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UC Irvine Libraries diminishing support of Southeast Asian Archive

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On July 13th the Los Angeles Times published the article "Budget cuts raise concerns for future of Southeast Asian archive". The Archives used to be managed and curated by Anne Frank, the librarian who spearheaded the archives, but once she retired, the UC Irvine Libraries' administration made the decision to not recruit for a replacement. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-asian-archives13-2009jul13,0,2727347.story">Read full LA Times article</a>.

Gearing Up For Its Opening in 2013, Bush Wants to Display Saddam's Gun @ His Library

From the NY Times: When the library for George W. Bush opens in 2013 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, visitors will most likely get to see one of the former President's most treasured items: Saddam Hussein’s pistol.

The gun, a 9 millimeter Glock 18C, was found in the spider hole where the Iraqi leader was captured in December 2003 by Delta Force soldiers, four of whom later presented the pistol to Mr. Bush. Among the thousands of gifts Mr. Bush received as president, the gun became a favorite, a reminder of the pinnacle moment of the Iraq war, according to friends and long-time associates.

Douglas Brinkley, an author and history professor at Rice University, said the pistol opened a psychological window into Mr. Bush’s view of his presidency.

“It represents this Texas notion of the white hats taking out the black hats and keeping the trophy,” Mr. Brinkley said. “It’s a True West magazine kind of pulp western mentality. For President Bush, this pistol represents his greatest moment of triumph, like the F.B.I. keeping Dillinger’s gun. He wants people generations from now to see the gun and say, ‘He got the bad guy.’ ”

Canadian National archives reviews purchases of paper materials in digital age

Library and Archives Canada has put a moratorium on buying paper documents and books for its collection.
Doug Rimmer, assistant deputy minister of programs and services at Library and Archives Canada, told CBC News this week the moratorium is temporary and only applies to items it buys. It will still acquire documents other ways, including gifts and donations, websites and government records.

Hoover’s role in creation of NARA

Tim Walch, director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, delivered the following remarks June 17 to Hoover Park staff at a picnic to mark the 75th anniversary of the creation of the National Archives and Records Administration.

More Nixon Tapes Available to Public

Glutton for punishment (true crime writer? historian)? Now you can listen to as many Nixon tapes as you want!

UPI reports: The Richard Nixon Presidential Library has opened up access to 154 hours of White House tapes and other documents the U.S. government once classified.

In a statement, the library in Yorba Linda, Calif., said some of the materials made available to the public Tuesday include conversations about the Vietnam War, Nixon's second inauguration, the Supreme Court's landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, and the first Watergate trial. The recordings from January and February 1973 consist of approximately 994 conversations, the library said.

The new Nixon tapes and documents will be available on the Internet and at the Richard Nixon libraries in California and Maryland.

Mormon Church Dedicates New Library

Genealogy is a major tenet of the faith for members of the LDS Church, and now a new library has been dedicated at its headquarters in Salt Lake City. It's a library, many believe, that's a realization of God's words to church founder Joseph Smith: "There shall be a record kept among you ... for the good of the church ... and the rising generations."

It houses 600,000 photos, 270,000 books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers, and 240,000 collections of original, unpublished records, journals, diaries, correspondence and minutes that detail Mormons' experiences. More on the dedication of the library by LDS President Thomas S. Monson from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Hawaii: A Lincoln Document, and a Mystery

From the AP: A document with Abraham Lincoln’s signature and dated Sept. 22, 1862, has been found in the Hawaii State Archives, but no one seems to know how it got there. A project of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Illinois has confirmed its authenticity. It orders the secretary of state to affix the seal of the United States to his “proclamation of this date.” The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on that date. The document appears to have been at the archives since at least 1935. In the 1860s, Hawaii was an independent kingdom.

Anyone care to suggest how the document arrived at the Hawaii State Archives?

"Skulduggery" at the British Library Incident in 2005 involved 35 items

A follow up on This One from a few years ago... "Skulduggery" at the British Library Incident in 2005 involved 35 items:

It's now June 2009 and more information is available than when Dalya Alberge first reported that the manuscript of the Tyldesley Diary had been extensively damaged whilst in the custody of the British Library. Dalya's reports can be found in The Times of 14 May 2007 and 29 December 2007. I shall be publishing full details of what is now known as time allows, but in the meantime here is a summary.

Library and Archives Canada restricts access for music encyclopedia workers

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<p>Researchers working for the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (EMC) have had their open access to Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa revoked due to security concerns.</p> <p>Those working for EMC have had an office in the library's building in downtown Ottawa since the encyclopedia project began 30 years ago.</p> <p>EMC editor in chief James Marsh told the newspaper that his staff are not a security risk: "I told [the archives] … I'll gladly submit my people to the RCMP."</p> <p>Marsh says things were going well until a

Spanish Flu Stories

Enough already about swine flu...but if you're interested in some historical perspective on the effects of the 1918 flu, check out the following websites; Dover NH Public Library, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Stanford University.

This article from the Indiana Post-Tribune has some local history of the flu, including an archival photo of public librarians in Gary wearing masks.

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The Wasilla Public Library Before Sarah Palin

Thanks to Gov. Sarah Palin, most of us have heard a bit of recent history about the Wasilla, AK Public Library.

But twenty years before the kerfuffle over banning books, librarian Edith Olson wrote a book about the library called The Library and I. A History of the first twenty-five years of the Wasilla Public Library.

Olson was the librarian at the Wasilla Public Library from 1938-1958. When she arrived there was no library building and the library consisted of two bookcases in the hall of the school house. The library held 350 books, when she left, 20 years later, there were 9,000 more.

Here's some info about the book from booksellers Wessel & Lieberman, and you may also read the first two chapters on scribd.

Delicate Precursor to the Modern Dust Jacket

A librarian at Oxford's Bodleian Library has unearthed the earliest-known book dust jacket. Dating from 1830, the jacket wrapped a silk-covered gift book, Friendship's Offering. Silk bindings were very vulnerable to wear and tear, so bookselllers would keep them in these wrappers to protect the binding underneath. When you bought the book you would take the wrapper off and put it on your shelves, which is presumably why so few of these covers have survived.

Unlike today's dust jackets, wrappers of the early 19th century were used to enfold the book completely, like a parcel. Traces of sealing wax where the paper was secured can still be seen on the Bodleian's discovery, along with pointed creases at the edges where the paper had been folded, showing the shape of the book it had enclosed.

The jacket had been separated from its book, and had never been catalogued individually. It remained hidden until the library was contacted by an American scholar of dust jackets looking for the earliest known example.

21st century literary archives examined

The intrusion of the Internet into archiving technology is a very interesting and novel issue. Previously, archivists collected personal correspondence and diaries. Paper, while degradable, already has maintenance techniques. However, the recent onslaught of technology has given people various online resources through which to express themselves, like Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, and various other blogs.

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Archives for All at Flickr

Ever heard of the the Flickr Commons? The goal is to share the treasures of the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer. Flickr photographers are invited to help describe the photographs they discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments.

The newest member of the Commons is the D.C. Public Library, with some wonderful old photographs of our Nation's Capitol. The collection features historic images of D.C.’s buildings and federal memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, historic houses, and street scenes, portraits of past presidents and other prominent Americans.

Here's a scene from one hundred years ago, the inauguration of President Taft.

Archiving Writers' Work in the Age of E-Mail

An interesting article on new issues arising from the increasingly digital artifacts of writers.

"'Once we learned how to preserve paper, we were good,' says Naomi L. Nelson, interim director of the manuscript, archives, and rare-book library at Emory University's Robert W. Woodruff Library. 'That really hasn't changed a lot. With computers it's a whole different ballgame.'"

In addition the article touches on some interesting areas of intellectual property (or the uncertainty of it):

"Information that lives inside a writer's personal hardware — like the data on Mr. Updike's floppy disks or Mr. Rushdie's hard drives — may not have physical dimensions, but it is at least attached to a single device that is owned by somebody. 'It's physically here,' says Mr. Kirschenbaum, gesturing toward a shelf of Apple Classic computers, donated to the Maryland institute by the poet Deena Larsen. 'I can wrap my arms around it.'

Not so with e-mail and social-media content. These are not programs run on individual computers; they are Web-based services, hosted remotely by companies like Facebook and Google. The content exists in an ethereal mass of data known in information-technology circles as 'the cloud.' There, Mr. Kirschenbaum says, 'you get into this wilderness of competing terms of service.'

With more and more information being stored on the Web, it is no longer clear who owns what."

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WWII Find at New South Wales Library

German industrialist Oskar Schindler’s list of 801 Jewish workers he helped escape death during World War II has been discovered by a researcher at Australia’s New South Wales state library. The list will be displayed at the library and online from Monday.

The researcher found the carbon typescript copy of the 13- page list among six boxes of research notes and newspaper clippings belonging to “Schindler’s Ark” author Thomas Keneally that were donated to the library in 1996, the library said in an e-mailed statement. Library spokeswoman Vanessa Bond confirmed the discovery in a phone interview in Sydney. Bloomberg.com.

Data Rot




Computer formats come and go leaving some users with data no longer compatible with software or hardware. As David Pogue reports, this is called data rot.

In Praise of Archives

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In this article a scholar relates some experiences of doing research in archives. When he tells people about his many years of research they sometimes ask why anyone needs to go to the archives at all, since everything is now on the Internet. Au contraire, he reports. After his most recent foray to a Parisian library he writes, “Nearly every day I found something new in the archives, whether a detail about the families or finances of the principal characters, a twist in the legal case, or another piece of information that shed a little more light on the controversial affair.

Months-old Arizona state archives facility closes

Less than two weeks after its dedication, the new state archives building closes today, the latest consequence of the state's budget struggles.

The $38 million building, named after longtime lawmaker Polly Rosenbaum, opened late last fall and was dedicated in mid-January.

But on Tuesday, agency Director GladysAnn Wells announced the closure. It was the only way she could figure out how to carve $1.45 million from the $2 million remaining in the budget of the state Department of Library, Archives and Public Records, Wells said.

Dangerous Archives

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<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/03/03/germany.cologne.building.collapse/index.html?iref=mpstoryview">The building that houses</a> the Historic Archive of the city of Cologne, with documents up to 1,000 years old, partially collapsed yesterday. The building was an unremarkable 20th-century structure -- photos show the front half as a pile of rubble -- but no word on the fate of the valuable archives it contained.

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