OneZero: The Digital Archives of the Oldest Black Newspaper in America Show a Long Struggle for Justice. “I first encountered the Afro’s collection while working on an oral history project in East Baltimore. I tagged along with a colleague and visited the Afro’s archive, looking for a historical photo of the neighborhood I was studying. What I found there blew me away. In a meandering series of rooms filling the back portion of a nondescript building on Baltimore’s North Charles Street sat thousands upon thousands of boxes, floor to ceiling, filled with 8×10 photographs. History literally spilled from these boxes, with photos covering tables, desks, even walls. You could open a box and find original photos of Aretha Franklin, a 1930s wedding, or a protest — basically any event, large or small, personal or national, of the past century. As a techie (and especially one in 2010), my first thought was, ‘This has to be digital.'” This is a really long, but really good, read.
The National: NYUAD Art Gallery traces history in newly launched digital archive. “In its five years of existence, the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery has put on a number of notable shows. It has featured towering sound sculptures by Zimoun, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti’s contemplative The Concrete Tent and most recently, Amar Kanwar’s poignant installation The Sovereign Forest. The public will soon be able to revisit these exhibitions online as the gallery prepares to open its first digital archive on Monday, May 18. It will be launched alongside a series of virtual events, primarily discussions, as part of the gallery’s digital programme Trace: Archives and Reunions.”
Inside Higher Ed: Teaching With Digital Archives in the First-Year Writing Classroom. “When this semester started, I started exploring the possibility of incorporating the use of digital archives in my first-year writing course, titled Border Stories: Power, Poetics and Architecture. In ideal circumstances, I would have loved to take my students to the physical space of the archives, but I decided against it because it would have required more advance planning and coordination with archivists that I did not have the time or the scope for in a writing classroom. Although the class lesson on digital archives happened before universities shifted to remote learning, I think digital archives can be a useful tool for instruction during virtual learning. Besides, I was not too sure whether the physical archives in Pittsburgh would be relevant for the course themes, and therefore digital archives seemed to be the best alternative option.”
AKIPress: Digital library project launched in Kyrgyzstan. “Minister of Culture, Information and Science of Kyrgyzstan Azamat Jamankulov at the session of the Parliament on February 5 said a Digital library project has been launched in Kyrgyzstan.”
Introspective Digital Archaeology: The Digital Derangement of Archives. “So do digital archives represent a paradigm shift from traditional archives and archival practice, or are they simply a technological development of them?” Not lengthly, but dense and thought-provoking and well-written. Can you compare something to a slice of really good fruitcake without being pejorative?
New York Times: John Rothman, Who Made The Times’s Archives Accessible, Dies at 95. “John Rothman, who in an era before Google conceived and helped develop The New York Times Information Bank, a revolutionary system that let computer users easily find journalism by The Times and dozens of other publications, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 95.”
National Library of Australia: Australian Libraries Join Forces to Build National Digital Collection. “Australia’s national, state and territory libraries have come together in a world-first collaboration to build a national digital collection, with the new national edeposit service (NED) launching this week. For more than 100 years, publishers have been legally required to deposit published works in Australian libraries. With the creation of NED, Australian libraries now have the digital infrastructure to preserve Australia’s documentary heritage for future generations, in the same way they always have for print.”
Third Sector: Fixers trustees ‘working to find suitable home’ for digital archive. “Trustees at the youth charity Fixers have sought to reassure supporters that they are working with senior management to find a ‘suitable charitable home’ for its digital archive before it closes at the end of the month.”
Genealogy’s Star: The Ultimate Digital Preservation Guide, Part Seven — Technological Challenges: Cameras. “There are two main ways to digitize paper records: cameras and dedicated scanners. In this post, I am going to write about digital cameras as they may be used for document preservation.”
Genealogy’s Star: The Ultimate Digital Preservation Guide, Part Six — Deciding what to Preserve. “As a result of the general availability of the technology, some genealogists have amassed huge files of photocopies. Because of the proliferation of photocopies, it is time for me to write about the issue of an original vs. a copy and from that, deciding what to preserve.”
Colorado Virtual Libraries: Share Your Community’s Story Online with CVL-Collections. “The Colorado State Library is pleased to announce the launch of the CVL-Collections program. This program was created to help libraries and cultural heritage organizations that want to share digital collections like yearbooks, photos, and oral history recordings online, but don’t have the resources to support a content management system (CMS) locally, and are not part of a large consortium that hosts a digital archive.”
Virginia Tech: Design and Development of a Metadata-Driven Search Tool for use with Digital Recordings. “It is becoming more common for researchers to use existing recordings as a source for data rather than to generate new media for research. Prior to the examination of recordings, data must be extracted from the recordings and the recordings must be described with metadata to allow users to search for the recordings and to search information within the recordings. The purpose of this small-scale study was to develop a web based search tool that will permit a comprehensive search of spoken information within a collection of existing digital recordings archived in an open-access digital repository.” Doctoral dissertation!
Cogapp: What functionality do the best online archives have?. “What makes an online archive useful to its users? In honour of International Archives Day, I looked at 14 world-leading online archives to find out. My focus was the features and functionality commonly offered, as well as any super cool features particular to specific sites.”
University of Michigan Libraries: New Digital Collections: Completed July 2018 – June 2019. “The Digital Content & Collections (DCC) department grows and maintains nearly 300 digital collections that contain images, texts, and more. The digital collections receive upwards of 60 million hits each year.” There are so many collections listed here I don’t want to even try to summarize them. Just hit the link; I’d be really surprised if there wasn’t SOMETHING here to pique your interest.
James Tanner, ALWAYS getting it done. Genealogy’s Star: The Ultimate Digital Preservation Guide, Part One. “The cumulative cost of preserving a physical record is considerable and increases over time. There is, of course among genealogists, in particular, a lot of hand wringing over the loss of records. But some loss is inevitable and inexorable. Due to technological advances, we can now capture a much greater portion of our collective human history. Because of the technology that allows documents and records to be digitally preserved, the cost of preserving an individual record has plummeted and now approaches zero. But however contradictory as it may seem, the cost of preserving large numbers of records is still substantial and as with physical stuff, the now converted digital stuff will decay, be destroyed, or lost in many different ways.”