Report From Norway: “Future Library Opens Secret Archive of Unseen Texts in Oslo”
UPDATE (June 30, 2022): Additional Coverage: The Norwegian Library with Unreadable Books (via BBC News)
See Also: Video: 2021 Goethe-Institut Video Featuring a Conversation With Katie Paterson and Anne Beate Hovind.
From The Guardian:
On Sunday the Future Library, a project dreamed up by the Scottish artist Katie Paterson, was opened to the public in Oslo. After eight years, manuscripts penned by some of the world’s most famous living authors were delivered to “The silent room” on the top floor of the Deichman library, where they will remain for the next 92 years.
Four of the Future Library’s eight authors travelled to personally slide their manuscripts into one of the 100 glass drawers in the room constructed from 100 layers of undulating carved wood. Visibly awed and clutching their manuscripts, David Mitchell, Sjón and Tsitsi Dangarembga lined up in stockinged feet – Karl Ove Knausgård was barefoot – to enter the womb-like treehouse and deposit their stories. These works will not be read or published until 2114, when the Future Library will open its drawers to the world.
In the eight short years since its inception, because of the pandemic, growing concerns about the climate crisis and the war in Ukraine, the symbolism and mission of the Future Library – to provide hope for the future – feels more urgent. This was not lost on the first batch of authors, said this year’s special guests Sjón and Mitchell. Sjón described “this path here in the forest in Oslo (becoming) a metaphor for how literature works: it is the work of generations; writers are literally working in the footsteps of writers who went before them – and that is the magic of Katie’s work: she makes enormous concepts like time and the universe visible and understandable.”
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.