Archives

Library and Archives Canada restricts access for music encyclopedia workers

Researchers working for the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (EMC) have had their open access to Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa revoked due to security concerns.

Those working for EMC have had an office in the library's building in downtown Ottawa since the encyclopedia project began 30 years ago.

EMC editor in chief James Marsh told the newspaper that his staff are not a security risk: "I told [the archives] … I'll gladly submit my people to the RCMP."

Marsh says things were going well until archives head, historian Ian Wilson, was replaced three weeks ago by Daniel Caron, a civil servant.

More from the CBC and the Globe and Mai.

Spanish Flu Stories

Enough already about swine flu...but if you're interested in some historical perspective on the effects of the 1918 flu, check out the following websites; Dover NH Public Library, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Stanford University.

This article from the Indiana Post-Tribune has some local history of the flu, including an archival photo of public librarians in Gary wearing masks.

The Wasilla Public Library Before Sarah Palin

Thanks to Gov. Sarah Palin, most of us have heard a bit of recent history about the Wasilla, AK Public Library.

But twenty years before the kerfuffle over banning books, librarian Edith Olson wrote a book about the library called The Library and I. A History of the first twenty-five years of the Wasilla Public Library.

Olson was the librarian at the Wasilla Public Library from 1938-1958. When she arrived there was no library building and the library consisted of two bookcases in the hall of the school house. The library held 350 books, when she left, 20 years later, there were 9,000 more.

Here's some info about the book from booksellers Wessel & Lieberman, and you may also read the first two chapters on scribd.

Delicate Precursor to the Modern Dust Jacket

A librarian at Oxford's Bodleian Library has unearthed the earliest-known book dust jacket. Dating from 1830, the jacket wrapped a silk-covered gift book, Friendship's Offering. Silk bindings were very vulnerable to wear and tear, so bookselllers would keep them in these wrappers to protect the binding underneath. When you bought the book you would take the wrapper off and put it on your shelves, which is presumably why so few of these covers have survived.

Unlike today's dust jackets, wrappers of the early 19th century were used to enfold the book completely, like a parcel. Traces of sealing wax where the paper was secured can still be seen on the Bodleian's discovery, along with pointed creases at the edges where the paper had been folded, showing the shape of the book it had enclosed.

The jacket had been separated from its book, and had never been catalogued individually. It remained hidden until the library was contacted by an American scholar of dust jackets looking for the earliest known example.

21st century literary archives examined

The intrusion of the Internet into archiving technology is a very interesting and novel issue. Previously, archivists collected personal correspondence and diaries. Paper, while degradable, already has maintenance techniques. However, the recent onslaught of technology has given people various online resources through which to express themselves, like Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, and various other blogs.

Archives for All at Flickr

Ever heard of the the Flickr Commons? The goal is to share the treasures of the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer. Flickr photographers are invited to help describe the photographs they discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments.

The newest member of the Commons is the D.C. Public Library, with some wonderful old photographs of our Nation's Capitol. The collection features historic images of D.C.’s buildings and federal memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, historic houses, and street scenes, portraits of past presidents and other prominent Americans.

Here's a scene from one hundred years ago, the inauguration of President Taft.

Archiving Writers' Work in the Age of E-Mail

An interesting article on new issues arising from the increasingly digital artifacts of writers.

"'Once we learned how to preserve paper, we were good,' says Naomi L. Nelson, interim director of the manuscript, archives, and rare-book library at Emory University's Robert W. Woodruff Library. 'That really hasn't changed a lot. With computers it's a whole different ballgame.'"

In addition the article touches on some interesting areas of intellectual property (or the uncertainty of it):

"Information that lives inside a writer's personal hardware — like the data on Mr. Updike's floppy disks or Mr. Rushdie's hard drives — may not have physical dimensions, but it is at least attached to a single device that is owned by somebody. 'It's physically here,' says Mr. Kirschenbaum, gesturing toward a shelf of Apple Classic computers, donated to the Maryland institute by the poet Deena Larsen. 'I can wrap my arms around it.'

Not so with e-mail and social-media content. These are not programs run on individual computers; they are Web-based services, hosted remotely by companies like Facebook and Google. The content exists in an ethereal mass of data known in information-technology circles as 'the cloud.' There, Mr. Kirschenbaum says, 'you get into this wilderness of competing terms of service.'

With more and more information being stored on the Web, it is no longer clear who owns what."

WWII Find at New South Wales Library

German industrialist Oskar Schindler’s list of 801 Jewish workers he helped escape death during World War II has been discovered by a researcher at Australia’s New South Wales state library. The list will be displayed at the library and online from Monday.

The researcher found the carbon typescript copy of the 13- page list among six boxes of research notes and newspaper clippings belonging to “Schindler’s Ark” author Thomas Keneally that were donated to the library in 1996, the library said in an e-mailed statement. Library spokeswoman Vanessa Bond confirmed the discovery in a phone interview in Sydney. Bloomberg.com.

Data Rot






Computer formats come and go leaving some users with data no longer compatible with software or hardware. As David Pogue reports, this is called data rot.

In Praise of Archives

In this article a scholar relates some experiences of doing research in archives. When he tells people about his many years of research they sometimes ask why anyone needs to go to the archives at all, since everything is now on the Internet.

Au contraire, he reports.

After his most recent foray to a Parisian library he writes, “Nearly every day I found something new in the archives, whether a detail about the families or finances of the principal characters, a twist in the legal case, or another piece of information that shed a little more light on the controversial affair. Each discovery was a reminder of how much is hidden in the vast yet incomplete archive of the human past — how much has been lost for good and how much, even in the digital age, still depends on the paper, parchment, or papyrus record.”

http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=d485dj23z8vmzltmlxsrl7npgfyv5wwk

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