Cornell: Botanical illustration pioneer goes from obscurity to online. “Dating back to 1826 and brimming with meticulous descriptions and vivid watercolor illustrations, Nancy Anne Kingsbury Wollstonecraft’s manuscript, ‘Specimens of the Plants and Fruits of the Island of Cuba,’ never saw print in her lifetime despite her attempts at publication. Nearly two centuries later, the lush life she captured can now be admired and downloaded from HathiTrust, where it was shared by Cornell University Library.”
OCLC: National Library of Cuba collection registered in WorldCat to benefit researchers worldwide. “The University of Florida is working with the Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí (BNCJM), the National Library of Cuba, to register Cuban materials in WorldCat, the most comprehensive global database of library collections, making these resources available to researchers around the world. Through a unique partnership between the BNCJM, the University of Florida and OCLC, 133,000 Cuban titles have been registered in WorldCat. More than 97,000 of these are unique records in WorldCat, and valuable additions to the worldwide library community.”
The Times-Picayune: Carnival season celebrates art of Latin America in New Orleans. “The Latin American Library, a unit of Tulane University’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, has been awarded a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to support the project Bringing Back the Soaps: The Louis J. Boeri and Minín Bujones Boeri Collection of Cuban American Radionovelas. The project was only one of 14 selected from a total of 125 applications nationwide. The grant awards $229,189 over two years to digitize 36 program titles from the Radionovelas Collection of master audio recordings contained on reel to reel tapes produced between 1963 and 1970. “
An event at the New Museum, one I am very sorry I will not be able to attend: Art for the Offline Internet. “El Paquete Semanal [the Weekly Package] is a one-terabyte media collection that is aggregated weekly in Cuba and circulated across the country via in-person file sharing. The package usually contains between 15,000 and 18,000 files, including software, sports, soap operas, music, magazines, and more. Though it is often described as a workaround to the widespread lack of internet in Cuba, El Paquete is perhaps better understood as an extension of traditions of physical media circulation that came before it.”
University of Nottingham: Digitally Preserving the Hennessey Collection. “The Centre for Research on Cuba is home to the Hennessy Collection, which is a unique archive of Cuban periodicals from the 1960s through to the 1990s…. A major part of the newspaper collection was folded and stored in boxes for over 50 years, meaning the materials have become extremely delicate and prone to damage if handled. This renders the materials inaccessible by researchers for fear of permanent damage. The Digital Research Team approached Professor Antoni Kapcia to explore how this collection could be digitally preserved and made accessible to all.” Early days yet for this project.
Engadget: Google becomes first foreign internet company to go live in Cuba. “After former President Obama reopened America’s diplomatic relations with Cuba, businesses started looking for opportunities to make inroads to the island nation. Google was one of these, with Obama himself announcing it would come to help set up WiFi and broadband access there. Cuba’s national telecom ETECSA officially inked a deal with Google back in December, and today, they finally switched on the service, making the search giant the first foreign internet live on the island.”
Cuba and Google are rumored to have struck a deal to give Cubans faster Internet. “Google and the Cuban government have struck a deal giving Cubans faster access to the internet giant’s content, two people familiar with the agreement said Friday. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google’s parent company, will formally sign the deal Monday morning in Havana, the two people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not yet been publicly announced.”