Today we continue the series of posts featuring the books suggested for the Manual for Civilization with a list from a couple of guerrilla archivists here in San Francisco, Megan and Rick Prelinger. In all, we hope to develop an ever-changing collection of 3,500 volumes to form a corpus which could sustain or rebuild civilization. To broaden our selection process we’ve asked Long Now members and Interval at Long Now donors to suggest books for the list. Please join us and make your suggestions; we are just weeks away from opening.
Rick Prelinger has the distinction of giving more presentations in our Seminars About Long-term Thinking series than anyone. The last six Decembers he’s presented a vintage film collection in his “Lost Landscapes” series, usually centered on family home movies and other non-professional sources. Megan is a cultural historian and archivist in her own right and is the author of Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957–1962. Megan’s knowledge of the US space program is encyclopedic and nuanced. Together they began the Prelinger Library in 02004 which is open to the public and focuses on their mutual interest in “ephemeral literature.” Megan came up with a unique organizational structure for their collection which is sorted by geography. As you will see, the collection has particularly great resources on the built landscape and the space program.
The Prelingers personally walked us through their library to select some singular additions to our Manual for Civilization collection. Like the others we have posted, their list is intended as a component of a larger corpus. Each subset of books represents a perspective, sometimes a highly specialized one, that will help to document and sustain this complex system we call Civilization. Enjoy.
- A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System, Volumes I and II
- The New Exploration: A Philosophy of Regional Planning by Benton MacKaye
- The Oxford Companion to the Year: An Exploration of Calendar Customs and Time-Reckoning by Bonnie J. Blackburn
- Science and Public Affairs Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: Implications of SALT Gamesmanship at Helsinki
- Tablet of Memory 1773
- Report on the Underground Water Supply of San Francisco County
- Principles of Cartography by Erwin Raisz
- Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth edited by William L. Thomas, Jr.
- Salt in California: State of California, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mines, Bulletin No. 175
- Urban Entomology by Walter Ebeling
- The American Hunting Dog: Modern Strains of Bird Dogs and Hounds, and Their Field Training
- Landscape in Sight: Looking at America by John Brinckerhoff Jackson
- A Primer of Forestry Part II Practical Forestry Bulletin No. 24 by Gifford Pinchot
- Tales from the Underground: A Natural History of Subterranean Life by David W. Wolfe
- Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1947 Volume 1
- Mechanization Takes Command by S. Giedion
- The Book of Camping and Woodcraft: A Guidebook for Those who Travel in the Wilderness by Horace Kephart
- The Tramp’s Hand-book by Harry Roberts illustrated by William Pascoe
- Fire by George Stewart
- Storm by George Stewart
- Railway Track & Structures Cyclopedia Eighth Edition by Merwin H. Dick
- Shield and Compressed Air Tunneling by Bertram Henry Majendie Hewett
- Steel Rails: Their History, Properties, Strength and Manufacture by William Hamilton Sellew
- Practical Tunnelling by Frederick Walter Simms
- City: Rediscovering the Center by William Whyte
- The Home Mechanics Handbook: The Standard Handy Master Handbook
- Introduction to Cartooning by R. Taylor
- Fables De La Fontaine illustrated by Par Grandville
- Graphic Presentation by Willard Cope Brinton, S.B.
- The Code-Breakers by David Kahn
- How to Use Pictorial Statistics by Rudolf Modely
- Lieber’s Standard Telegraphic Code by B. Franklin Lieber
- Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills
- Department of the Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76 March 1986
- Department of the Army Field Manual: FM 5-29: Passage of Mass Obstacles
- Department of the Army Field Manual: FM 8-35: Evacuation of the Sick and Wounded
- Missiles and Rockets: Washington, American Aviation Publications
- World Geo-Graphic Atlas: Composite Of Man’s Environment edited and designed by Herbert Bayer
- The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen
- Our Bodies, Our Selves: A Book by and for Women
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control and Pregnancy Achievement by Toni Weschler
- The Movement Toward a New America: The Beginnings of a Long Revolution (A Collage)-A What? assembled by Mitchell Goodman
- Minerals for Atomic Energy: A Guide to Exploration for Uranium, Thorium, and Beryllium by Robert D Nininger
- Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Biosphere 2: The Human Experiment
- The Communistics Societies of the United States by Charles Nordhoff
- America’s Communal Utopias by Donald E. Pitzer
- Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It
- Exploring the Unknown – Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program Volumes I-VII
- Space Resources and Space Settlements by NASA
- NASA Historical Data Book, Volume 7: NASA Launch Systems, Space Transportation, Human Spaceflight, and Space Science 1989-1998
- Uplink Downlink: A History of the Deep Space Network 1957-1997
- The Safe House: Setting Up & Running Your Own Sanctuary by Jefferson Mack
- How To Circumvent A Security Alarm In 10 Seconds Or Less: An Insider’s Guide to how it’s Done and how to Prevent it by B. Andy
- The Construction of Secret Hiding Places by Charles Robinson
- Without a Trace: A Forensics Manual for You and Me
- How To Bury Your Goods: The Complete Manual of Long Term Underground Storage by Eddie The Wire
- Techniques of Burglar Alarm Bypassing by Wayne B. Yeager
- Dictionary of American Regional English
Many thanks to the Prelingers for taking the time and care to recommend these books for our collection.
Their list adds to suggestions from Kevin Kelly, Maria Popova, Violet Blue, Stewart Brand, Brian Eno and dozens of Long Now members and supporters.
You can visit the Manual in person and drink coffee, tea, or a cocktail while reading up on rabbit raising and bamboo cultivation at The Interval at Long Now. Or follow Neal Stephenson’s suggestion…
— Neal Stephenson (@nealstephenson) June 28, 2013
You’ll see Neal’s list of books here soon, as well as lists from Danny Hillis, Neil Gaiman, Mark Pauline, and others. And not long after that you’ll have the chance to visit The Interval in person. Construction is nearly complete, and the Interval will open later this Spring in San Francisco.
Thanks to many of you we have raised over 3/4 of our “brickstarter” goal. So we are asking for your generous support to help us finish construction and complete this project, including acquiring books for the Manual for Civilization.