CA Regional Oral History Office turns up the volume

Ack writes "One From CA that says history is written by the victors, goes the saying, and the official record of significant events does seem to favor those who benefit most from their outcome. Yet ascertaining what really happened also means determining what role may have been played by those people not immortalized in newspaper articles, biographies, or carefully archived letters.
That's where the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO), a division of UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, comes in."

Battle begins for US Bill of Rights

Charles Davis writes "One hundred and thirty-eight years after a nameless soldier from Ohio rummaged through the wreckage of the state house for North
Carolina looking for a memento of the defeated Confederacy and looted an original copy of the Bill of Rights, the state has mounted
a legal challenge for its return.
The relic was priceless, even in 1865, handwritten by three scribes and sent to the first 13 states by George Washington in 1791.
However, it all but disappeared until last March, when an antique dealer offered to sell the document to a new museum in
Full story at
The Guardian"

Libraries and Books on NPR

Anonymous Patron writes "Speaking of stories on NPR, the audio archives of "All Things Considered" for Sunday, August 10 contain two interesting stories: one about the water damage at the Peabody Library, and one about a typical week at Rare Book School at UVA.
You can listen at"

Preserving Pages in Charlottesville talks about the Visit to the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

Eric Gill archive rediscovered by a stroke of luck

Charles Davis writes "Eric Gill is famous for exquisite calligraphy, elegant stone carvings and woodcuts - and incest.
All are represented in a unique archive of unpublished documents which has recently resurfaced through a bizarre coincidence.
It gives new insights on one of the most brilliant
and controversial figures in 20th century British art - including an invincibly schoolboyish sense of humour.
Story at

Acid to Acid, Dust to Dust

Acid to Acid, Dust to Dust, spotted by Gary "Resource Shelf" Price, says In the labyrinth-like archives of the Germany's libraries, millions of books are slowly crumbling to dust. The culprit: acid and the greediness of 19th century book publishers.
"Roughly estimated, you would have to pay five or six times as much" to microfilm a book as to remove the acid, said Hermann Leskien, the general director for the Bavarian Library in Munich.

Microfilm's trump card: it tends to last

Blake writes "'Archivists who stick with the old
`I'm a technology geek, but we have to be cautious' Microfilm's
trump card: it tends to last.
Simcoe County archivist Bruce Beacock sees digital technology as a
modern convenience with a limited shelf life.
"It's access technology, not preservation technology and we don't know how long the
machines will be around to read it," said Beacock, who heads up the oldest county
archives in Ontario.
Full Story."

Shanghai Museum pays 4.5 million dollars for 'lost' calligraphic collection

Charles Davis writes "More at
Yahoo News:

The Shanghai Museum has paid
4.5 million dollars to retrieve a calligraphic collection which experts termed the most significant event in cultural relics preservation since communist China was founded in 1949.
The four-volume "Chunhuage Tie' (Model Letters from the Imperial Archives in the Chunhua Reign) was bought from a US collector
after mysteriously disappearing in the 1940s, the China Daily said Monday."

What is Permanent in the Digital Age?

This is supposed to be a paperless society, but many of us still
like to hold a piece of paper in our hands.
To me, a piece of paper means permanence, whereas an e-mail does not.
Here’s proof: Yesterday, I accidentally deleted all the e-mail messages on my
computer. Everything was gone because I touched a wrong button.
And that wasn’t the first time it happened. I did the same thing a few months

The article raises some issues that we're all familiar with, but also poses an interesting point about the creation of content in the digital age. Because documents are generally replaced by new content when edited, will we see fewer drafts of important documents in the future?

There's no mention, though, of hidden data in the digital world. (e.g. hidden metadata in Tony Bliar's document or unstripped jpegs.)

Read the full story [from Kingstown Whig Standard]

History On The Chopping Block

Me writes "Christian Science Monitor 7/28/03
History on the chopping block
By Beth Joyner Waldron
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – How do you place a dollar value on history?
That's the daunting question faced by state-operated historic sites
nationwide as they get short shrift in the financial crisis slashing state
How skillfully each state crafts an answer will determine the value our
society places on remembering the past.
Here's The Story."

MIT returns documents to state

News From Massachusetts where they say Kurt Hasselbalch, curator of the Hart Nautical Collections, stumbled upon a cache of late 18th-century state documents, many bearing the signature of John Hancock.

He believes the documents were loaned in 1941 to the Hart Nautical Museum to augment the inaugural exhibition of the Forbes Whaling Collection. Everything changed when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and MIT went into war emergency mode. The documents were put into a file and the loan was forgotten. Another war, 60 years later, delayed its return to the state last year.


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