Academic Libraries

Mr. PDF goes to Washington

One From PDFZone.com on managing and preserving electronic records on behalf of the federal government poses challenges, said Linda D. Koontz, director of information management issues for the General Accounting Office--the government watchdog agency that "follows the money"-- in recent testimony before the House Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Census, part of the House Committee on Government Reform.

Libraries warn of digital dark age as key websites lost

"The 21st century will be seen as a cultural dark age unless urgent action is taken to preserve Britain's electronically published heritage for future generations, Britain's national libraries have warned."

"They say the lack of any strategy for archiving the rapidly increasing amount of material published on the internet, on CD-Rom and on DVD means vital documents are being lost to the nation forever."

"More than 60,000 commercial items were published electronically in the UK last year, and that number is forecast to increase fivefold by 2005. Non-commercial items, such as the majority of the UK's 2.95 million websites, add enormously to this figure." (from The Sunday Herald)

Exposing Hidden Collections: A White Paper and Working Conference

"The ARL Special Collections Task Force is convening a conference September 8-9, 2003, at the Library of Congress to explore the challenges of providing access to uncataloged and unprocessed archival, manuscript, and rare book materials."

"Barbara Jones (Head of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) has compiled a white paper that lays out the problem, the opportunities, and some recommendations for how our communities might proceed to enhance access and use of these collections. The white paper will be the focus for the discussions at the conference. See "Hidden Collections, Scholarly Barriers: Creating Access to Unprocessed Special Collections Materials in North America's Research Libraries". (from ARL)

Revolution or Evolution for Law Libraries?

Steven writes "A Law.com Story says the conventional wisdom is that online, compact libraries are much more cost-effective for the firm. That may be true, but there is one big problem with this scenario: Attorneys and administrators don't always share the same opinion about how a law firm library is used and what types of resources make up the tools of the trade today.
"

Digital citizens

Charles Davis writes: "Digital citizenship could soon be a fact of life if the government gets its way. Paper records of births, deaths and marriages - the
legal bedrock of individual identity - are to be phased out in England and Wales. Cradle-to-grave records will be stored on a new
database - and the only proof of who you are will be digital. Full Story"

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art to display Chatsworth

Charles Davis writes "Beginning September 13,2003,
visitors to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art will have the opportunity to see
over 250 priceless treasures from the
private collection of the Duke and
Duchess of Devonshire. Amassed over five
centuries, the collection includes old
master paintings and drawings,
sculptures, masterpieces of gold and
silver, porcelain, gems, jewellery,
furniture, early photographs, and rare
books and manuscripts from Chatsworth's private library, considered the greatest in the world.
More at
Yahoo! News. "

Fancy a vomiting hippo ring tone from the British Library

Charles Davis writes "From The Story at
The BBC: The sweet birdsong of the nightjar, the roar
of a lion or the grunt of a hippo could soon replace the trilling and
beeping of mobile phones.
The British Library is offering mobile telephone operators some of its 100,000 recordings of
the world's birds and beasts as alternative ring tones. "

A Commentary from a Shelving Coordinator

Eileen writes:

This is a commentary from a fellow writer at the Arizona Daily Wildcat at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He also is working for the University of Arizona Library System as a shelver and shelving coordinator during Summer 2003. It gives a snapshot of what it is like during the hot summer months at the Main Library.

The piece seems very honest and genuine, and comes off as perhaps a bit insensitive becasue of this, but it worth the read.

Read the story here.

Newspaper \'Archive\' Run by Scottish Gent.

Charles Davis writes

If anyone ever doubted Malcolm Forbes\' maxim
\"retirement kills more people than hard work ever
did\", they should meet...71-year-old [John Druce].
Since officially retiring, he has run Historic
Newspapers for the past 15 years in Newton Stewart,
Dumfries and Galloway, which he claims is now the
world\'s largest archive newspaper business and the
largest archive of English language newspapers
outside of the British Museum.

Read the full story.

A little research found a photo of John Druce [.pdf] who won a \"Britsh Small Business Champion\" award in 2002.

See also, the Historic Newspaper\'s website which is largely tailored to selling clipping from old newspapers. Hmmm...

Hi-tech imaging could reveal lost texts

Charles Davis writes "From the story at
The BBC where a unique library of medieval manuscripts, devastated by fire during World
War II and considered lost by scholars, could be restored using technology
developed to study the surface of planets.
The medieval library at Chartres, France, was destroyed in an allied bombing
raid on the evening of 26 May, 1944.
The collection, then housed in an annexe of Chartres town hall, comprised
around 2,000 medieval books and parchments, many of which dated to the 12th Century.
The library was considered a national treasure and a good proportion of the works were unpublished.
After the fire was quelled, volunteers moved in to save what they could from
the smouldering ruins."

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