The Boundless Library

Every now and again, a program or application comes alone that just makes you sit back and say “Wow”.  Recently, I’ve downloaded one for the iPad.  The program  NYPL Biblion digs into the content from the New York Public Library surrounding the 1939 World’s Fair.

It’s a big download but that’s because it includes so many images and digital content from the archives.  World Fairs were designed to give humanity a look into the future.  That’s for those in attendance at the time.  What’s interesting is going back in time to see how others envisioned the “World of Tomorrow”.

The fashion, the food – what were they thinking?  It is so interesting to see what others envisioned for the future.  It would be nice to have a checklist.  I really enjoyed the Science area.

The thoughts about how man might make machines to do his bidding are all there.  Ever wonder what the inspiration for Rosie the Robot was?  You just might see a likeness to the robots here.

In addition to the pictures, there are essays from the day outlining current thought.  I found just reading them so fascinating.  It was also so confirming to know that some of the concepts here, we take for granted as we go through our lives.

In 1939, the world was on the precipice of war.  Included in the reading were the attempts to engage Germany in the fair.  Copies of newspaper articles and telegrams document what happened.  Fascinating!

The programming of Biblion is interesting as well.  Hold your iPod in landscape mode and you’re looking at a slideshow presentation.  Hold it the other way for a traditional book view.  Regardless of how you hold it, be prepared for some engaging reading, incredible pictures and videos to tell the rest of the story.

It’s a big download but this is a real keeper.  I find it interesting just to keep looking through but definitely see this app as the perfect travelling companion.  On this holiday weekend, you can grab it from here.



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