In the News: Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Bradley J. Daigle, director of digital curation services at the University of Virginia Library, calls this “digital stewardship.” Its an essential but easily overlooked element in any digital-humanities project. Born-digital work can die. Digital stewardship “involves care and feeding” to make sure that doesnt happen, he says. “My unit essentially pays attention to the life cycle of the digital object.”

via Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In the News: Library of Congress: 75% of Silent Films Lost | Variety

A study from the Library of Congress reveals for the first time how many feature films produced by U.S. studios during the silent film era still exist, what condition they’re in and where they are located.

via Library of Congress: 75% of Silent Films Lost | Variety.

In the News: Nov. 22, 1963: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK

As we remember this fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, library and archival collections are providing vivid time capsules of that tragic event — and new ways to present those artifacts.

The University of Virginia Library is “live-tweeting” (@UVaDigServ #JFK50) a transcript of the broadcast wire from a United Press International teletype machine in Jacksonville Florida chronicling the shooting and death of President John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963.  Learn more about the recent donation of the teletype machine printout of wire reports received by UPI on Notes from Under Grounds: The Blog of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

And even though they don’t give quite enough credit to their archival sources, this Huffington Post story does a great job pulling together news footage, newspaper headlines, and wire posts that detail the frantic attempts to report the assassination.

The LBJ Library’s Nov. 22, 1963 Tragedy and Transition online exhibit features many digitized manuscripts and a/v recordings related to the event.  An a/v preservation colleague points out a particularly interesting recording:

Here is Lady Bird Johnson’s first diary recollection from November 22, 1963. She used her secretary’s son’s portable reel to reel and recorded over a music tape that was on the machine. Being a frugal person she used the batteries in the machine until they were dead. This caused the pitch of this recording to fluctuate over two octaves during each segment.

This segment was “re-pitched” over the past few years, sometimes syllable by syllable.


Who Owns The Archives Of A Vanishing Iraqi Jewish World? : Parallels : NPR

Back in 2003, that Baghdad basement was flooded, thanks to a U.S. military strike. Floating in the muck, according to Doris Hamburg of the National Archives, were scads of documents. Some are centuries old, others more recent. They chronicle Baghdad’s role as a center of Jewish life. There were holiday prayer books, sections of Torah scrolls, books on Jewish law, and Jewish community organizational documents.

Who Owns The Archives Of A Vanishing Iraqi Jewish World? : Parallels : NPR.

In the News: Library of Congress to preserve public broadcasting archive with recordings from 120 stations | The Washington Post

Under a project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and announced Thursday, 40,000 hours of radio and television content is being digitized for long-term preservation at the library. It will become the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and will be housed at the library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in underground vaults in Culpeper, Va.

via Library of Congress to preserve public broadcasting archive with recordings from 120 stations – The Washington Post.

In the News: Scanning Center Fire — Please Help Rebuild | Internet Archive Blogs

This morning at about 3:30 a.m. a fire started at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco scanning center. The good news is that no one was hurt and no data was lost.

Scanning Center Fire — Please Help Rebuild | Internet Archive Blogs.

In the News: Nicholas Basbanes on the enduring importance of paper | WaPost

“On Paper,” Basbanes’s ninth book, was supported by a grant from the NEH. Although it was only published Oct. 14, the author noted proudly that it’s already gone into a second printing. Yes, on paper.

via Nicholas Basbanes on the enduring importance of paper.

Preservation Statistics Survey: FY2012 Report

Sixty-two institutions completed this pilot survey to document preservation activities in U.S. libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural heritage institutions.  Picking up the ball and moving it down the field from where the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) left off when the Preservation Statistics program was discontinued in 2007, the report examines how respondents are organizing and administering traditional and digital preservation programs and chronicles their preventive preservation (disaster planning, environmental monitoring, outreach and education), conservation, and reformatting / digitization activities.  Additionally, the report assesses trends in the preservation programs of academic and research libraries in the five year span between the last ARL Preservation Statistics Survey in 2007 to this pilot survey in 2012 based on the responses provided by the thirty-four Association of Research Library (ARL) members who participated in this pilot survey.  

Find the report — including links to the survey data — online as a Google Doc:

Also find our temporary online home for the Preservation Statistics project (including helpful links to related preservation surveys and the latest news about the upcoming FY2013 Preservation Statistics Survey) at:

The FY2013 Preservation Statistics Survey will be released in January 2014 and open through March 2014.  The survey questionnaire will not change much from the pilot FY2012 survey; instead, the focus will be refinement of the Instructions and Definitions and improvements to the online survey form to create a better user experience.  Additionally, the FY2013 survey will likely be open only to U.S. libraries.  As a model of success is developed with ALA and the library community, plans include collaboration with SAA, AAM, and others to more broadly document and analyze cultural heritage preservation activities. 

Please contact the Preservation Statistics Survey team with any questions or feedback:

In the News: How the HathiTrust Digital Library Handles 11 Million Digitized Volumes | EdTech Magazine

[L]arge-scale digitization means that libraries increasingly require large-scale, preservation-grade infrastructure that’s also suitable for providing access to materials at scale. The HathiTrust Digital Library is answering that call. Launched by the 12-university Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the 11-university libraries of the University of California system, HathiTrust is collectively undertaking preservation with access. Today it has more than 80 partners, more than two dozen of whom are depositing content in its repository.

via How the HathiTrust Digital Library Handles 11 Million Digitized Volumes | EdTech Magazine.

In the News: The Many Lives of Iron Mountain | The New Yorker

If you’ve ever wondered where it all goes—printouts, photocopies, purchase orders, meeting minutes, invoices, correspondence, training manuals, personnel files, audit reports, PowerPoint decks, tax returns, financial statements, contracts; all the stuff, in short, that your company produces and is often required, by law, to keep—your answer might be a decommissioned Hudson Valley iron mine called Iron Mountain. “The Mountain,” as employees sometimes refer to it, is a storage facility for a Boston company, also called Iron Mountain, that is one of the most successful document-storage firms in the United States.

The Many Lives of Iron Mountain : The New Yorker.