XENOTHEKA – a digital library

www.xenotheka.delbeke.arch.ethz.ch

 
 

“What to transmit? Knowledge? It is already available and objectivized on the web. Transmit it to everyone? Knowledge is already accessible to everyone. How to transmit it? Done!”

Michel Serres, Thumbelina

 
 

“At this point the question of whether the Library is infinite or of indefinite size, or whether the number of books inside it is finite or unlimited and recurring, becomes a secondary question. The true hero of the Library of Babel is not the library itself but its Reader, a new Don Quixote, on the move, adventurous, restlessly inventive, alchemically combinatory, capable of overcoming the windmills he makes rotate ad infinitum.”

Umberto Eco, On Literature

 
 

Xenotheka is a digital library of an architectural student. It is a context, a neighbourhood, and a galaxy. Books inhabit Xenotheka, they are its actors and characters. Xenotheka does not aspire to collect all the books. Not at all. Xenotheka is an interest, a question, and an atmosphere. While playing with it one should tune it, modify it, cut in pieces, expand it, disassemble it, and reassembled in any way. Xenotheka becomes a context for communicating with unknown books. It challenges the generic flow of books, with an ability to navigate within the plenty. The library becomes personal, rather than disciplinary. Many interests, and views coexist. In Xenotheka books start to gather, without a clear reason, around a certain interest. At the moment Xenotheka mostly explores history of European architecture from ca. 1450-1850, although not exclusively.