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Guardians of the nation's attic

Guardians of the nation's attic
The National Archives keeps watch over 10 billion historical records. And its treasure hunting team keeps watch over collector shows and EBay for the scraps of valuable history that have been stolen.

LOC and Partners Preserving the Internet

This week in Washington, DC, the Library of Congress is gathering its "Digital Preservation Partners" for a three-day session -- one of a number of such meetings the library has been holding under a broad initiative called the "National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program." Its multi-year mission is "to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations."

It's what Dan Gillmor of Salon calls a non-trivial task, for all kinds of technical, social and legal reasons. But it's about as important for our future as anything I can imagine. We are creating vast amounts of information, and a lot of it is not just worth preserving but downright essential to save. Gillmor's role this week, and at a workshop he joined last year, is to be thinking about the news.

Documents Headed from National Archives to Nixon Library

YORBA LINDA CA– Family photos, gifts to President Richard Nixon and some 40 million pages of documents from his administration were made available for the first time Thursday at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda.

The artifacts were shipped earlier this year from the National Archives facilities in Maryland. Nixon Library Director Timothy Naftali said about 50 percent of the collection is still being processed.

Pam Eisenberg, AV technician at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, has been busy cataloging films and gifts recently consolidated into the collection. One of her favorites film clips is President Nixon meeting a tennis team, which was edited into the movie "Forrest Gump".

"This is the first time that people in California will have access to the documents," Naftali said. "It means that high school and college students and scholars can have hands-on experience working with primary source materials from the Nixon era."

Thursday's opening of the library's research room drew local journalists. On Friday, the library was set to release nearly 100,000 documents, many from the files of former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who worked in the Nixon Administration, and video oral histories. It is the first local release of materials.

Relax, Legal Scholars: Bobbleheads Are Safe at Yale

The oldest item in Yale Law School’s rare book collection is a 1,000-year-old fragment of a medieval manuscript bound inside an Italian guidebook for notaries. The newest is a bobblehead doll depicting William H. Rehnquist, 16th chief justice of the United States.

Fred R. Shapiro, an associate librarian, explained the latest acquisition: “A hundred years from now, if someone wants to study the bobbleheads, where will they go? There needs to be an archive.”

And so the Lillian Goldman Law Library, which probably has the best collection of rare law books in the world after Harvard and the Library of Congress, is now the official repository of bobbling likenesses of a dozen Supreme Court justices.

Full story here.

Copying Federal Videos for Online Archive

The International Amateur Scanning League has taken it upon itself to copy as much federal video as it can and put it online. Above, Carl Malamud conceived the project.

Full story here

Having a Nose for Degraded Documents

Having a Nose for Degraded Documents
At long last, scientists have developed a “sniff test” to measure the telltale aroma of old books and irreplaceable historical documents. You know the smell — that “combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness,” as the authors put it. Inhale and smell the Industrial Revolution!

Online archive of UK science launches

Online archive of UK science launches
The British Library has begun a project to create a vast, online oral history and archive of British science.

The three-year project will see 200 British scientists interviewed and their recollections recorded for the audio library.

An advisory board will help the project pick key technological innovators and scientists for the archive.

Bookmark Collectors...Mark Your Calendars

On February 20 and 21, 2010 the first convention for bookmark collectors will take place online. For 24 hours, bookmark collectors from all over the world will meet to give and attend seminars, view galleries, shop, swap, and socialize with other collectors and enthusiasts. For many collectors, this will be the first time they will have the opportunity to meet and discuss their passion with other enthusiasts, live.

If you collect bookmarks, make bookmarks, or are curious about bookmarks; if you are interested in ephemera, biblio-paraphernalia, craft samplers, book history, small art, or collectibles; or if you are interested in seeing the first virtual convention for collectors of any sort, then stop by the website and register for the Bookmark Collectors Virtual convention.

Convention Websites are BMCVC and Bookmark Convention. Organizers are Alan Irwin, info@bmcvc.com and Lauren Roberts, lauren@bmcvc.com, who also runs the website Bibliobuffet. In My Book® will participate in the convention as a vendor.

National Archives' new director is a kid in a candy store

National Archives' new director is a kid in a candy store
Ferriero, 64, began work in November and had his ceremonial swearing-in Wednesday as the director of the National Archives and Records Administration. He was inaugurated into a little-known job that puts him not only at the helm of the United States' 10 billion-item trove of documents, but also at the forefront of efforts to make the U.S. government as transparent as possible to its citizens.

National Library of Ireland William Butler Yeats Exhibition

Enter exhibition here. Enjoy the elaborate virtual reality exhibition, and follow Yeats development as a poet, a playwright and writer of prose. The National Library of Ireland has the largest collection of Yeats manuscripts in the world, many contributed over the years by his widow and by his son.

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