NYPL Biblion: World's Fair
- The Boundless Library
NYPL refers to Biblion as The Boundless Library, taking the stacks of the famous library to anyone in the world with an iPad (a web version is apparently in the works). Here you see the "cover" of the electronic magazine, showing links to some stories you might want to browse.
This unique browser can be flicked up or down, and touching a specific essay brings you into a screen showing details of that story. The colored bars show the type of content contained on each page -- audio/video, featured images, documents, or "connections."
- Home Movies
I felt the inclusion of H. Earl Hoover's home movies of the New York World's Fair to be a wonderful touch. The movies can be viewed in full screen on the iPad.
- The floating groups of content
Another way to browse content is to look at the major groupings, shown here. You can flick around to a specific group to dive into it with a tap.
Scans of actual documents from the Fair include this press release marking the inauguration of television broadcasting by NBC.
- Newspaper clippings
Newspaper clippings from around the time of the Fair also focus on what was taking place -- this article talked quite a bit about television as "one of the most important things to emerge" from the Fair. It has made quite an impact since 1939...
- The "front page" of one of the groupings
When tapped, the floating topic groups turn into these front pages that lead you into the stories.
- Essay view
Once again, I found the ability to flick through the stories to be very helpful and usable.
- A typical story
Here you see a "gallery" and essay about baseball at the Fair. There are some amazing photos of baseball greats Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth in this piece.
Want to know how much it would have cost you to eat at the Fair? A look at the "American Drinks and Sandwiches" menu at Le Restaurant Français shows that by today's standard, it was very cheap. 75¢ for an imported French tin of Paté de Foie Gras, and a glass of French wine for just 40¢ more.
- More about the library's collection
This section deals with the records of the Fair and preservation for the future. If Biblion continues to put the NYPL's stacks on display in this electronic format, they'll do a great service for the human race.