Welcome to The Pinakes, a discussion of library technology, new and old, and how the two might meet. Your host and bibliophylax is Daniel Ransom. By day I am the Librarian for Research and Electronic Resources at Holy Names University’s Paul J. Cushing Library in Oakland, California. I am an MLIS graduate from San José State University’s graduate School of Library and Information Science. I have a passion for history, rare books and modern technology.
This site is named for the first known library catalog. The pinakes was the work of Callimachus of Cyrene, a scholar, poet and librarian of the third century BCE. Callimachus oversaw the famed Great Library of Alexandria at a time it housed all the known knowledge of the world. He is considered by many to be the father of bibliography.
The original pinakes was an index of all the world’s information, divided into eleven categories. I will use this blog as a tool for discovering, describing and indexing the latest tools for information-sharing — how many categories of technology will we discover? From the bronze age to the digital age, from papyrus, to codex, to pdf — it’s all information.