Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy 5th, Rockcliffe!

It seems that Rockcliffe University is celebrating 5 years in Second Life - HURRAY!  Congratulations to Phelan Corrimal, Mel Krupinski, and all the rest of the Rockcliffe folks who do such great work there!   

Visit: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rockcliffe%20Library/85/129/23 
Previous posts on Rockcliffe and head librarian Mel Krupinski.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Parish of Reading Primley Library

My first glimpse of Parish of Reading Primley
::clears throat::

Fellow gentlemen and fair gentlewomen.  'Tis my wish that thou might ponder, for a mere moment, what comes to thine mind when thou considers the "Tudor" period.  Doest thou think of resplendent gowns and fine carriages?  Doest thou think of fascinating monarchs such as King Henry VIII?  Doest thou think of hunky Eric Bana role-playing King Henry VIII in that Boleyn movie? 

Well, when you are thinking about the Parish of Reading Primley, set in Tudor Britain, you would be mostly correct (all but Eric Bana to be found there - shucks!).  The Parish of the Reading Primley is a peasant village located on Renaissance Island and among it's impressive, historically-themed builds, there is a realistic replica of the Globe Theatre,  a stately church, a bustling marketplace, and of course, a cozy library.

Warming up by the fire
The library is located in Lagswell Manor which graciously overlooks the wharf that serves as the entry point for the sim.  It is a well-appointed library  yet humble; there is but a single, solitary desk in a far corner where one may rest and read.

The collection is small but focused.  Offerings in fiction include such scintillating titles as: Queen By Right, Rivals in the Tudor Court, and Henry VIII: Wolfman.  Non-fiction offerings are equally intriguing:  Catherine of Aragon, All the King's Cooks, and Anne Bolyen: Fatal Attraction.  In addition to books, a note card with suggested Tudor & Elizabethan Internet resources is also available.  A portrait of Shakespeare and a book of maps rounds out the collection.

Period dress is encouraged but not required for tourists wishing to visit the library.  Titles of nobility are currently available for purchase if you are interested in a longer stay and serious role-play ('tis alive and well here!)   Baroness, Duke, Marquis - take your pick!  Any title but King Henry VIII - that one's reserved for you know who!  ::wink::

~ 'til our next adventure,

SLURL:  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Renaissance%20Island/92/92/27

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"A Second Life for Old Maps"

Okay, before we get to the good stuff, dear readers, let me stop and ask you..."How fabulous is this hat!?"

Lovely hat I picked up at BaoBa...

Hee hee.  Now back to our regular programming.  It's been a hectic two weeks since my last post - my laptop keyboard decided to go on strike, I caught a bad cold...meow, meow, complain, complain.  Today, however, I was finally able to escape onto the grid and get back to my bucket list of libraries to visit...and boy, did I pick a good one!

Wall of Maps

The David Rumsey Maps Collection in Second Life is an incredible library featuring old maps exhibited in a new and dynamic way.  David Rumsey (SL Map Darwin) began collecting his historical maps in the earliy eighties and it has grown into one of the largest private map collections in the United States.  In the mid-nineties, he began digitizing his maps so that he could create widespread access for the public.  He now has over 26,000 maps online, which users are free to examine and use for private study or educational purposes.

David Rumsey Maps Welcome Center

The landing point for his sim is the Welcome Center.  Laid out before the entrance is a large world map stuck with bright red push pins - an interactive opportunity for visitors to find their hometown and, in 160 words or less, share something special about it.  On the 2nd floor of the center, a video presentation is available where visitors can learn more about the David Rumsey Map Collection, both in RL & SL, and the fine technical details behind his SL build.

World Globe 1790 & Celestial Globe 1792

 Hanging in the air just across from the center are two globes; one features a world map and the other features a celestial map.  Through the magic of Second Life, not only can you zoom in to examine particular areas of the globes, but you can also fly straight into them to examine them from a whole new perspective!

Perched on the orrey inside the globe

Although the collection features maps from Oceania, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the primary focus is on the Americas from the 18th and 19th centuries.  In Second Life, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite are two such American treasures that have been highlighted in a three-dimensional presentation best experienced within the virtual world environment.

Grand Canyon in 3D splendor

Another highlight is a map of New York in 1836.  It was quite an amazing sensation for me to stride across the map, covering ground between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building in a few mere steps.  Equally exhilarating was the opportunity to interact with the map using the mouseview feature, giving me a chance to explore the map from "street level".

New York 1836

Well, I think that's all for now, dear readers, as I wouldn't want to take all the fun out of exploring David Rumsey Maps for yourself.  Oh, and if you happen to wear a fabulous hat of your own on your fabulous journey there, email it to me - who knows, I might feature you on a future post!

~ 'Til our next adventure,

SLURL:  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rumsey%20Maps%203/116/75/55/

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Friday, November 4, 2011

SLLU Book Depository & Alice Free Library

Trying out my Occupy SL freebies....
Okay, I'll admit it - I'm a sucker for a library flush with freebies.  The original purpose for my trip to the Second Life Left Unity (SLLU) sim was to visit their book depository - I'd take some notes, snap a few photos, then call it a day.  Itinerary in hand, I teleported to the sim and, to my surprise, found myself in the midst of the headquarters for Occupy SL.

1st floor of the SLLU Book Depository
According to the SLLU blog, Occupy SL is a space where residents can gather to talk and learn about Occupy Wall Street, collaborate on protests and demonstrations, and envision what a post Occupy society might look like.   Along with a collection of links related to occupywallst.org, the Globalrevolution livestream and suggestions on how to organize your very own OWS group, there were some really fun FREE! clothes, FREE! sandwich signs declaring statements like "Make Jobs, Not War!", and FREE! poster signs like the one I'm holding up in the photo above - yay for revolutionary freebies!

Thumbing through the books on SLLU's 2nd floor
Loaded up with groovy goodies, I finally headed into the book depository for a look around.  Sweeping past the gathering nook on the first floor, I made my way upstairs and into a cozy room of wall-to-wall books.  The first bookshelf I touched featured links to media articles about SLLU from the likes of Daily Kos, Alphaville Herald, Frontline, and Betterverse.  The remaining bookshelves featured select SLLU blog posts, focusing on topics such as the economic crises, Robert B. Zoellick and the World Bank, and the Libyan no-fly-zone.

Sippin' tea at the Alice Free Library

Alice in Wonderland 
Not quite ready to head home, I decided to take a quick tour of another library on my list.  The Alice Free Library is located on SL Public Land Preserve, a sim dedicated to preserving SL wilderness and beautiful builds.  For a one time 50L fee, residents can join the preservation group and "camp out" (with an additional suggested donation of $20 a day) and gain temporary privileges to rez prims of single-story structures -preferably tents or cabins.

The library itself is set in a park enclosed by four towering brick walls.  Iced tea & lemon wedges are set out for patrons to help themselves to and seating areas are strategically strewn about the lawn, affording patrons a bit of privacy to read or visit quietly amongst themselves.  Near one of the entrances, a sign is posted encouraging patrons to "post any works of literature, comics or art books you like".  Browsing a bit, I saw that many folks had done just that.  The random collection included books for sale, such as C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength, books for free, such as Act II of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and several intellibooks including a book entitled Esher's Relativia, a tome which exhibits an SL house that was built as as a reproduction of MC Escher's 'Relativity'.  Also included in this collection is a magazine featuring nude avatars - so if you're considering a visit, you may want to leave the wee ones at home.

~  'Til our next adventure,

SLLU Book Depository:  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Four%20Bridges%20North/69/83/25
Alice Free Library:  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Alice/37/121/60

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