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.
Wired UK: Inside Radiohead’s mission to archive everything . “In January 2020, the many strange iterations of Radiohead’s multiple websites were brought back to life when the band launched the Radiohead Public Library. If you visit radiohead.com today, you’re greeted with neatly organised digital ‘shelves’, stacked with music, high-quality videos, merch and ephemera from every era of the band. Most of those preserved websites are deliberately opaque. One, from the era of The Bends (the critically acclaimed album released in 1995), collects negative reviews of the website itself on a neon background. (‘Do NOT visit this site. It is confusing, garbled rubbish,’ reads one.) But, if the Radiohead of the early 2000s found innovation in obfuscation, in 2020 the band has recognised that a truly radical online act is to actually provide clarity.”
XinhuaNet: China makes headway in promoting archives digitalization. “A total of 25 institutions for digital archive storage were established this year, the National Archives Administration said Monday.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy: “So You Want to Build a Digital Archive?” A Dialogue on Critical Digital Humanities Graduate Pedagogy. “This article presents conversations between an Assistant Professor and graduate student as they negotiate various methods and approaches to designing a digital archive. The authors describe their processes for deciding to develop a digital archive of street art in Kathmandu, Nepal through an anticolonial, feminist perspective that highlights community knowledge-making practices while also leveraging the affordances of digital representation. Written in the style of a dialogue, this article illustrates the various tensions and negotiations that interdisciplinary student-instructor teams may encounter when deciding how to design a digital archive through critical frameworks.”
The Conversation: Mukurtu: an online dilly bag for keeping Indigenous digital archives safe. “Mukurtu (pronounced MOOK-oo-too) is an online system that aims to help Indigenous communities conserve stories, videos, photographs, songs, word lists and other digital archives. Mukurtu is a Warumungu word meaning ‘dilly bag’ or a safe keeping place for sacred materials. It’s a free, mobile, and open source platform built with Indigenous communities in mind to manage and share digital cultural heritage.”
Hongkiat: 10 Best Web Scraping Tools to Extract Online Data. “Web Scraping tools are specifically developed for extracting information from websites. They are also known as web harvesting tools or web data extraction tools. These tools are useful for anyone trying to collect some form of data from the Internet. Web Scraping is the new data entry technique that don’t require repetitive typing or copy-pasting.”
BBC Future: Why there’s so little left of the early internet. “The Million Dollar Homepage shows that the decay of this early period of the internet is almost invisible. In the offline world, the closing of, say, a local newspaper is often widely reported. But online sites die, often without fanfare, and the first inkling you may have that they are no longer there is when you click on a link to be met with a blank page.”
Hackaday: Google+ Communities Won’t Go Down Without A Fight. “Google+ is dead. Granted people have been saying that much for years now, but this time it’s really true. As of April, Google’s social media experiment will officially go the way of Reader, Buzz, Wave, Notebook, and all the other products that the search giant decided they were no longer interested in maintaining. Unfortunately in the case of Google+, the shutdown means losing a lot of valuable content that was buried in the ‘Communities’ section of the service. Or at least that’s what we all thought.”
PetaPixel: 10 Good Reasons Why You Need an Archive if You’re a Photographer. “With digital photography, it’s now effortless to take, process and publish images. We share more than ever before on social media and we shoot twice as much than five years ago in 2013. All that data is easy to generate and it’s quite common for photographers to share their results every single day online. But there’s one thing that still requires some effort, something that many photographers overlook: archiving.”
Upcoming Webinar from the Digital Library of Georgia: Revealing Hidden Collections: The Our Story Digitization Project at the Atlanta University Center | The Mechanics- Part 2. “This session– part two in a series of three –will provide attendees with a deeper dive into the mechanics of implementing a complex project with multiple partners. Topics include writing the proposal, vendor selection, preparing collections for digitization, metadata creation, designing workflows and making the collections accessible. Speakers will focus on lessons learned and project management strategies that should be applicable to similar initiatives. The third webinar will focus on strategies for outreach, dissemination and incorporating content into curriculum.” The first webinar is available for viewing.
The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy: Crowdsourcing Traumatic History: Understanding the Historial Archive. “This article discusses the challenges and opportunities for digital archives that aim to both historicize and memorialize recent tragedies through crowdsourcing materials from the public. Using an archive built after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings as an example, I offer the term “historial archive” as a distinction from the much-critiqued adoption of the word “(A)rchive(s)” that we see used throughout the disciplines. Although crowdsourcing in this type of archive works as a catalyst for community, the speed of collection operates (rhetorically at least) as an active buttress against the problems of provenance. That is, historical archives must go to great lengths to verify the veracity and historicity of their collections; in the historial archive’s more philosophic approach to history, the time-sensitive collection methods ensure the archive’s veracity and historicity. Using my own research, I model how students may approach historial archives and the ways these types of repositories can allow for various productive paths that go beyond simply aggregating primary materials.”