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Museum going, time-frittering edition

May 12, 2008 |  2:30 pm

Wpa_goldenstate

Coudal Partners, a design/advertising/interactive firm in Chicago, is in my RSS reader. And I admit, I avoid it. Because when I follow their links, I get sucked into category-defying Web excellence, to the extent that later I look up, dazed, completely unsure of what I was supposed to be doing but full of, say, booktitle-bandname combos like " The Things They Might Be Giants Carried," "Jane Eyre's Addiction" and "Abba Karenina."

But today I followed the time suck to end all time sucks, their Museum of Online Museums -- aka the MoOM. It is what it says it is and includes everything from the wondrously mundane -- The Grocery List Collection -- to the exquisite, like Duke University's Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library and the British Library's online gallery of great books. You might look at some ancient illustrated texts close up or find yourself wondering why William Burroughs' classic was published in England as The Naked Lunch -- as if the title referred to a single nudist luncheon appointment.

The image above comes from a WPA pamphlet that's part of the Smithsonian's collection, where I ended up after clicking through on a link for WPA calendars. This is all interesting, possibly addictive Internet exploration. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Carolyn Kellogg

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