Juneau Empire: Opinion: Gratitude for our libraries, museums and historians. “Thanksgiving has undergone several transitions — from its original expression of gratitude to over-commercialization to, more recently, its repudiation by those believing it represents an insensitive stereotype of Native Americans. Yet, nothing about human history is ever as simple as it appears. Recognition of what we did wrong, as well as what we did right, is part of understanding the nuance and complexity of history.” All you archivists, librarians, teachers, and other keepers of history, reach around and pat yourself on the back. You have a difficult and vital job.
Motherboard: Climate Change Could Erase Human History. These Archivists Are Trying to Save It. “Climate change making the word hotter, more humid, and more stormy—all conditions that put sensitive paper archives at risk. This problem is forcing us to ask, which histories will we choose to remember?”
Brookings: With Obama’s official papers living online, what might be lost?. “The announcement that President Barack Obama’s official papers will be digitized is a break from tradition. It is clearly a nod to contemporary life, and some might view it as a welcome change from driving for miles to sift through paper documents in presidential libraries. But the decision to go digital rather than place the paper records in a research library has created a stir in the community of people who make a living doing research in presidential libraries. With presidential libraries already facing challenges, a transition to online-only resources could come at the cost of one of their greatest assets: the knowledge and commitment of the archivists, whose expertise in both the presidency and the organization of the collection is an immense resource for researchers.”
Myanmar Times: Open History project. “In Myanmar, one man is on the path to build a library of many millions of words by collecting as much archival, antiqued and stored treasure as possible to save it for posterity. The collection also includes videos and artworks. He is Ko Aung Soe Min of Pansodan gallery. With the vast materials already collected, Ko Aung Soe Min has put on shows in Yangon and Magway, among other places, for the benefit of the public. He named this show, the ‘Open History Project’.”
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. “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.”
Ars Technica: The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists”. “As much as subscription services want you to believe it, not everything can be found on Amazon or Netflix. Want to read Brett Kavanaugh buddy Mark Judge’s old book, for instance (or their now infamous yearbook even)? Curious to watch a bunch of vintage smoking ads? How about perusing the largest collection of Tibetan Buddhist literature in the world? There’s one place to turn today, and it’s not Google or any pirate sites you may or may not frequent.”