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Spring Snow

Spring and snow. They should not come in the same week, but too often even here at ibiblio world headquarters, they do.

He suddenly wakes up and finds that he is impervious to the snow. Not only that, but it is speaking to him. He decides that he will write down the words of the snow, and, as he studies them, they gradually begin to melt, giving way to spring. After he has written down all that there is to know about the crystals they vanish completely, and people begin to awaken from their frozen slumber.
From a synopsis of Abe Kôbô’s 1951 short story, “Shijin no shôgai ” appearing as “The Life of a Poet” in English from the ibiblio Abe Kôbô site.

As you might expect, Project Gutenberg has a large collection of various writings on the snows of springs past. But you may not realize that Spring Snow is also the subject of a contradance, a type of sturdy crab apple, a “New Light of Myanmar” article on ocean plant blooms,

1944, a C-46 transport plane flying over the Hump.

In Hyperwar‘s scan of the 1944 FM 70-10 War Department Field Manual for Mountain Operations, we learn:

New firn snow is compact, granular snow that is composed of closely associated grains instead of individual flakes. Heat-softened new firn snow is refered to as Spring Snow by skiers.

Posted in Collections.

Winter’s Almost Gone

“Winter’s Almost Gone” so sings Roger McGuinn in tribute to Pete Seeger in this month’s free music download at the Folk Den. Although February seems solidly winterly especially this year, the ibiblio offices in North Carolina are warm and we’re thinking of planting bulbs and looking for crocus blossoms to push up through what passes in North Carolina for frost and frozen earth.

Pacific Bulb Society logo
Luckily, we have the Pacific Bulb Society to help us plan. The Pacific Bulb Society was founded in 2002 and has been hosted here at ibiblio for most of its life. The PBS Wiki is a volunteer-written encyclopedia about flower bulbs. The members have collected and shared information on thousands of bulb species (with photos in most cases), plus selected hybrids also covering related topics like how to grow them, how to obtain them, their personal favorite bulbs, and where to see them in the wild and in gardens. This wiki includes all “geophytes:” plants with an underground storage organ such as bulbs, corms, rhizomes, and tubers. [notes lightly adapted from]

While looking for crocus blossoms, we always refer to this handy guide from Project Gutenberg, “How to tell the birds from the flowers.” Indispensable and seemingly inexhaustible.

How to tell a crow from a crocus

Posted in Collections.

In the Month of January – Reviewing the ibiblio year

“It was in the month of January, the hills were clad in snow” sings Roger McGuinn at the Folkden.

And for much of the US that’s true at the moment. As we enter a new year at ibiblio, we want to note a few accomplishments and changes.

John Reuning who oversaw the move of the ibiblio infrastructure to UNC computing services and on to virtual machines as well as developing TeraSaur for improved BitTorrent services moved on to Rally Software as their new technical lead in May.

Cristóbal Palmer joined ibiblio in mid-summer as our own new technical lead.

We moved to answering more of our contributor and user requests in the open using AnswerHub software donated to us by DZone at

Several of our friends and contributors were in town this past year: Cory Doctorow talked about his new book Homeland in February, Roger McGuinn played at the ArtsCenter in May, Lawrence Lessig spoke here in March, Bebo White spoke about the importance of Web Science in October. Just to mention a few.

We got some massive international media coverage for having the First Web Page including being recognized in the University of North Carolina Profile entry at the Forbes America’s Top Colleges site (first sentence!).

We did some talks on #noemail (several by Paul see my blog), 20 Years of ibiblio in 5 minutes (Paul), The Work of Art, Technology, and Love in the Age of Digital Reproduction (Paul at Ackland Art Museum), The Challenge of Archiving Dynamic Websites at ibiblio (Cristóbal), and Why Coding is Fun and Matters to Democracy (Ashlee Edwards at 1st Amendment Day)

And we created a 2 minute animation in which space travelers talk about how ibiblio has been useful to them.

ibiblio is the Future from UNC SILS on Vimeo.


New Year. Bright Future. ibiblio. Keeping contributing. Keep sharing. Love to all.

Posted in Highlights.