Academic Libraries

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.

Sacramento environmentalist's collection of slogans goes to Smithsonian

Bob Cox notes The Sacramento Bee Reports the Smithsonian owns tens of thousands of buttons, mainly from electoral campaigns, but has recently been working to broaden its collection of late-20th century memorabilia.
They just scored the nation's largest known collection of environmental political buttons -- 1,600 round metal disks that had been steadily collected over three decades by a Sacramento activist, Jerry Meral, who agreed to donate them to the museum last year.

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.

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