JAMnews: How Abkhazia is trying to restore its historic archive which burned down 27 years ago during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. “The process of restoring files of the national archive of Abkhazia, which burned to the ground on the night of October 22, 1992 during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, has picked up speed. On both sides of the conflict, many believe that the building was then deliberately set on fire by the Georgian military. Although on the Georgian side, there are many who refute this. One way or another, this tragedy affected the whole of Abkhaz society, and to this day, many there speak of a keen sense of loss.”
The Conversation: Building a digital archive for decaying paper documents, preserving centuries of records about enslaved people. “The goal is to ensure this information – including some from documents that no longer exist physically – is accessible to future generations. But preserving history by taking high-resolution photographs of centuries-old documents is only the beginning. Technological advances help scholars and archivists like me do a better job of preserving these records and learning from them, but don’t always make it easy.”
The Guardian: Ancient scrolls charred by Vesuvius could be read once again. “When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79 it destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, their inhabitants and their prized possessions – among them a fine library of scrolls that were carbonised by the searing heat of ash and gas. But scientists say there may still be hope that the fragile documents can once more be read thanks to an innovative approach involving high-energy x-rays and artificial intelligence.”
Genealogy’s Star: The Ultimate Digital Preservation Guide, Part Fourteen: Remediating the Damage. “As genealogists, we may come in contact with documents and records that are clearly damaged from water, mold, natural deterioration, fire or many other causes. It is important to understand that our efforts to curate this damage may do more harm than good.”
Loop Trinidad and Tobago: Digital history: Tobago archives return to Scarborough Library. “Many of Tobago’s historical records are once again accessible to the public. Tobago’s archives were formally reopened on June 26 at Scarborough Library Facility.”
Global Press Journal: How Sri Lankans Are Preserving History, One Manuscript At a Time. “Thousands of one-of-a-kind manuscripts written on palmyrah leaves that were lost during Sri Lanka’s civil war, are being recovered. Now, local people are working to digitize them and preserve the history they contain.” This Web site was a bit of a slow load for me, but I found the article well worth it.
Smithsonian Institution Archives: Stabilizing Lacquer Transcription Discs. “Audiovisual preservation is a complicated topic, and one we’ve discussed several times on The Bigger Picture. Often times, digitization is the best course of action to preserve the content on at-risk formats, such as ¼-inch open reel audio tapes, compact audio cassettes, or VHS. However, improved housing can also aid in extending the lifespan of audiovisual media until digitization can occur. In 2018, the Archives was fortunate to receive funding from the Smithsonian’s Collection Care Initiative (CCI) for custom housing enclosures for an at-risk format found within the collections – 16-inch lacquer transcription discs. “