Wednesday, July 4, 2018


MY OLD ROCKING CHAIR


From time to time close friends, members of my family and those who have paid me a visit in my library are asking me the same questions again and again about my rocking chair: Why do you keep a rocking chair in your library for daily use? The rocking chair was bought by me in 1965, I think. The chair is 53 years of age. Not too old compared with the young people I work with these days.  None of friends have bought a rocking chair. When I bought the chair few of my friends at that time had any interest in sitting in a rocking chair which was associated with hospitals and mental facilities. I had no physical problems at the time or later. No.

The main reason for me to begin thinking about my rocking chair was the latest news that Joe Kennedy III has made some statements indicating that he might run for the presidency of USA. I had not heard about the boy but my interest for the Kennedy family is an old interest. Kennedy back in business! Splendid news!Joe Kennedy is a grandson of Robert F.Kennedy. My answer to those who are questioning me about my rocking chair is a recommendation to take a look at the books close to the door of my library: Books about John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and the Kennedy family. I bought the rocking chair in 1965 because the late John F. Kennedy had one. My interest for political issues was a result of the policy of John F. Kennedy: His personal style, his speeches, his support for a better world for people in generally, his critics to the military establishment of USA, his conflict with CIA and above all: FBI and J. Edgar Hoover.

But let us go back to my rocking chair and the history of the chair. As far as I know the inventor of the rocking chair is still unknown. The rocking chair holds a special place in the culture of USA. Two American presidents have made the chair famous: Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. President Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre while sitting in a rocking chair. President John F. Kennedy used the chair to deal with his back problems. His chair was brought with him everywhere he went- even on Air Force One. He gave rocking chairs as gift to friends and members of the family and to heads of state.

My rocking chair is not old- only 53 years of age. I am 74 and I work with young people at the age of 50 – young and hard working people. But none of them  have bought a rocking chair – not yet. But let us wait and see who might be the next president of USA – a new Kennedy? –the present president whose name I do not want to mention, must understand that if he had used a rocking chair daily, he might have behaved more relaxed in contact with other people – he might have changed his political actions too? But anyway, I go for a new Kennedy and a new rocking chair policy.




Tuesday, July 3, 2018


MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS: LORD BYRON

A visit to the city of Rome, Italy, some years resulted in a private research and study of the life and works of the “…mad ,bad and dangerous to know …”, Lord Byron. While I was waiting to get access to an international audiovisual conference in Rome, I was strolling around alone in a nice park of Villa Borghese close to the conference hall. Viewing sculptures set up for public viewing is an activity I appreciate. Close to the conference house I observed a white statue of the late, the famous and dangerous British poet, peer, politician and nobleman, Lord George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, known to many as only Lord Byron.

He was born in 1788. He died in year 1824 at an age of 36 from fever in Missolonghi. Viewing the sculpture arose some old, forgotten and fading knowledge about British poets who I had to study at the old high school – gymnas-in Oslo. I had a very good teacher who made British history and literature an interest of mine. Lord Byron was my favorite at the time. He was “ mad, bad and dangerous to know “, but his attitude to life and political actions were stimulating for a young rebel like me in 1966.
When I came home from Rome I began to search in my private library about literature about Lord Byron and his time. I had only read his famous book: “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage “. The book was translated into Norwegian. But I had read a lot about his life and his literature. I recalled that I had bought a book about Lord Byron some years ago. It took me some time before I found the book because like many other librarians I do not put my books in correct order because I believe in my own memories knowing every bought, read and stored.

The book I had bought was published in Norway in 1948. The author of the book is the French author Andre Maurois. The title of the book is:  ” Byron ” which was translated by Ragna Thiis. The publishing company is Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, Oslo. In 1948 the publishing company did not publish one book only but divided the book into two books. I had got the second book only. Anyway I was not worried. I took it for granted that many copies of the books were to be found in different public libraries in Oslo. The public library of Oslo was requested about the book. I was surprised knowing that only one copy of the book was stored in the library – only one copy!

ANDRE MAUROIS: SOME FACTS ABOUT THE FRENCH AUTHOR
He was born Emilie Salomon Wilhelm Herzog in 1855. He died in year 1967. The biography of Lord Byron was first published in hardback in 1930. He wrote novels, short stories, biographies, histories, children’s books and science fiction stories.
Andre Maurois is describing Lord Byron in a nice and polite way. New statements to made headlines in newspapers about the life of Lord Byron is not his the way he wanted to present the poet who was regarded at his time as “ mad, bad and dangerous to know “.


MOVIES ABOUT LORD BYRON AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Knowing that the public libraries in Oslo have a great collections of films ,movies and documentaries made on DVD for public use, I took it for granted that books and movies of the Lord Byron was treated equally. I was wrong. No movies about Lord Byron had been bought for public use. Sorry.
Anyway, I found movies about Lord Byron on YouTube. I even found a movie made about the dramatic love affair between Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb. She is portrayed by the actress Sarah Miles. The movie was released in 1972. Lady Caroline Lamb was mad about the poet but also made herself famous making the statement: “ … mad, bad and dangerous to know…”.

CONCLUSION
What is my aim of seaching for knowledge in year 2018 about a poet who died at the age of 36 in 1824? A visit in Rome, a sculpture, fading memories, the thrilling search for old and forgotten books and my interest as an advocate for access to both books and movies in public libraries, might be some of the reasons for my studies of Lord Byron. What about the bookshops in Oslo and books about Lord Byron? Only one copy left of “ Don Juan “ in one of the largest bookshops in Oslo. Not translated into Norwegian. Penguin Classics. Reprinted with corrections in 2013.In English only. To my surprise it is not written in a complicated language. Not at all. Easy to read. But I could not buy any movies about Lord Byron in the bookshops. I had to go back to YouTube for viewing of movies about the famous poet. The public libraries have got a competitor: YouTube.




Sunday, July 1, 2018


ARCHIVE SELECTION COMMITTEES: WIPING OF AUDIOVISUAL NATIONAL HISTORY?


Biography of the Norwegian journalist, artist, author, film actor, folk singer and above all: Radio and television reporter and producer Erik Bye has been read and evaluated. Erik Erikssønn Bye was famous in Norway. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926 and died in Norway in 2004.The biography of Erik Bye was released in 2017. The book consists of 525 pages to read. But to those of you who worked him in The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), could have added more pages because he was more that great – he was a national giant!

ERIK BYE WIPED?
Even if my work for the NRK was to take care of the Television archive, I had to administrate the Archive Selection Committee. Appointed members from the different producing departments were members of the committee. We had to make a selection of the future of every transmitted television programme: The life or death of the programmes. Programmes made on films were kept without any evaluation but programmes made on tapes had to be evaluated. We decided to wipe a lot of programmes. Gradually I got a feeling that we made a great mistake wiping transmitted television programmes. The visual national history was important to keep.
Reading the biography of Erik Bye I was reminded about the conflict of the work of the committee. We had decided to wipe the only copy of two of the programmes made by Erik Bye.
“ Lys i vandal natt “ was the Norwegian title of a programme about the Norwegian poet Hans Børli. Due to the fact that the programme got negative critique, the committee wiped the only cope of the programme made. The main reason for the wiping was that Nrk needed to reuse the tape for a new production.
With reference to the Archive Committee a programme about Ingolf Hansen was wiped. The title of the programme was: “ Om gutten som gjemte seg i tårnet”. The programme was a story about a boy who suffered from brain damage. He was 28 years of age.
We decided to close the committee after a proposal from me. The result was that we kept all television programmes transmitted. Wiping of information give to the population of Norway could be regarded as a hidden policy of censorship. I was happy when the work of the committee was finished.
Sorry about Erik Bye and two of his splendid productions.
Recommendation to all broadcasting companies worldwide: Close your selection committee at once.






Thursday, June 28, 2018


THE SOURCES: IN DEFENCE OF A NEW APPROACH READING BOOKS-IN DEFENCE OF THE COLLECTIONS OF AUDIOVISUAL ARCHIVES
INTRODUCTION
The standard rule of approaching the content of any book is to study information written on at the title page of the book: The title of the book, the name of the publisher, the year for releasing the book, the name of the translator, and the name of those who supported the publishing of the book. Basic facts of the book are put on the title page-facts that are called metadata by the new media librarians working for an audiovisual archive.

THE GOAL
My new approach for any reader who wanted to find information about the sources for the information published in the book, must begin to read the book backward. The last pages of the book are a thrilling experience for scouts searching for audiovisual information used in the book. My assumption is that the selected sources used by the author might reveal forgotten sources or sources of no less importance for the content decided by the author? My critical assumption to the list of used sources might be wrong or exaggerated in a negative sense?

THE WANTED SOURCES STORED IN AUDIOVISUAL ARCHIVES
The aim of my research is to investigate whether movies, radio programmes, photos, television programmes, documentaries are objects for the content of the book. If the author made references in his book to the sources mentioned, you take it for granted that the information is to be found among used sources like written reports and books related to the content of the book.
Let me explain my point of view by reporting about one book which I read with great interest during my holiday in Alanya, Turkey in 2018. The  book was left at the hotel by one of the guests. The book was a biography of the famous British author, Roald Dahl. The title of the book was: Roald Dahl. Grensesprengeren. The Norwegian author was Øivind Bratberg,and the book was published by the Norwegian company, Dreyer Forlag Oslo, in 2016. 333 pages.
I must admit that I had read very few of his books. I recalled the name because I take holidays at the same site in Norway where he went with his family on holidays: Tjøme,a seaside site not far from the city of Tønsberg.  I read the book with great interest. The story of Road Dahl was not a boring story at all. Well written by the author. While reading the book, I found it great that he referred to Norwegian television productions and produces and my old working place, The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation(NRK). Splendid! After having read the book, I took time in studying the sources at the end of the book. My critical assumption was awoke. NRK is registered at page 15, 91, 290 and at page 293 of the book. Splendid. What about the references to Nrk published at the end of the book?
The famous Norwegian reporter and writer Henry Notaker who used to work for years for Nrk, has been selected for the register of names. But to my surprise the famous Norwegian actor and former television producer, Harald Heide Steen, was not selected for the register. Four Norwegian transmitted productions produced by Nrk, are mentioned in the book. To my surprise only one of the programmes was registered as a source.

I paid the audiovisual archives of NRK a private visit to investigate facts about Road Dahl. The result
was: 803 hits were found in the radio archive ,and 343 hits in the old television archive. Norway had not forgotten the famous British writer whose mother was Norwegian.


CONCLUSION
I have used only one book to explain my critical attitude to the lack of official recognition of materials stored in audiovisual archives worldwide. One book only. The reasons for not making a list of all sources used in the book might be a result of the following policy or lack of policy of the publishing companies?
-          For economic reasons only. It was too expensive making the list of references for the book
-          The facts were forgotten
-          Old fashioned and negative academic attitude to television programmes, movies, radio programmes used as sources. Written documents and published books are more important as sources than material from audiovisual archives
The fight for an official recognition of productions made by television and radio as sources for academic research and for new book productions, is an unfinished battle. The sources used by any author must be treated equally. The new digitalization of materials from audiovisual archives is a challenge for those who are going to write new historical books, political biographies, newspaper reports and new productions made for YouTube.
Backward readings of books are recommended. Read and study the list of sources with a critical attitude to content of the lists. Good hunting and good luck.





Saturday, March 31, 2018

ALANYA:STONE SCULPTURES


ALANYA: STONE SCULPTURES AT THE WATERFRONT



If you take a walk along the waterfront of Alanya you will be surprised about the number of stone sculptures which are set up for public viewing. In the city square of Alanya a monument and a sculpture of the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is set up. He was Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the founder of the Republic of Turkey. He was serving as President from 1923 until his death in 1938. The policy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became known as Kemalism. Ataturk means " Father of the Turks". He is commemorated by many memorials throughout Turkey.
 But if you go closer to the beach, you will find many sculptures which are not historical memories of the state of Turkey. Take a look at the photos taken by me. It seems to me that the citizen of Alanya and tourists appreciate the sculptures.

President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.


Friday, March 30, 2018


ALANYA: WOOD SCULPTURES

Public exhibitions of wooden artworks and wood sculptures set up public parks are not common in Norway. In the city of Alanya, Turkey, a nice exhibition of wood sculptures is set up in the park close to the sea. The sculptures are set up in the park where you may enjoy flowers like tulips and hyacinths too. The city square of Alanya is a popular site for people who are living in the city, and for  many foreign visitors and tourists like me. I did not manage to take notes of the persons who made the sculptures while I was walking around in the park. Sorry
.

 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

ALANYA: JAWA


I must admit that I am not a fan of motorcycles .Not at all. But I liked riding my moped when I was too young to drive a car. Old cars, motorcycles and old equipments of different types are objects for my interest of the past because I appreciate reading history and viewing films about the past. Old equipments are to be found in the old movies. It is even more interesting to view old cars, motor cycles, guns, technical equipments forgotten and lost as original objects than viewing photos of the objects. While I was hunting for new objects for my camara during my stay in the city of Alanya, I was surprised finding an interesting and well-known motorcycle in use in Alanya: JAWA 353/354.
The motorcycle was famous in Norway among boys from 1950 to about 1960. JAWA is a motorcycle made in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1929 by Frantisek Janecek. He started the business after having worked in the armament industry for several years. The first model was introduced on October 23, 1929. The model which was popular among boys in Norway in 1950, was JAWA 353/354. The motorcycle was exported to about 120 countries worldwide. It was one of the most successful models of JAWA. I was told that the motorcycle was not made in Turkey- but I am not quite sure about the information given me from people I talked to in Alanya?

I know for sure that the production of JAWA motorcycle was introduced to India in the 1950s. Anyway , it was a nice to see that old motorcycles can be used like they were used in the good old time when the daily life was little different from to-day.