Mark Twain's "Autobiography" (v.1) is available at the Teszler Library

MARK TWAIN -- A Long Lost Photo ?

By design of the author, the world waited 100 years for this book.

But Twain's "Autobiography" is available now at the Teszler Library - look for it on the "New Books" display shelf.

Related links:
Mark Twain Autobiography official website "This is Mark Twain" - Interactive, informative.

"Dead for a Century, Twain Says What He Meant," New York Times article, July 9, 2010.

The Autobiography of Mark Twain – review, The Guardian, November 21, 2010.

The Adventures of Samuel Clemens (review), Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2010.


Yahoo Clues

Yahoo released a new tool today called Yahoo Clues, which displays demographic trends related to popular searches. It also includes a "search flow," a look at the previous and next search terms used.  At present, Yahoo Clues only tracks the most popular topics, but "Yahoo said they hope to expand the number of terms included over time," according to Search Engine Land.

Here's a brief description from Yahoo:

Yahoo! Clues lets you explore how people are using Yahoo! Search. When you enter a word or phrase in the [Find Trend] field and click Discover, you’ll see information about that search term’s popularity over time, across demographic groups, and in different locations.

You can also enter a second search term in the "Compare With" field. This will show you information on both search terms, side by side.

Or, read Search Engine Land's detailed discussion, Yahoo Clues: New Fun Search Keyword Tool.


Heinitsh Drug Store Papers now available online

Earlier this year a conscientious Spartanburg citizen donated the Heinitsh Drug Store Papers to Special Collections. This collection consists of prescriptions and formulas created in the operation of the family-run drug store during the 19th century.

The Heinitsh Drug Store was opened in 1856 and the proprietor Henry Heinitsh witnessed and participated in the explosive growth of Spartanburg after the Civil War. The store, located on Morgan Square for many years, would eventually boast the first telephone in the young city.

The collection we have basically consists of two items: a re-used cotton shipment ledger book in which were pasted prescription slips for various customers, and a small notebook presumably used as a reference by the Heinitshs marked "Formula's Private" (sic). The image above is a typical prescription slip. Below is the front cover of the formula book.

And here's the inside cover and front page:

Every page from the ledger and notebook have been digitized and put online for your examination. Surely this is an interesting collection for those interested in the history of medicine and pharmacology. And we can learn a great deal about the people and times from the maladies described in the prescriptions - perhaps this collection will provide new insights about the people and events of the period.

(Thanks to the staff of the Kennedy Local History Room at the Spartanburg County Library Headquarters for assisting me in my research about the Heinitsh family and their business. The resources provided there were critical to my understanding of this collection.)


Blekko, a slashtag search

Blekko, a new search engine that allows users to filter results using slashtags, is now available to the public.  Here are a few clips explaining how Blekko works:

"blekko is a better way to search the web by using slashtags. slashtags search only the sites you want and cut out the spam sites. use friends, experts, community or your own slashtags to slash in what you want and slash out what you don't." from Blekko.  According to Blekko's site, there are three types of slashtags, user, built-in, and topic slashtags, that allow you to limit searches to a type of site or by topic.

"Blekko’s “slashtags” are a unique feature that may draw you in on occasions when you want to see how search results look when they’re skewed to a particular viewpoint... This is all done using slashtags, special keywords that you place after what your searching for, in order to indicate the viewpoint you want used to spin your results." from Search Engine Land.

"Rich Skrenta, Blekko’s co-founder and chief executive, says that since Google started, the Web has been overrun by unhelpful sites full of links and keywords that push them to the top of Google’s search results but offer little relevant information. Blekko aims to show search results from only useful, trustworthy sites... Blekko’s search engine scours three billion Web pages that it considers worthwhile, but it shows only the top results on any given topic. It calls its edited lists of Web sites slashtags."  from the NY Times.

Search Blekko