Archives

Document Traffickers

This Smithsonian Magazine article tells the stories of people who stole historical documents from libraries and archives, and how they were eventually caught. It is interesting to see that eBay is not only an easy way to sell the stolen goods, but also the means by which many thieves are tracked down.

Histories: When the internet was made of paper

"Histories: When the internet was made of paper" 22 March 2008 From New Scientist Print Edition.
Many libraries have the print edition of New Scientist. If your library is one of these, you will enjoy this article.

"For some, the highlight of a trip to Belgium is a visit to an ancient brewery or a demonstration of diamond cutting. When Australian Boyd Rayward travelled to Brussels in 1968 there was only one sight he wanted to see: a disused university anatomy theatre. Unusual? Perhaps, but Rayward was a graduate student in library science, and the cobwebby old theatre with leaking skylights housed something he had to see before it vanished forever. Inside the gloomy theatre, Rayward found piles of papers and archives that had remained untouched since 1944. These were the last remnants of the Mundaneum, a vast and visionary attempt at an immense proto-internet made from the most unlikely of materials: 3-by-5-inch index cards." -- Read More

Oldest human voice recording!

We all hear growing up that the first recording of a human voice is Thomas Edison's "Mary had a little lamb." However, this may not be true. Audio historian David Giovannoni, has discovered a recording that predates Edison's by 17 years. Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville used a phonautograph to create this artifacts.

Helen Keller photograph

This is from last week, but still very cool. Researcher's have uncovered what they believe to be the earliest known photograph of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan. It was donated to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, by a man whose mother had played with Keller one summer. An interesting piece of history rediscovered!

Archivists block release of Clinton papers

Federal archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library are blocking the release of hundreds of pages of White House papers on pardons that the former president approved, including clemency for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich.
That archivists' decision, based on guidance provided by Bill Clinton that restricts the disclosure of advice he received from aides, prevents public scrutiny of documents that would shed light on how he decided which pardons to approve from among hundreds of requests.

Email Is Changing the Way We Communicate and Historians Are Worried

There's a treasure-trove of computer-generated communications sitting out there amongst business, government and significant people that is not available to historians and biographers. There is no way to access, manage and use it. So, what's the problem? Apparently, it's the future. Without these digital communications, generations who follow will lose opportunities for valuable insight and understanding as to the who, what, why and how of our lives, says Peter Gottlieb, State Archivist of Wisconsin. The Rest Of The Story.

UK Councils struggling with e-archives

One From The UK The first national survey of local authority archive services has revealed that arrangements for the permanent preservation of digital records are presenting a significant challenge for councils.

National Archives, the organisation which sets standards and supports innovation in information and records management, found that local government is a long way behind Whitehall in making arrangements for digital preservation. None of the more than 100 councils taking part in the Local authority archive survey has an operational digital preservation system.

Archives to Clear Clinton Logs in March

Archives to Clear Clinton Logs in March: The National Archives said Monday it expects to release Hillary Rodham Clinton's schedules as first lady later this month, but has asked a judge to delay the release of thousands of her telephone logs for one to two years.

Library on ice

In Norway, Global Seed Vault guards genetic resources

With plant species disappearing at an alarming rate, scientists and governments are creating a global network of plant banks to store seeds and sprouts - precious genetic resources that may be needed for man to adapt the world's food supply to climate change.

This week, the flagship of that effort, the Global Seed Vault, received its first seeds here - millions of them. Bored into the middle of a snow-topped Arctic mountain, the seed vault has as its goal the storing of every kind of seed from every collection on the planet. While the original seeds will remain in ordinary seed banks, the seed vault's stacked gray boxes will form a backup in case natural disaster or human error erase the seeds from the outside world.

Full article here.

YouTube video about facility.

Former archivist charged with selling museum items on eBay

The former archivist for Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA, and his wife allegedly sold items taken from the museum and sold them on eBay. According to the indictment, the sales were done on eBay from January 2002 through September 2006.

The RMS Titanic items were part of Aks Collection bought by the museum for $80,000, according to the U.S. Attorney.

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