Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Collection of the Family of Henry Posner Sr.

The collection was established by Helen and Henry Posner Jr. at Carnegie Mellon University in 1978. Henry Posner Sr. and his wife Ida M. Posner were the collectors of the books and art in the Posner Memorial Collection. During their lifetimes, Mr. and Mrs. Posner Sr. traveled widely and acquired rare books, carved ivory, jade and other items of fine art. The collections include two parts. The first collection, assembled mostly between 1924 and 1955, served his interests in fine bindings, books about fine arts and books for the family's reading. The second part, collected between 1955 and 1972, focused on books illustrating landmarks in intellectual history, especially in the natural sciences. This website makes almost all of the books in Posner Memorial Collection are available in full text online to users.

It is easy to browse the whole website by Author, Title, Publication Date, and Subject or Call Number. The metadata fields for each image include View Book, Title, Author, and Date. When users click the link of the item, it will lead users to another webpage. In this webpage, it shows first the small images such as the cover of the book, and also provides more links about this item, such as “Library Catalog”, “Collector’s File”, “Annotation” and “View Book Page Images”. Especially, users can read the full text through the link “View Book Page Images”. “Medium Image” and “Large Image” functions are very useful for people with eyesight problems. Users can just read one by one page, and it is convenient to use “book” button to return to the first page of the book at any time, or use “next”, “prev” “next 50” or “prev 50” buttons to explore the book. Obviously, it is not easy for users to find the exact page.

Furthermore, users may access to the collection either by searching for word(s) or phrase in all main categories (author, title, subject, date) of books or by searching for word(s) or phrase on all pages inside the collection's books. When I use the key word 'picture' to search all pages inside books, I am so surprised to find out that 819 pages were found containing the word 'picture'.

Because use of the Posner Collection is intended for educational purposes only, the audience for this site would primarily be college students, researchers, and anyone who may interested in history of science, literature and decorative arts.

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