GQ: The Time Capsule That’s as Big as Human History

GQ: The Time Capsule That’s as Big as Human History. “If you were to build your own time capsule, what would you want people—or alien beings—a million years from now to know about us? That we were loving, or warmongering, or dopes strung out on memes and viral videos? That we flew to the moon and made great art, ate Cinnabons (that we measured at 880 astonishing calories), and committed atrocities? How could you begin to represent these times, as lived by nearly 8 billion people? And what would give you, of all people, the right to tell the story? After these questions would come another wave of more logistical ones. Assuming the capsule was found, how would it be translated into the language of the future, whatever that language might be? And what materials could be employed that might last that long? And how could you lead a future race of beings to the capsule itself, assuming our planet might be buried under ice or oceans of red sand by then?”

The digitized future: How libraries are pioneering a cultural transformation (DW)

DW: The digitized future: How libraries are pioneering a cultural transformation. “Some 120 million visitors take advantage of the educational and cultural offerings of German libraries each year. That’s one reason why, in September, the German Council for Cultural Education published a study on the digitization of library services. One of the results: Digitization has a very positive effect on both the image, and range of services, of libraries.”

Meet the Manuscript Collective: a group of undergrads who explore Penn’s collection of rare texts (The Daily Pennsylvanian)

The Daily Pennsylvanian: Meet the Manuscript Collective: a group of undergrads who explore Penn’s collection of rare texts. “Personal letters from the hands of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Pages from Isaac Newton’s notebook. A copy of the King James Bible from 1613. Manuscripts of Byron’s poetry — complete with a bit of his hair. For a certain group of dedicated undergraduate students at The University of Pennsylvania, documents like these are readily accessible during their club meetings on the top floor of Van Pelt Library.”

The Verge: NASA lost a rover and other space artifacts due to sloppy management, report says

The Verge: NASA lost a rover and other space artifacts due to sloppy management, report says. “Thanks to improper management, NASA has lost a wide array of historical spaceflight memorabilia over the last few decades — such as an old lunar soil bag, former spaceflight hand controllers, and even a test lunar rover. That’s according to a new report out today from NASA’s Office of the Inspector General, which analyzed how the space agency oversees its historical assets. While procedures have improved at NASA, a few unique pieces of storied spaceflight property have either been misplaced or taken by ex-employees.”

Route Fifty: Digital Record Deluge Threatens to Swamp States

Route Fifty: Digital Record Deluge Threatens to Swamp States. “The dramatic growth in digital records produced by state agencies presents significant challenges as archivists seek to preserve the ongoing stream of information for the historical record. There has been a staggering 1,693 percent growth in state and territorial electronic records between 2006 and 2016, according to a new report from national organizations representing state CIOs and archivists. Despite the rapid growth, states’ average spending on archive and records management is just .007 percent of their annual budgets.”

Libraries and Archives Canada: How archives can protect human rights

Libraries and Archives Canada: How archives can protect human rights. “When asked to name one of Canada’s fundamental democratic institutions, how many people would immediately say ‘Library and Archives Canada’? Yet, a nation’s archives preserves in perpetuity the evidence of how we are governed. From the story of Japanese Canadian Redress, we can learn how records held by Library and Archives Canada (LAC)—combined with crucial citizen activism making use of these records—have contributed to holding the federal government accountable for now universally condemned actions.”

University of Michigan: A MacArthur “Genius” Works to Preserve Uganda’s History

University of Michigan: A MacArthur “Genius” Works to Preserve Uganda’s History. “When Derek Peterson got word last October that he’d received a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, he was thrilled. The award affirmed his scholarship and the work of LSA’s African Studies Center, where Peterson is a faculty member. But Peterson was especially happy because the $625,000 stipend that came with the MacArthur grant meant he could further his work saving endangered government archives in Uganda.”