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Ray Bradbury's Books to Go to Waukegan Library

From the Daily Herald:

Author Ray Bradbury moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and spent the rest of his life on the West Coast, but his fondness for Waukegan IL never dissipated.

After his death, in June of last year, library officials learned Bradbury had bequeathed his personal book collection to the County Street facility. It's no small gift.

"Every room had a bookshelf overflowing," said Rena Morrow, the library's marketing, programming, and exhibits manager. The collection contains some books that could be valuable, such as first editions of noted works or autographed books, Morrow said.

The library also stands to receive copies of books Bradbury wrote, including some in foreign languages. The collection's value is being appraised.

The library may receive some of Bradbury's personal belongings, too.
"We'd like to get one of his typewriters," library Executive Director Richard Lee said. "He had four."

Library and Archives Canada private deal would take millions of documents out of public domain

Library and Archives Canada has entered a hush-hush deal with a private high-tech consortium that would hand over exclusive rights to publicly owned books and artifacts for 10 years.

The plan is scheduled to be announced publicly on Friday and according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen, a gag order has been placed on everyone involved in the project until then.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Library+Archives+Canada+private+deal+would+take+millions+docume...

The Card Catalog is Dead; Long Live the Card Catalog

The Boston Herald reports on a project undertaken by Greenfield, MA Community College Librarian Hope Schneider.

On a wall in the corner of Greenfield Community College's Nahman-Watson Library, 128 artifacts from the library's card catalog hang preserved in a glass case — signed by the authors who penned the very books to which the cards once led.

The project has been 14 years in the making for librarian Schneider, who wanted to memorialize the cards after the library's catalog went digital in 1999. In the years that followed, Schneider sent cards to local authors and artists, asking if they would sign their card and make some contribution to the display. A decade later, after GCC's library was expanded, she resumed her quest — sending letters across the country to novelists, poets and politicians.

Library Director Deborah Chown said Schneider's project captures a time when people would find new books through serendipity — simply because it was next to another book or classified through a similar subject matter. Chown and Schneider don't deny the advantages that new library technology offers — the opportunity to search rapidly through online databases and access books, journals and newspaper articles.

But there was also some surprise and sadness when a tour of prospective students came through the library, saw the display and didn't recognize the cards.

Documents That Changed the World Podcast

Documents That Changed the World [ITunes Link]
A look at documents that have made a difference in the world. Joe Janes, of the University of Washington Information School, tells the stories of these important information objects, how and why they were created, and the impacts they've had. These documents also tell the story of human society. and its never ending evolution.
[Thanks Zamms!]

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Leaving Cloister of Dusty Offices, Young Archivists Meet Like Minds

Archivists are the specialists who snatch objects from oblivion. They have long spent their careers cloistered, like the objects they protected. But now many of these professionals are stepping out. A main reason is the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York. The group, which recently surpassed 500 members, holds monthly events that draw a young, well-dressed crowd, hungry for chances to network, train and socialize. Members not only work at libraries, where archives have long resided, but also at such organizations as the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Junior League, the Episcopal Church, the Philharmonic, the Stock Exchange and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Full article in the NYT

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Work underway in St. Augustine to digitize 1500s records

Inside a Catholic convent deep in St. Augustine's historic district, stacks of centuries-old, sepia-toned papers offer clues to what life was like for early residents of the nation's oldest permanently occupied city.

These parish documents date back to 1594, and they record the births, deaths, marriages and baptisms of the people who lived in St. Augustine from that time through the mid-1700s. They're the earliest written documents from any region of the United States, according to J. Michael Francis, a history professor at the University of South Florida.

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level 0 linked archival data

level 0 linked archival data
TLDR; lets see if we can share structured archival data better by adding HTML elements that point at our EAD XML files.

So why is are these links important?

The main reason is they are found in HTML documents, which are the representations that matter most on the Web. HTML documents are read by people. They are hypertext documents that link to and from other places on an archives website and elswewhere on the Web at large. They are well understood technically by the Web development community…if

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Georgia Archives To Remain Open

How about some (sort of) GOOD news for a change?

As reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Georgia State Archives will remain open.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp made that announcement Thursday, saying the state will restore $125,000 to Kemp’s budget — enough money to keep the Archives open until at least the middle of next year.

The emergency move came two weeks before budget cuts were to force the Archives’ closure as a full-time facility except by appointment. It was a muted victory for Archives supporters, who lauded the decision but are still fighting to save the jobs of seven employees who will be laid off as of Nov. 1.

Smithsonian's Archives Fair 2012

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October is American Archives Month, a time when Smithsonian archivists and conservators reach out to scholars, researchs, fellow professionals and the public to stir up conversations about the Smithsonian’s collections of archival and historical records and to highlight the many individual Smithsonian archival units responsible for maintaining these rich and complex documentary resources.

Georgia Slated to Close State Archives to Public

A statement from the Georgia Secretary of State on Thursday, September 13, announced the closing to the public of the State Archives as of November 1. This would also include the layoff of some employees of the Archives.

In response to this, a Facebook page and petition have been created to protest the closure.

According to this NPR story, the closure would  make Georgia the first state in the nation without publicly accessible archives.

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The Born Digital in the Archives: One Curator's Experience

Working to solve this digital preservation dilemma became the focus for Doug Reside, Digital Curator of the New York Public Library, along with Mark Horowitz, Senior Music Specialist in the Library of Congress Music Division and curator of the Jonathan Larson collection (see a related blog post). With Mark providing access and expertise about the collection, Doug was able to uncover previously hidden Larson materials by the use of digital forensics techniques (see this blog post interview with Doug Reside about this collaboration).

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Amazon Glacier Cheap Data Archiving and Backup

A newish service from Amazon that might be useful to more than a few folks around here: Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-cost storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and backup. In order to keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for data that is infrequently accessed and for which retrieval times of several hours are suitable. With Amazon Glacier, customers can reliably store large or small amounts of data for as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, a significant savings compared to on-premises solutions.

Document thief sentenced to jail, fined

Barry H. Landau, the once-esteemed collector of presidential memorabilia, was sentenced seven years in federal prison Wednesday for stealing thousands of historic documents from archives and libraries in Baltimore and up the East Coast. The 64-year-old was also ordered to pay roughly $46,000 in restitution. No sentencing date is yet set for his 25-year-old accomplice, Jason James Savedoff, who, like Landau, has pleaded guilty to theft of major artwork and conspiracy charges.

Full article

 

 

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Archival "discoveries" that aren't

If something is where it's supposed to be, can you still call it a "discovery"? Suzanne Fischer, in the Atlantic, says "no."

It's an interesting discussion about cataloging archival material and the work that is, by necessity, still on the shoulders of researchers, spurred by the recent reporting of the "discovery" of a medical report filed by Charles Leale, the first doctor on the scene when Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot at the Ford Theater.

In the case of the recent press on the Leale report, the report had not yet been catalogued, cutting off discovery for ordinary researchers searching with finding aids and online catalogues. It's very possible, of course, with the volume of material that archives hold, for a particular professional to not know exactly what the repository holds. This is because archivists catalogue not at "item level," a description of every piece of paper, which would take millennia, but at "collection level," a description of the shape of the collection, who owned it, and what kinds of things it contains. With the volume of materials, some collections may be undescribed or even described wrongly.

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In the Digital Era, Publication Isn’t Preservation

From The Verge,
"As the publication world is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the digital world, a lot of complex issues come up. One of the most important, especially for librarians and archivists (not to mention students of history looking to the future), is the question of preservation...The problem, says Barbara Galletly reporting for Digital Book World, is that the foundation for such a transition has not been properly laid, digital preservation is a largely chaotic, random affair right now, and the metadata itself is unstable."

In National Archives thefts, a radio detective gets his man

In National Archives thefts, a radio detective gets his man
Goldin exposed what authorities have called “one of the most egregious instances of theft” from the National Archives, where the government preserves billions of historic documents, photographs and recordings. On Thursday, that investigation is scheduled to culminate in the sentencing in Greenbelt’s federal court of a longtime Archives official who has admitted to stealing nearly 1,000 recordings, many of them rare.

In dusty library, a link to heroic past

In dusty library, a link to heroic past
An engraving inside a medical text depicting the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, at Brown University's library, in Providence. The engraved print, unearthed in a rare collection of books that once belonged to a student in the 1700s, was by the American Revolution icon Paul Revere, and is only the fifth copy known to exist.

Conservatives defend cuts to Archives Canada

Conservatives defend cuts to Archives Canada
Responding to criticism that budget cuts are undermining the ability of Library and Archives Canada to preserve Canada's documentary heritage, a spokesman for Heritage Minister James Moore said Thursday that efforts to digitize the collection will give Canadian taxpayers greater access while saving them money.

In National Archives thefts, a radio detective gets his man

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NEWTOWN, Conn. — J. David Goldin, an eccentric 69-year-old with a handlebar mustache and an obsession with radio, was trolling eBay one evening in September 2010, looking for old radios and recordings, when he spotted an item that piqued his interest: the master copy of a broadcast radio interview with baseball legend Babe Ruth as he hunted for quail and pheasants on a crisp morning in 1937. For a moment, Goldin contemplated bidding.

Archive Team Targets Digital Dark Ages

Archive Team Targets Digital Dark Ages
Archive Team is a loose collective of rogue archivists, programmers, writers and loudmouths dedicated to saving our digital heritage. Since 2009 this variant force of nature has caught wind of shutdowns, shutoffs, mergers, and plain old deletions - and done our best to save the history before it's lost forever. Along the way, we've gotten attention, resistance, press and discussion, but most importantly, we've gotten the message out: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

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