Archives

Archives Site Captures Web\'s Growing Pains

\"As a tool for archiving information, the Internet is a wonder, especially in its ability to make a variety of materials, from magazine articles to video clips, accessible to people around the world. But the Internet hasn\'t always been up to the job of archiving itself. That\'s changing, with the launch of the Wayback Machine, a repository of Web pages from the Internet Archive (www.archive.org), a nonprofit based in San Francisco. With the Wayback Machine, you can surf the Web as it was. Which means, in practical terms, the chance for researchers, historians and others to gaze back in time at snapshots of Web sites such as ESPN.com, Lycos or even out-of-business companies like Webvan.com. \'Wayback,\' it should be noted, means way back to 1996.\" More

U of T\'s porn test

Bob Cox sent along This Story from The Toronto Star on the largest collections of modern pornography in Canada now being cataloged at the University of Toronto, \"behind a door marked Do Not Enter — Alarmed Directly To The Toronto Police Service\".

Its acquisition makes U of T the first Canadian institution to own such materials, though the academic study of smut is well advanced in many places of higher learning in the United States.

\"Some of it is from Italy and goes back to the earliest days of filmmaking — there\'s one that I\'m guessing is from 1910 or 1915 because it\'s very jerky,\" says the professor. \"Oh, I guess I shouldn\'t use that word.\"

SAA Responds to Presidential Paper Restrictions

An excerpt from SAA President Steve Hensen\'s letter to Congress:

I write to express the grave concern of the Society of American Archivists with respect to the President’s recent Executive Order 13233 on Presidential Papers . . .

Our apprehension over this Executive Order is on several levels. First, it violates both the spirit and letter of existing U.S. law on access to presidential papers . . . This law establishes the principle that presidential records are the property of the United States government and that the management and custody of, as well as access to, such records should be governed by the Archivist of the United States and established archival principles—all within the statutory framework of the act itself. The Executive Order puts the responsibility for these decisions with the President, and indeed with any sitting President into the future. Access to the vital historical records of this nation should not be governed by executive decree; this is why the existing law was created . . .

Second, on a broader level this Executive Order potentially threatens to undermine one of the very foundations of our nation. Free and open access to information is the cornerstone to modern democratic societies around the world . . .

More. Thanks to librarian.net.

Smithsonian Museum and E-Bay Acquire Florida\'s Voting Machines

One of the voting machines used in the Florida year-2000 Presidential election is being immortalized in the Smithsonian Institute\'s Museum of American History. The remaining 3,499 machines are being auctioned off on E-Bay. \"The county is asking a minimum bid of $300 for a voting machine with brass plaque, a butterfly ballot, a certificate of authenticity, 25 sample punch-card ballots and a signed photo of the canvassing board. For a $600 minimum bid, they\'ll throw in all that, plus an aluminum ballot box.\"
more

Bush Clamping Down On Presidential Papers

From yesterday\'s Washington Post:

The Bush White House has drafted an executive order that would usher in a new era of secrecy for presidential records and allow an incumbent president to withhold a former president\'s papers even if the former president wanted to make them public.

The five-page draft would also require members of the public seeking particular documents to show \"at least a \'demonstrated, specific need\' \" for them before they would be considered for release . . .

\"The executive branch is moving heavily into the nether world of dirty tricks, very likely including directed assassinations overseas and other violations of American norms and the U.N. charter,\" said Vanderbilt University historian Hugh Graham. \"There is going to be so much to hide.\"

More.

Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access

Mark writes \"SEPIA (Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access) is a EU-funded project focusing on preservation of photographic materials. On this website (http://www.knaw.nl/ecpa/sepia/) you will find information about :

research: \'scanning equipment and handling procedures\', \'preservation aspects of digitisation\', \'ethics of digitisation\' and \'descriptive models for photographic materials\'

news and events: containing announcements and press releases about the latest SEPIA news, a calendar of events and references to relevant resources
training: about SEPIA workshops, seminar and national SEPIA training events
orginal proposals for SEPIA I and SEPIA II
SEPIA partners and associate partners: cooperating SEPIA institutions
This website is also a platform and a source of information for anyone who wants to know more about the preservation of photographic materials.
\"

Glasgow University fire destroys Darwin manuscript

Charles Davis writes \"A fire at Glasgow University has destroyed first edition
works of Charles Darwin.
The fire caused £8m of damage, and university officials
describe the losses of original manuscripts as \'tragic\'.
It\'s thought the fire started in roof space used for storage in the 100-year-old Bower building.
Professor John Coggins has told The Daily Telegraph
about the lost documents.
\"Some of these would have included works by Darwin but
what is more irreplaceable is the loss of original
manuscripts, \" he said.
More at
The Telegraph


\"Although we may have duplicates of these in the university\'s library, it is tragic that we have lost the originals.\"

Can LOC Preserve its 35 terabytes?

Luis Acosta writes \"Short article in MIT\'s Technology Review on the Library of Congress\'s effort to figure out how to preserve digital information:\"


Congress recently gave the library $100 million to figure out what to do with all that stuff.

\"With that money we\'ll be able to gather the technical people and the archivists and start to develop a prototype,\"

Letter by Letter

The Great Bob Cox sent along This One from U Of Chicago Mag on the University Library\'s Special Collections.

They have a $125,000 grant from the Save America\'s Treasures Program, and librarians have begun going through the collection piece by piece, putting it into order and preparing it for microfilming. By next June they plan to have the entire collection on film. The oldest paper-like documents in Regenstein are fragments of flattened papyrus from the second century a.d.

No word on plans to put the collection online.

Volunteers Nationwide Join to Create/Preserve Web Archives on Terrorist Attacks

A large number of volunteers nationwide are joining the Library of Congress and an Internet archive to collect and preserve online information from around the globe about the attack on America. more... from The Washington Post.

Syndicate content