Library news

Archival historical image
October 1955 – The Journal of Jocular Physics

The Journal of Jocular Physics, published by the Institute of Theoretical Physics (now the Niels Bohr Institute), was a spoof journal produced in honour of Niels Bohr or his 50th 60th and 70th birthdays. The 1955 edition included a new version of Kipling’s Elephant’s Child, the Geneva Conference “Alcohol for Peace,” The Atom that Bohr Built, and much more.  

 

On page 10, a memo addressed to all members of CERN gave advice on the standardization of papers. Rules and a template were provided to reduce the work of writing and editing articles; helpful suggestions included starting all papers about field theory with the phrase “According to Schwinger.”

 

(The 1935 edition is available here.)

CERN library event

Like many, the Library of the Natural History Museum in Paris has invested in the acquisition of electronic documentation and the digitization of its holdings over the past 20 years in order to match researchers’ expectations and keep up with the massive dematerialization of scientific publications and data in the field of natural sciences. And it has been quite successful indeed, since researchers barely use the physical library anymore. What should we do now with our empty seats, reading rooms and reference staff? Should we close the Library or try to think differently about its mission and services? Designing the post-digital library and revisiting the potential of its materiality is not about going backwards. The digital experience and the dematerialization of cultural transactions has impacted our users’ lives in many ways. There are things people are starting to miss, senses that need to be reactivated. What if the library could be a good place to start addressing this sense of loss and look at the physical and social experience of a reading room or the discovery and manipulation of original, heritage collections as legitimate services of their own?

Located in between green houses, exhibition galleries, a botanical garden and a zoo, the Museum’s Library keeps exceptional collections including archives, manuscripts, sculptures, drawings, photographs, scientific instruments and even dead and living animals and plants - all stored in the stacks and backstage. The caretakers of this hidden treasure are also incredible storytellers. Our vision is that the future of the Library may somehow lie behind this scene, in the emotional and material strength and inspiration of this heritage and the passion of the people in charge of their conservation. Making the library “hyper-material” again may be our chance and our next challenge. This presentation will develop the vision of a post-digital library focused on human experience and tell the story of how its team has successfully engaged major organizational changes in order to start experimenting new forms of mediation and reach a totally new public.

A trained librarian graduated from ENSSIB (Ecole nationale des sciences de l’Information et des bibliothèques, Villeurbanne) with academic background in political science (Sciences Po, Paris) and communications (McGill University, Montreal) Gildas Illien served in French libraries in Norway and Austria for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the nineties before spending 11 years at the National Library of France (BnF). Between 2005 and 2016, he specialized in digital innovation and management. His duties and areas of expertise et the BnF included legal deposit, web archiving, mass digitization, digital preservation, and linked open metadata. He was director of the French national bibliographic Agency and led the bibliographic transition national plan between 2011 and 2016. He was then appointed chief librarian and deputy director of collections at the Natural History Museum in Paris where he is currently developing new projects in line with his transformative and somewhat disruptive vision of what a “post-digital”, naturalist library could be.

 

CERN library event

Edward Sarkisyan-Grinbaum, Editor-in-Chief, presents Physics, an international peer-reviewed open access journal which presents latest researches on all aspects of physics. It publishes original research articles, review articles, communications and short notes with no restriction on the length of the papers. Physics is published quarterly online by MDPI.

 

 

                        

CERN library event
Archival historical image
September 1984 – CERN’s 30th anniversary

This photo shows one of the 4,500 visitors at CERN’s Open Day on 15 September 1984. The festivities, which marked the Organization’s 30th anniversary, also included a concert and a formal ceremony on 21 September.  CERN’s team of historians put together an exhibition of archival documents, and a history seminar traced over three decades of achievement. Read all about the events in the November 1984 CERN Courier, or browse through the exhibition catalogue and official speeches here .

Library news

We are considering a future redesign of our premises. Our objective is to offer more ergonomic workspaces, adapted to the needs of our users.

That is why we are conducting a survey. From August 20th to September 6th 2019, please complete the online questionnaire: http://cern.ch/go/6LL9

Since early summer, our team has been considering the question: how do we improve the physical spaces of the library? We have reviewed state-of-the-art libraries and started collecting your opinions through a brainstorming wall and interviews within the library. 

Now we would like even more points of view on, for instance, the furniture that would suit you best, the electrical outlets you need or even how brightly lit the room should be.

The survey will not take you more than 10 minutes. Whether you are a regular user or only come to the Library occasionally, we are interested in your opinion.

The answers to the questionnaire are of course anonymous and confidential. We will not collect your personal data.

If you have any questions, please contact us at this address: library.desk@cern.ch.

Thank you in advance for your participation !

Library news

We are considering a future redesign of our premises. Our objective is to offer more ergonomic workspaces, adapted to the needs of our users.

That is why we are conducting a survey. From August 20th to September 6th 2019, please complete the online questionnaire: http://cern.ch/go/6LL9

Since early summer, our team has been considering the question: how do we improve the physical spaces of the library? We have reviewed state-of-the-art libraries and started collecting your opinions through a brainstorming wall and interviews within the library. 

Now we would like even more points of view on, for instance, the furniture that would suit you best, the electrical outlets you need or even how brightly lit the room should be.

The survey will not take you more than 10 minutes. Whether you are a regular user or only come to the Library occasionally, we are interested in your opinion.

The answers to the questionnaire are of course anonymous and confidential. We will not collect your personal data.

If you have any questions, please contact us at this address: library.desk@cern.ch.

Thank you in advance for your participation !

Archival historical image
August 1987 – “Cosmic Song” by Serge Moro

In 1985 CERN commissioned a monumental mosaic for its new reception building, Serge Moro’s “Cosmic Song”, which was completed in 1987. This photo shows the scale of the artwork, and a more dramatic picture of the swirling colours and shapes was captured by the July/August CERN Courier (p. 31).

 

The metal and plexiglass flooring, built in collaboration with the CERN workshops, uses fluorescent light effects governed by the constant rain of cosmic ray particles from outer space. You can see it in action in the artist’s film clip.

Archival historical image
July 1960 – Soviet visitors arrive at CERN

Following CERN’s decision in 1959 to welcome Soviet scientists, the first long-term visitors from beyond the iron curtain arrived on 18 July 1960 for a stay of six months.

 

Vladimir Meshcheryakov and Rostislav Ryndin, from the Theoretical Physics Laboratory in Dubna, joined CERN’s Theoretical Studies Division, where they continued to work on projects begun in the USSR, while experimentalist Yuri Sherbakov, also from Dubna, assisted in running the 600 MeV synchro-cyclotron. See the July 1960 CERN Courier  for more details.

Archival historical image
May 1971 – Inauguration of Gargamelle

CERN’s Gargamelle bubble chamber was inaugurated on 7 May 1971. The giantess (named after the mother of Gargantua, in François Rabelais’ The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel) was 4.8 metres long by 2 metres in diameter, and weighed 1,000 tonnes.

 

Almost half a century later, some of the pictures showing the trails of bubbles that allowed scientists to view the tracks of the particles form part of an exhibition showcasing work by CERN’s artists-in-residence.

 

Read more about the Quantum exhibition at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona  (CCCB) here and more about Arts-at-CERN here You can watch a short film about the design, construction and operation of Gargamelle here and see more Gargamelle bubble chamber pictures, with some of their interpretive sketches, here.

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