• Agents of Change

    • With so many dubious sources of information floating around the Net, websites like this one, which use the utmost care and best taste to pick formidable texts, stand out like lighthouses on a stormy night.

    Public Domain Review, an exquisite online catalogue / 

    The Internet is a phenomenon which, like literature, does not cease to amaze us. It will continue to unfold endlessly giving life to new folds —a cycle that never comes to a standstill. You can actually become a well-read person, or research an entire Ph.D without ever holding a book. But, what happens if you don’t actually know what you’re looking for? The overwhelming feeling we get when we face too many options is one of the issues modern man must deal with, which also makes it hard to establish filters that can control the quality of the flows we receive. We can easily get lost among these unruly seas, and losing ourselves leads to paralysis.

    Luckily for us though, there is a long tradition of people who are willing to sacrifice their time for universal access to knowledge. Websites like The Poetry FoundationBartleby and Project Gutenberg have voluntarily catalogued millions of works and great translations that their users can have free access to. However, one of the most fascinating online websites is Public Domain Review, an Open Knowledge Foundation project that has given Faena Sphere a chamber of wonders to review.

    Founded by Adam Green and Jonathan Gray, the website presents the reader with some of the most extravagant and beautiful texts the Internet has to offer. In Green’s words ‘The Public Domain Review aims to be a kind of web-based wunderkammer of works which have entered the public domain, a cabinet of interesting curiosities with comments and criticism from contemporary writers, artists and scholars.’

    Public Domain Review could easily be the digital realm’s ideal library. We do not lose time there, neither does our attention go to waste. Take De Monstris, by Fortunio Liceti, or the Vera Historia by Luciano de Samosanta for example; the beastiaries that inhabited the best minds of the second and twelfth centuries are undoubtedly worth pouring over and getting lost in. In sum, Public Domain is a luminous example that represents a sound model of digital curatorship.

    Tagged: Internet, Agents of Change, Public Domain Review