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.

JPEG 2000 'A Great Step Forward for the Archival Community' Says The Digital Preservation Coalition

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has examined JPEG 2000 in a report published today. The report concludes that JPEG 2000 represents a great stride forward for the archival community. This Press Release says JPEG 2000 can reduce storage requirements by an order of magnitude compared to an uncompressed TIFF file. Dr.Buckley says, “This new format has come at a time of heightened awareness about the access to digital documents. Any format that can assist archives and libraries to do this is welcome.”

Learning from Katrina - First Person Conservators' Accounts

On this webpage, Learning from Katrina: Conservators' First-Person Accounts of Response and Recovery; Suggestions for Best Practice, you can find interviews with seven recovery volunteers who helped deal with the aftermath of Katrina. They helped the collecting institutions of the states hit to recover materials damaged by the hurricane and later shared their experiences and what they learned in these interviews.

University of Illinois develops free, easy-to-use web tool kit for archivists

Archivists at the University of Illinois Library believe they have built a better tool kit. Their new online collections management program called Archon has more than a few attractive features – not the least of which is that it was developed for “lone archivists with limited technological resources and knowledge,” said Scott Schwartz, one of the developers of the software program and the archivist for music and fine arts at Illinois.

America's Self Destructing Libraries

Article titled "America's Self Destructing Libraries" in U.S. News and World Report in February 1979. To give some technology perspective here is a computer ad in that same issue.

Mold hits U. of I. Rare Book Library

More Yuck: The gem of the University of Illinois' world-renowned library -- its Rare Book & Manuscript Library -- is infested with mold and will be closed down for several months. About 15,000 books in the collection have mold, library officials said. But the number could be higher, because that includes only what's visible.

Several ways used to secure VA archives

Take A Look at archives security. Public access to archives is limited at prominent Virginia repositories such as the state library, the Virginia Historical Society, the Museum of the Confederacy, the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia and the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary.

"If you talked to every state archivist, they recognize that the greatest threat of theft is from the inside. The potential of that was experienced in New York."

Rare Maps Given to UVA Libraries

A significant collection of rare and historic maps has been pledged to the University of Virginia Library and will be featured in a free exhibition opening this month at the U.Va. Library.
Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz, who holds the position of Distinguished Alumni Professor in the University of Rochester’s department of surgery, is also a renowned cartographic historian. His collection of more than 200 rare maps is considered among the finest in the world.
Included are one of the oldest maps to show the western hemisphere (1508), the first map to show Florida (Hernando Cortés’s 1524 map of Mexico City), and an 18th century map of the Ohio River Valley drawn by then-unknown surveyor George Washington.
The collection documents 300 years of attempts to “put America on a map.” The maps capture American history, from the first European awareness of the continent’s existence to the geographic rendering that is familiar today.

See: This Release.

Archivist: I Stole Papers to Pay Bills

A state archivist was charged Monday with stealing hundreds of artifacts — documents representing "the heritage of all Americans," according to the history buff who found some of them on eBay — to pay his household bills.

Daniel Lorello, 54, is accused of taking the rare items from the New York State Library, including Davy Crockett Almanacs, Currier and Ives lithographs and the 1865 railroad timetable for Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. Authorities believe he hawked them for tens of thousands of dollars, using much of that to pay off his daughter's credit card debt.

"This crime is especially repugnant, because it's dealing with historic documents," state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said. "It's literally stealing the legacy of the state of New York page by page."

Full story here.

Attics, closets yield black history 'treasures'

Smithsonian and library experts assessed the historical — not monetary, to the chagrin of some — value of a tattered family bible, comic books, a handmade quilt, a pin marking the death of cosmetics entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, the nation’s first African-American millionaire, and dozens of other artifacts. The highlight, Bunch said, was the discovery of an exceedingly rare white Pullman port-American sleeping car porters on first-class runs. “I take pleasure in every object I see, but rarely do I say ‘Oh my God’,” Bunch said. “And that was an ‘Oh my God’ moment.”It will join the museum’s permanent collection in Washington.

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