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Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, World Wide Web

This Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. There has been a lot of online hoopla, including this great slideshow from PCMagazine of the earliest websites, as well as an article on predictions that didn't come true.

Given the anniversary,  it seemed like a great time to check in on our Networking Before the Net exhibit. The exhibition has its own Twitter hashtag #networkingexhibit and here's some of what both the Rosenbach and our visitors have posted.

The exhibit also offers a spot for visitors to rest and to help us create an exhibition commonplace book.

Commonplace books, or personal miscellanies, were blank books used to collect quotations, poetry, bits of wisdom, etc. that a person wanted to save. We asked visitors to contribute their favorite quote, quip or adage to our exhibit miscellany and here are a few of the items which have been shared:

"I would prefer not to" --Bartleby the Scrivener

"A house without books is like a room without windows" Horace Mann

"You can retrieve a pebble thrown into the pond--But you'll never get the ripples back"

"Respect, not earned, is not deserved"

"In the next two days, tomorrow will be yesterday"

"Don't ask what your country can do for you as what you can do for your country"--JFK

"Why are there so many songs about rainbows..."(visitors wrote the whole first verse)

"It's a small world...but I wouldn't want to paint it"

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye" The Little Prince

"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be"---Marcel Pagnol

"Let the bridegroom quit his room and the bride her chamber. between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lords, weep" Joel 2

"Why is a raven like a writing desk" Lewis Carroll

"Surgeons must be very careful/ when they take up the knife/For underneath their fine incisions/stirs the culprit life"--Emily Dickinson

"Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt" Kurt Vonnegut

"Between two evils choose neither/Between two goods choose both" Tyron Edwards

"To a Mouse" --Robert Burns (visitors wrote the whole poem)

"The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings" Casey Stengel

"To travel is to live and die a thousand times"

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music" Nietzsche

Thanks to all who have come to the exhibit so far and thanks especially to those who took the time to share their thoughts. If you haven't stopped by yet, the exhibit runs through June 16th.

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

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