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Libraries' DIY crowdsourcing brings museum collection to life

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History’s collection of 130,000 specimens offers more than meets the eye.

Detailed data accompanies nearly every item in the museum’s collection. Though rich in information that could yield promising avenues of research, data collected by hand can be difficult to search and analyze.

From Libraries' DIY crowdsourcing brings museum collection to life | Iowa Now

questions to ask when you learn of digitization projects

Some days you wake up and you see announcements of a new project to digitize a collection of primary source materials. Perhaps an archive that covers centuries of technological and commercial changes, perhaps a collection of newspapers that encompasses the history of African-American politics and culture, just to name a couple of purely hypothetical examples.

I don’t know any details about such agreements and neither do you, unless you happen to be one of the top-level executives at one of the holding institutions for these collections or at one of the companies doing the digitization. And because we don’t know any details, we don’t know whether such projects are great or not. But we can—and we should—ask some questions when we hear about them:

From questions to ask when you learn of digitization projects | Wynken de Worde

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How The Archive Corps Is Saving Documents Before They Disappear

“I’ve gained a reputation as someone you let know when things are going away,” Scott said. In the past, he’s helped connect people with books they’re about to throw away, then with archives that might take those books. But when he got the email about Manuals Plus, Scott says he was the last line of defense. So he drove 230 miles from his home in Hopewell Junction, New York, down to Finksburg, to find out if it was too late to help.

From How The Archive Corps Is Saving Documents Before They Disappear - The Atlantic

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Automating ArchivesSpace exports, or Better Living Through APIs

So after some work, I’ve come up with a Python script that uses the ArchivesSpace API to run through our repository, look for published resource records that have been updated since the last time the script ran, and then export EAD for those records. It will also generate PDF finding aids for those records, using a slightly modified version of the EAD to PDF converter developed by ArchivesSpace. Then it runs through all of the archival objects in ArchivesSpace to see if any of them have been updated, and if so exports EAD for the associated resource record and generates a PDF file. After that, it exports METS files for any digital object records associated with updated resources.

From Automating ArchivesSpace exports, or Better Living Through APIs | Bits & Bytes

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Archives & Access Project: AnnoTate - crowdsourcing to transcribe the Archives

AnnoTate is Tate and Zooniverse’s newly launched online transcription tool, and the public is invited to use it to help decipher the writing found in over 17,000 artists’ letters, diaries and sketchbooks. 

From Archives & Access Project: AnnoTate – crowdsourcing to transcribe the Archives | Tate

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The Future Of American History

So why is the number of history majors diminishing? "Experts blame anxieties about the job market for steering students into fields they think will translate to jobs quickly after graduation," the Columbus Dispatch story observes. "Often that's the STEM disciplines that politicians have championed — science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

From The Future Of American History : NPR History Dept. : NPR

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Stuffed Animal Husbandry: Caring for Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends @ The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is the proud home of the REAL Winnie-the-Pooh, the actual toy teddy bear that once belonged to Christopher Robin Milne, son of A. A. Milne, and the basis for the character Christopher Robin in the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

From Stuffed Animal Husbandry: Caring for Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends | The New York Public Library

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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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