of Westminster Library has posted an online exhibit of information about Doyle’s extensive nonfiction works. (Did you know that Doyle published poetry as well as detective novels, and wrote extensively on – among many other topics – spiritualism?)

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System owns many of Doyle’s works (some in audiobook format as well as in print format), and numerous books about him, including the recently published Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle: A Biography by Russell Miller.

Found at the Librarians’ Internet Index

Postscript: Renewed popular interest in Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories is likely to result from the upcoming release of a new movie this coming Christmas. Robert Downey, Jr. plays Holmes, and Jude Law plays his side-kick Dr. Watson.

Watch the trailer for the film.