Briefly Noted for October 15, 2009

Dan Brown Gets Smithsonian History Right and Wrong in "The Lost Symbol" — Smithsonian Magazine’s Around the Mall blog has a nice “fact or fiction” run down of claims made about the Institution by Dan Brown in his latest thriller, The Lost Symbol, which is set in Washington, DC.

Curator Now Online — Via @NancyProctor comes news that Curator: The Museum Journal has launched a new website. Unfortunately, it looks like only subscribers can access full text articles, but I love that the journal is using WordPress to manage the content.

The Tweeting University Administration: How Much is Too Much?Inside Higher Ed is reporting that George Washington University administrators use Twitter more heavily than colleagues at other universities, with an average of 57.7 tweets per day. The entire study by contains some potentially more interesting and more useful data, including rankings by number of followers and number of offical accounts. From a quick scan, my own university, George Mason, doesn’t seem to appear on any of the lists. I’m trying to decide whether that’s a good thing or not.

Harvard-Yenching to be Digitized — The Harvard College Library and the National Library of China have launched a project to digitize all 51,000 volumes in Harvard-Yenching Library’s rare book collection. The project will take six years, and apparently the results will be made available under open access terms.

Google Books Settlement: Sergey, Smoke — I’m a week or so late on this, but anyone who hasn’t done so already should read Sergey Brin’s response to critics of the Google Books settlement in the New York Times. Brin makes a good case for benefits the settlement will bring, but doesn’t directly address many of the more subtle criticisms of the deal, a point made effectively, if a little snarkily, in a Slate article entitled “Sergey Brin Blows Smoke Up Your Ass.”

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