Chronicle of Higher Education: How to Value Labor in Digital Projects

Chronicle of Higher Education: How to Value Labor in Digital Projects. “Digital projects often bring together many different members of an institution, or several institutions, and those members often have very different statuses: students (undergraduate or graduate), workers in precarious positions, those with permanent positions, etc. Understanding and properly valuing all of this work, and the disparate effects such work has on the different people who perform it, is an ongoing challenge.”

U of Wyoming: UW Geological Museum Receives Grant to Digitize Wyoming’s Rare Fossil Mammal Collection

University of Wyoming: UW Geological Museum Receives Grant to Digitize Wyoming’s Rare Fossil Mammal Collection. “The University of Wyoming Geological Museum has only one-half of 1 percent of its fossils on display to the public. The other 99.5 percent are stored away, and very few, save some visiting researchers, rarely see these hidden treasures in any form. Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the museum will be able to make more of its rare fossil mammal collection available to researchers, schools and the public through digitization of roughly 5,000 items.” New technique accurately digitizes transparent objects New technique accurately digitizes transparent objects. “A new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3D rendering methods. The ability to create detailed, 3D digital versions of real-world objects and scenes can be useful for movie production, creating virtual reality experiences, improving design or quality assurance in the production of clear products and even for preserving rare or culturally significant objects.”

Harvard: Digitization uncovers pre-WWII fossil loan

Harvard: Digitization uncovers pre-WWII fossil loan. “Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente held up a piece of ancient amber, peering at the 40-million-year-old insect inside. Preserved whole after being trapped in sap that hardened over millennia, the fierce-looking larva was a favorite: Its image adorned his computer desktop. ‘Looks like a monster, almost — full of spikes,’ Pérez-de la Fuente said. Then he added: ‘It’s going back.’”

South Dakota: Newspaper digitization advisory board selects newspapers to digitize for federal grant

South Dakota: Newspaper digitization advisory board selects newspapers to digitize for federal grant. “The South Dakota State Historical Society has announced that more historical newspapers will be digitized as part of a federal grant…. An advisory board made up of individuals from history and newspaper backgrounds met in November and March to select which titles would be digitized with this second round of federal funding. Among those selected and approved by the Library of Congress were the Deutscher Herold of Sioux Falls, the Lemmon Herald, the German and English editions of the Eureka Post, the De Smet Leader, the Madison Daily Leader and the Oglala Light of Pine Ridge. In total, 17 more South Dakota towns will be represented in the collection by the end of the project.”

Why Canada’s E-Library is Barren

The Tyee: Why Canada’s E-Library is Barren. “Canada’s inability to adopt a cohesive national digitization strategy has been an ongoing source of frustration and the subject of multiple studies which concluded that the country is falling behind. While there have been no shortage of pilot projects and useful initiatives from university libraries, Canada has thus far failed to articulate an ambitious, national digitization vision.”

National Archives Awards Over $1.8M In Grants For Historical Documents Projects

The National Archives has awarded over $1.8 million in grants for historical records projects. “Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero has awarded 32 grants totaling $1,822,946 to projects being undertaken in 26 states and the District of Columbia. The National Archives grants program is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).”

ALA Will Hold Digitizing Workshop in January

The ALA is offering a digitization workshop for beginners at the end of January. “Whether you’re a community repository just dipping your toes into digitization, or you need to digitize old materials to save space and enable greater access, the ability to plan and begin a digitization project is quickly becoming an essential skill for librarians. In this workshop, digitization expert Susanne Caro will show you what you need to get started if you are new to digitization.” It’s not free, but $60 for an introduction to digitization sounds like a good deal.

Museum Specimens Going Online

TERRIFIC article from The New York Times: Museum Specimens Find New Life Online. “Mr. Kroupa and 14 colleagues are in the midst of a vast undertaking: digitizing and publishing online the museum’s entire collection of insects, including high-definition 3-D images of thousands of particularly important specimens. The researchers here are not alone. Museums around the globe are trying to harness the power of digital technology to make available collections that have long lain dormant on shelves and in dusty cabinets.”

The Atlantic on the Fragility of Online Data

The Atlantic has an excellent story on how unstable the information on the Web really is. I can think of two recent stories of alt-weeklies or small papers which are in danger and have no kind of plan for saving their online archives. (And nothing’s in the Internet Archive because they were blocking them with robots.txt for ages). “The promise of the web is that Alexandria’s library might be resurrected for the modern world. But today’s great library is being destroyed even as it is being built. Until you lose something big on the Internet, something truly valuable, this paradox can be difficult to understand.”

DPLA Releases Self-Guided Curriculum for Digitization

The DPLA has released a self-guided curriculum for digitization. “Through the Public Library Partnerships Project (PLPP), DPLA has been working with existing DPLA Service Hubs to provide digital skills training for public librarians and connect them sustainably with state and regional resources for digitizing, describing, and exhibiting their cultural heritage content…. Now at the end of the project, we’ve made this curriculum available in a self-guided version intended for digitization beginners from a variety of cultural heritage institutions. Each module includes a video presentation, slides with notes in Powerpoint, and slides in PDF. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt these materials.”