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Archiving in the Digital Age

Archiving in the Digital Age, By John Courtmanche, says movie execs say they're constantly being second-guessed by technology advocates for not trusting computer archives.
Hollywood studios are not turning their motion picture film assets into digital archives, in favour of a format that is as agnostic and neutral to technology change over the decades as possible. Senior vault executives at Paramount Universal, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox and MGM all confirmed that 35mm film remains their most trusted medium for archiving their visual assets.
Senior vault executive sounds like a cool gig.

Destroy Order Reportedly Sent in Texas

A. Faithful Reader links us to This NY Times story about the aftermath of the Texas legislature's Democratic contingent's recent defection:
Texas Department of Public Safety captains were ordered to destroy all records gathered in the search for Democratic legislators who fled the state in a successful effort to prevent a redistricting bill from passing, according to a published report.

The one-paragraph order, sent by e-mail, was obtained Tuesday by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram under the Texas Open Records Act.

If you don't want to login to read the Times story, The Guardian [UK] picked up the AP wire version.

Lost treasure turns up in Niles library

Bob Cox writes "Mercury News Reports Just off the Niles main drag in San Fransico sits one of the Fremont district's rarely seen treasures -- the 75-year-old Niles library. It contains an extensive, one-of-a-kind file on the history of Niles and 11,000 other items -- books, newspapers, videos, CDs, audio cassettes and a sculpture the Monterey Museum of Art thought was lost for more than 40 years, the ``Poppy Nymph,'' valued at $20,000, "

Lindisfarne gospels on public show

Charles Davis writes "Full story at
The BBC

The Lindisfarne gospels, one of Britain's most important texts, go on show at
the British Library in London on Friday in an exhibition looking at Britain's
cultural life in the eighth century.

The Lindisfarne Community Heritage Centre on Holy Island will now have a
"facsimile" of the gospels, which will join a 23-page electronic version.

"

Unpacking Harlem History

Jen Young noticed This NYTimes Story on A'Lelia Bundles. The Museum of the City of New York, as part of an exhibition, "Harlem Lost and Found," is giving
the public's first glimpse of most of the items in Ms. Bundles's collection.Ms. Bundles, who has no children, plans to bequeath her heirlooms to museums. For now she will keep her first editions of books by Harlem Renaissance writers in a bookcase downstairs, near a pair of chestnut and glass cabinets containing some of the silver and perhaps even the ostrich feather fan. The neatly marked boxes of papers will go in the second-floor study.

McCarthy Senate Investigations Transcripts Now Public

Senator Joseph McCarthy called nearly 500 witnesses
before his subcommittee and made them answer all
sort of invasive questions about their loyalty to the US
and/or allegiance to the Communist Party. The
transcripts of most of these interviews were sealed for
50 years and have just been made available
online
, in annotated form, all 4,200 pages of
them.

"the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
held extensive hearings, in both executive and public
session, that focused on the U.S. Information Libraries
worldwide. It examined the books that the libraries
stocked, and called some of the authors to testify.
During the course of the investigation, chief counsel
Roy Cohn, and chief consultant David Schine,
embarked on a highly publicized tour of the overseas
libraries in major European capitals...

...the State Department ordered the
removal of any books by Communist authors or
Communist sympathizers from the Information
Libraries' shelves. Hundreds of works of fiction and
non-fiction were discarded, and some were burned."

[The libraries contained the poetry of Langston
Hughes, who was questioned by the committee.]

Florida considers what to do with infamous ballots

Jen Young spotted This One @ CNN on what to do with the 6 million ballots from the last election. Should the ballots hanging chads and all, be destroyed or saved because of their historical significance?
Many election supervisors in Florida's 67 counties want to get rid of the ballots because they take up so much space. Miami-Dade's are in taped-up cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling of a warehouse, while Palm Beach County's 2000 election records sit on three 5-by-5 foot pallets, each of them 6 feet high.

National Libraries/National Identity

Luis Acosta writes "This Washington Post commentary by Princeton historian Robert Darnton compares the burning of Iraq's National Library to the destruction of other great libraries throughout history, including the burning by the British Army of the Library of Congress in 1814.

"Libraries and museums are not temples for ancestor worship, but they are crucial for the task of knowing who you are by knowing who you were. That kind of knowledge must be continuously reworked. Destroy the possibility of replenishing it, and you can strangle a civilization."


"How will the Iraqis fuse a national identity out of the diverse cultures that have come apart with the destruction that has robbed them of their common past?"
"

Hitler's Forgotten Library

Steve Fesenmaier writes "The Atlantic has a most interesting story for librarians and biblio-therapists. The books that constitute the Hitler Library were discovered in a salt mine near Berchtesgaden—haphazardly stashed in schnapps crates with the Reich Chancellery address on them—by soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division in the spring of 1945. "

Iraq National Museum Looted

Luis Acosta writes "The New York Times reports on "what is likely to be reckoned as one of the greatest cultural disasters in recent Middle Eastern history," the pillaging of the National Museum of Iraq, where "at least 170,000 artifacts [were] carried away by looters."

"

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