Bibliophiles know verso as the term for the back of a page or for the left-hand page of an open book (opposite the recto). It can also be used to describe the reverse side of a leaf and even the backside of a painting, meanings that aren’t lost at a place like The Huntington.
As the new name for the blog, Verso might evoke that feeling of looking behind something, turning a page and finding something that you might have missed upon first inspection.
For nearly two years, we have written about the riches of The Huntington, sharing stories that you can’t find in the Members’ Calendar, Huntington Frontiers, or on the website. Our archive contains well over 200 such stories, including posts about the death mask of Isaac Newton, a piano with a surprising connection to the Chinese garden, and a Huntington painting by Edward Hopper that inspired a “forever” postage stamp last summer, to name just a few.
Two years is a very long time in the digital age. Back in September 2010, when we inaugurated the blog with a post called “World Wide History,” we did not yet have an iTunes U page. Now we have well over a hundred audio files available for download—lectures by world-renowned scholars and Pulitzer Prize winners. Two years ago, we had 8,500 friends on Facebook, and 1,500 people followed us on Twitter. Today those numbers are up to 21,038 and 6,779, respectively. The blog, too, has expanded, with the addition of our new video project called In Motion, which will include a variety of video series that will bring new light to the unique physical spaces, collections, and processes that constitute The Huntington.
You can think of Verso as our 2.0 version—the name and dynamic new design represent our desire to refresh the blog and make it a more inviting portal to all things Huntington. Be sure to browse through the general categories listed to the right as well as some of the specific sets and series of posts, from the orchid collection to profiles of visiting scholars. And be sure to submit your e-mail address to subscribe to Verso so that notification of each new post will be delivered right to your inbox. We’ve got great stories to share with you, so don’t miss a single one!
Matt Stevens is editor of Verso and Huntington Frontiers magazine.