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Rare book experts join forces to stop tome raiders

From Rare book experts join forces to stop tome raiders | Books | The Guardian Lawyers and librarians, booksellers and auctioneers will descend on the British Library next month for a major conference whose title – The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril – conveys the seriousness of the problem.

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How serious a loss was the burning of the Library of Alexandria to human knowledge? : AskHistorians

I know this is a pretty open-ended question, but I think what I'm really trying to get at is whether the meme of a tragic and dramatic blow to the stockpile of accumulated human knowledge is really accurate, whether it's accurate in a limited context (i.e. it sucked for Greece but didn't matter much in the long run), or whether it's a total myth and really nothing too critical or unique was lost due to duplication/transportation/etc.

From How serious a loss was the burning of the Library of Alexandria to human knowledge? REddit : AskHistorians

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The National Archives has failed to keep up with digital records

The Times story then returns to the saga of Clinton’s private email account, but the big, truly gasp-worthy story for the ages lies in those two sentences. The State Department is doing nothing to retain public records. Neither, others tell me, are the other federal bureaucracies. As a result, our history is vanishing into the ether. Major decisions—cataclysmic events—are happening all around us, but their causes may never be known.

From The National Archives has failed to keep up with digital records: Its incompetence is the real scandal behind Hillary Clinton’s email.

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The Collection and the Cloud – The New Inquiry

I wonder if the data collected by platforms will at some point become more transparent, and at what cost or contextual shift. Will my daughter be able to sift through my dark data profiles and learn about the egregious number of times I looked at someone else’s profile? Will there be a new round of data mausoleums, offering to sell us peeks at the past? Is data like defaulted debt, ready to be bought and sold at a fraction of the price and subject to a secondary market?

From The Collection and the Cloud – The New Inquiry

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Harvard Library’s “Cold Storage”

Last month, the Harvard MetaLAB released Cold Storage, a mini-documentary about the Harvard Depository (HD), a 127,000-square-foot “guarded compound” 25 miles from campus where approximately 9 million of Harvard Library’s lesser-used books, pamphlets, records, etc. are stored in a space reminiscent of Home Depot.  

From Harvard Library’s “Cold Storage” - The Fine Books Blog

Breathe a Small Sigh of Relief for the Contents of Middle Eastern Libraries

From The New York Times Arts Blog:

LONDON — At a moment when libraries and archives in the Middle East face threats of damage and destruction from war and ideology, the British Library has announced that it has now made four million images from its Endangered Archives program available online.

The initiative, established in 2004 and supported by the Arcadia Fund, has so far financed 246 projects in 78 countries, attempting to preserve manuscripts, records, newspapers, photographs, sound archives and even rock inscriptions that are at risk of loss or deterioration.

“What’s at stake is what beliefs and biases will shape the way history is told,” Holland Cotter wrote in The New York Times in a 2012 article about the Great Mosque in Djenné, Mali, and the Endangered Archives program’s attempt to preserve and digitize the thousands of Arabic manuscripts housed in the mosque and in the city.

Wiki creator reinvents collaboration, again

This new wiki is composed of a server and a client written in CoffeeScript. The server is a minimal persistence engine that's designed for scenarios ranging from laboratory control systems to academic server farms. The pages it stores contain only JSON, rendered by the client, which does most of the work. Two JSON objects comprise a page: the story (a set of items) and the journal (which remembers how items were added, edited, moved, or deleted). You add items to the page by means of plug-ins that inject paragraphs of plain text, HTML, or markdown, as well as images, video, equations, raw data, charts, and computations. 

From Wiki creator reinvents collaboration, again | InfoWorld

Vint Cerf warns of 'digital Dark Age'

Vint Cerf, a "father of the internet", says he is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost.

Currently a Google vice-president, he believes this could occur as hardware and software become obsolete.

He fears that future generations will have little or no record of the 21st Century as we enter what he describes as a "digital Dark Age".

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31450389

What's in Your (Town of) Sandwich?

Forget "What's in your wallet?" How about what was in the archives of the municipality of Sandwich that everyone seemed to miss until last December?

Here's the story via the New York Times:

A tattered copy of the Magna Carta has been discovered in the archives of the municipality of Sandwich, a sleepy seaside town in eastern England, according to the local government and a historian at the University of East Anglia.

News of the find comes just as the charter, often regarded as England’s first step towards civil rights, marks its 800th anniversary. Events have been scheduled across the country to mark the occasion, including a recent reunion of the four surviving copies of the original version, issued in 1215, in London this month. Between 1215 and 1300, other copies of the Magna Carta were marked with a royal seal, only two dozen of which are known to exist.

The copy found in Sandwich, in the county of Kent, dates to 1300, when King Edward I issued the final version of the charter marked with such a seal. The original version signed in 1215 was issued by King John, an unpopular ruler under pressure to check his own power in the interest of preventing civil war. The document affirms the king as subject to the law like any other citizen.

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Never trust a corporation to do a library%u2019s job %u2014 The Message %u2014 Medium

In the last five years, starting around 2010, the shifting priorities of Google%u2019s management left these archival projects in limbo, or abandoned entirely.

After a series of redesigns, Google Groups is effectively dead for research purposes. The archives, while still online, have no means of searching by date.

https://medium.com/message/never-trust-a-corporation-to-do-a-librarys-job-f58db4673351?repos...

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