Reagan Library

Stuart Moulthrop

Reagan Library

Some of the innovations of Reagan Library are immediately apparent in the combination of navigable Myst-like landscapes with linked texts. Others can only be read through repeated encounters with the four fictional systems of text that correspond to four "worlds." Mingling instructions, stories, and "nonsense" texts (which can be eliminated by re-visiting and re-reading), Reagan Library is a meditation on forgetting and loss in which text and image work together interactively in an intricate and compelling way.

Begin >

Author description: Reagan Library is an odd mixture of stories and images, voices and places, crimes and punishments, connections and disruptions, signals on, noises off, failures of memory, and acts of reconstruction. It goes into some places not customary for "writing." I think of it as a space probe. I have no idea what you'll think.

Instructions: Each page contains an image and some text. The image is a QuickTimeVR panorama. Dragging the mouse within the QuickTime window moves the virtual camera. Certain images within the panoramas are cues for hypertext links. The cursor takes on the image of a globe when it encounters one of these. Generally, clicking on an object moves your viewpoint close to that object by replacing the current panorama. Occasionally you'll click on an object and find yourself in a different space, marked most notably by a change of color and lighting. There are four spaces in this version of the Library. The texts that accompany the images are also multiform. Pay attention to the small squares or color bars that mark the end of each passage. They're not entirely decorative. If you visit a page more than once, you'll notice the text has changed. The text should become more coherent (if not more sensible) on repeated visits. Simply re-loading a page does not constitute a new visit. You must leave and land elsewhere before you can return. Most pages contain several text links in addition to the graphical links in the QuickTime movie. Lines entirely in italics represent important messages from the Library. More information is available in the introduction and in Reagan Library's "red zone."

Previous publication: Reagan Library was published by Moulthrop in 1999 and in Gravitational Intrigue: A Little Magazine Publication, volume 22cd, May 1999. Reagan Library is also available on Moulthrop's site,

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.