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New bill would nullify presidential records order

From Library Journal:

Legislation has been introduced that would nullify President Bush\'s executive order 13223, which allows sitting or former presidents to block access to presidential records. Representative Stephen Horn’s (R-CA) Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2002 would establish specific guidelines for the release of records and the handling of presidential claims of privilege . . .

A bit more. Even more from The Reporter\'s Committee for Freedom of the Press.

A Library as Big as the World

You\'ve most likely heard of Brewster Kahle\'s Internet Archive. In the case that you have not, this note on the homepage should tantalize you

The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.

Well, an interesting article from Business Week tells of the development of Kahle\'s project, his plans for the future (which include better searching capablilites and digital copies of TV and radio programs) and the *huge* obstacle that is COPYRIGHT! In the article, Lawrence Lessig calls Kahle his \"hero.\" Wow! The strange thing about the article is that it seems to be sympathetic to Kahle and Lessig, rather than business.

1930 U.S. Census Data Available

From the New York Times (registration required):

Joseph Pierre Leclerc was a womanizing bounder who drank too much, beat his children and made a habit of marrying within a month of his last divorce.

After years of research, Michael J. Leclerc knew that much for sure about his unlamented great-grandfather, who died in 1968. What the great-grandson did not know - what had him out after midnight scrolling through just-released microfilm here at the northeast regional office of the National Archives - was which of his great-grandfather\'s countless women was living with him in 1930 when census takers knocked on his front door . . .

Such were the prickly personal questions that brought genealogy buffs out during vampire hours here and across the country for the unveiling of information on individuals and families gathered in the 1930 census. Under federal law, this data, which, most juicily, discloses who was living with whom and in what dwelling, is kept secret for privacy reasons until 72 years have come and gone . . .

More. The National Archives has finding aids for the census available online. -- Read More

British Library Preserving Digital Heritage

The average lifespan for a website is 60 days. \"To a librarian, whose whole role in life is to preserve information, that is the stuff of sleepless nights.\"

As well as regularly archiving 10,000 sites, the British Library will take half-yearly \"snapshots\" of the entire .uk domain, which is presently 25 million webpages, with 60,000 being registered monthly. The library plans to create a cross section of British websites, consciously choosing a variety of sites, \"for example, we chose the Soil Association site and also the Monsanto site, to see how the debates on GM foods matched up.\" The archive will be cataloged, somehow, and they are investigated getting copyright clearance so that the public can browse the archives.Read the Full Story here

Georgetown Library in dispute over Graham Greene

Luis Acosta writes \"Here is a story from today\'s NY Times in a dispute involving Georgetown\'s Lauinger Library and scholars trying to get access to the papers of Graham Greene:

While Greene\'s authorized biographer toils away on the third volume of Greene\'s biography, other scholars are being denied access to Greene\'s papers by virtue of the library\'s restrictive reading of Greene\'s ambiguous intentions. \"
Also available at Yahoo.

The problems arise from a pointedly inserted a single comma that may or may not have drastically changed a document making it clear that he had authorized one writer to be his official biographer

Appeal seeks to keep classical music treasures in the UK

Charles Davis Sent in this Story from
Ananova on an appeal launched to buy a unique collection of classical music treasures.

The Royal Philharmonic Society archive could be split up or
leave the UK unless the cash appeal succeeds, the British
Library said today.


Deborah Bloom also sent in A Second Story on the same thing.

Romans Clash Over Musical Treasures

Charles Davis passed along
This One
on the president of one of Romes most venerable musical institutions, who has sparked a row with
another organisation over the custody of valuable music artefacts.
He had joked that in their new home, musical treasures would be preserved and available for
research, unlike the original manuscript of Bellinis Norma, which he said is currently being gnawed
by mice under the very noses of the librarians.

But a journalist took the comment seriously and the librarian of the Conservatorio was asked to
respond.

Campaigners urge action to preserve digital heritage

Charles Davis writes \"from
Ananova Story
With More at the \"The Guardian\" where they say

Academics are warning that more needs to be done to
preserve Britain\'s digital heritage.

The Digital Preservation Coalition fears over-reliance on
technology means important contemporary records could
be lost to future generations.

\"

Spies, Lies and the Distortion of History

Luis Acosta writes \"The Washington Post, in a story about a KGB archivist who meticulously collected and smuggled out information concerning the KGB\'s activities in Afganistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion, calls the archivist\'s work \"one of the most impressive acts of heroism ever performed by a librarian.\" More generally, the story highlights the difficulty of reconstructing history when events are manipulated by layers of misinformation by competing intelligence agencies.
See Steve Coll, \"Spies, Lies and the Distortion of History,\" Washington Post, February 24, 2002, page B1, or On The Web \"

Texas Archives Release Chummy Bush / Lay Correspondence

The Texas state archives have released documents suggesting that Bush\'s ties to Enron\'s Kenneth Lay are much closer than he\'d have us believe. He appears to be trying hard to bury any additional evidence. Thanks to Metafilter.

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