Slate – The Electric Archive: What does it mean for a magazine to leave no paper trail?

From Slate: The Electric Archive: What does it mean for a magazine to leave no paper trail? “Archives like Slate’s are inevitably the archives of the future, because more and more creative work exists only online. Yet the medium is so different from paper that they change the nature of the archiving endeavor and the historical interpretation it allows. When you look up “Superman Comes to the Supermarket” in an old copy of Esquire, the pages may be sallow, but the text, the art, and the design are a time capsule. Not so online, where page design across the site changes with coded rules. Art shrinks. Fonts change. I’m sure that many articles look better than at first—Slate had an unlovely digital adolescence—but others seem haggard with the passage of time.”

Internet Archive: Hacking Web Archives

Fun stuff from The Internet Archive: Hacking Web Archives. “…it has been exciting to see — and for us to support and participate in — a number of recent efforts in the scholarly and library/archives communities to hold hackathons and datathons focused on getting web archives into the hands of research and users. The events have served to help build a collaborative framework to encourage more use, more exploration, more tools and services, and more hacking (and similar levels of the sometime-maligned-but-ever-valuable yacking) to support research use of web archives. Get the data to the people!”

Rhizome Releases First Full Version of Dynamic Web Archiving Tool

If there’s never another issue of ResearchBuzz, you can blame this new dynamic Web archiving tool which was just released by Rhizome. “Rhizome is pleased to announce the first full release of Webrecorder, the free online tool that allows users to create their own high-fidelity archives of the dynamic web.” Oh boy, does this look like fun. Watch the YouTube video at the link for all the skinny.

Digital Archive of Children’s Books Subject of Tagging Project

The ABC Books Digital Archive at Princeton was the subject of a large and fascinating tagging project. “ABC Books is a digital archive of over fifty rare and historical children’s alphabet books, available to view page-by-page. The project is primarily pedagogical in nature. Linked to the English Department’s ‘Children’s Literature’ course, it provides an opportunity for enrolled undergraduates to complete digital humanities work for course credit as well as introduces graduate student AIs to teaching and assessing digital humanities work…. During the spring semester 2016, we asked our students to help us develop a comprehensive search function for the site. For the first step, each enrolled student added at least one hundred ‘tags’ to the archive. With well over two hundred students taking the course, we ended up with a staggering 50,000+ tags.”

In Development: Archive of Historical Arabic Manuscripts

In development: a digital archive of historical Arabic manuscripts. “St. Catherine’s Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s located on rugged terrain at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt, houses the oldest continually operating library in the world, containing ancient and medieval manuscripts second only to those held by the Vatican Library. These remarkable manuscripts, which delve into subjects ranging from history and philosophy to medicine and spirituality, were never easily accessed by scholars and students… That will all be changing, thanks to a major grant from the Ahmanson Foundation to the UCLA Library. The grant will fund key aspects of the Sinai Library Digitization Project to create digital copies of some 1,100 rare and unique Syriac and Arabic manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 17th centuries.”

A Digital Archive of… Stuff

Now available: a digital archive of… stuff. “Today every tweet is archived, every Facebook selfie stashed and cached, every arts/tech/culture blog mirrored, and the idea of the permanence of data is taken for granted. But things like physical objects aren’t permanent. They break down, melt, or are tossed in the trash, and could potentially disappear from public consciousness forever, leaving behind but a foggy memory. Thngs, a digital database for the preservation of physical objects, wants to change that. Billing itself as ‘A place for everything,’ this new system allows users to interact with objects old and new, whether they be a bust of Emperor Vitellius from the 1800s, or the Spice Girls-branded Polaroid Spice Cam from 1997.”

Online Archive About India’s Culture

Now available: an online archive about India’s culture. “Sahapedia aims to educate the people of India about the traditions, visual arts, performing arts, literature and languages that is scattered across the country. The portal is accessible to all and is a strong initiative towards the digitisation and research on the traditional art forms of India and their importance in the modern era.”

Aggregating Institutional Web Archives With Cobweb

A new open source, collaborative platform has been proposed for aggregating institutional archives. “With the technical and financial capacity of any currently existing single institution failing to answer the needs for a platform efficiently archiving the web, a team of American researchers have come up with an innovative solution, submitted to the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and published in the open-access journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO). They propose a lightweight, open-source collaborative collection development platform, called Cobweb, to support the creation of comprehensive web archives by coordinating the independent activities of the web archiving community. “

The Web and Audiovisual Archiving

Luke McKernan put up his talk about audiovisual archives and the Web. “Good afternoon. My name is Luke McKernan, and I am Lead Curator for News & Moving Image at the British Library. I’m going to talk about something that has interested me for some while, which is the changing scale of audiovisual archiving. I’m going to do so by looking at two things: YouTube, and web archiving. I’ll conclude by considering how historical enquiry and archival care may combine to understand the audiovisual archives we are building for ourselves now.” Interesting thoughts about YouTube as an archive – or rather, YouTube as not an archive.

Baseball Hall of Fame Trying to Preserve Old Photographs

From Popular Photography: How the Baseball Hall of Fame Is Trying to Preserve Classic Photographs “Even if you’re a huge baseball fan, the name Charles M. Conlon is probably still not a familiar one. But, he’s responsible for some truly amazing and enduring photographs taken during some of baseball’s golden years. There’s currently a large-scale effort to restore some of his recovered work for display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.”

History, Born-Digital Archives, and Managing the Data Flow

It’s two years old, but this paper from Ian Milligan addresses issues that are coming more and more into prominence. Check out Mining the ‘Internet Graveyard’: Rethinking the Historians’ Toolkit. “‘Mining the Internet Graveyard’ argues that the advent of massive quantity of born-digital historical sources necessitates a rethinking of the historians’ toolkit. The contours of a third wave of computational history are outlined, a trend marked by ever-increasing amounts of digitized information (especially web based), falling digital storage costs, a move to the cloud, and a corresponding increase in computational power to process these sources. Following this, the article uses a case study of an early born-digital archive at Library and Archives Canada – Canada’s Digital Collections project (CDC) – to bring some of these problems into view.”

Putting a Digital Archive on the Moon

Two companies are teaming up to put a digital archive on the moon. And they want your contributions. “Astrobotic Technology Inc. and Lunar Missions Ltd, the company behind the global, inclusive, not-for-profit crowd-funded Lunar Mission One, have signed a deal to send the first digital storage payload to the Moon. The payload will support Lunar Mission One’s ‘Footsteps on the Moon’ campaign, launched earlier today, which invites millions of people to include their footsteps – in addition to images, video and music – in a digital archive of human life that will be placed on the moon during Astrobotic’s first lunar mission.”

ePADD Gets a Grant

ePADD is expanding with a grant. “The ePADD open-source email archiving and processing platform developed by Stanford University Libraries was awarded a $685,000 National Leadership Grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on August 31.” This article has an extensive overview of what ePADD is and what it does, if you’re curious.

Web Site Preservation is a Big Fail

Librarians, you know this: Web site preservation is an enormous fail. “If the internet is at its core is a system of record, then it is failing to complete that mission. Sometime in 2014, the internet surpassed a billion websites, while it has since fallen back a bit, it’s quite obviously an enormous repository. When websites disappear, all of the content is just gone as though it never existed, and that can have a much bigger impact than you imagine on researchers, scholars or any Joe or Josephine Schmo simply trying to follow a link.”