Atlas Obscura: Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood

Atlas Obscura: Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood. “ON ANY GIVEN DAY, FROM her home on the Isle of Man, Linda Watson might be reading a handwritten letter from one Confederate soldier to another, or a list of convicts transported to Australia. Or perhaps she is reading a will, a brief from a long-forgotten legal case, an original Jane Austen manuscript. Whatever is in them, these documents made their way to her because they have one thing in common: They’re close to impossible to read.”

Columbia Journalism Review: How Tom Tryniski digitized nearly 50 million pages of newspapers in his living room

Columbia Journalism Review: How Tom Tryniski digitized nearly 50 million pages of newspapers in his living room. “TOM TRYNISKI DOES NOT LOCK HIS DOORS. He spends most days sitting in his living room in Fulton, New York, 30 miles northwest of Syracuse, in front of two jumbo computer monitors, looking something like a security guard, but friendlier. He appears young for 68—skinny, with a head of white hair and an energetic demeanor. He wears a uniform of jeans and a slim-fitting T-shirt, but no coat in the chilly fall air. When we talk, he is almost always smirking.”

CNN: Meet the scientists immortalizing African heritage in virtual reality

This was on CNN at the beginning of January and I 100% missed it: Meet the scientists immortalizing African heritage in virtual reality. “The archaeological wonders of the world offer a rich window into the past. But many are crumbling, weed-laden and victim to vandalism and conflict. UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as those in Libya and Mali, have been caught in the crossfire of regional disputes. Concerned with the decay of African heritage sites, The Zamani Project, based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is seeking to immortalize historic spots in three-dimensional, virtual reality-ready models.”

Rivard Report: San Antonio’s Hidden Black History And The Struggle to Tell It

The Rivard Report: San Antonio’s Hidden Black History And The Struggle to Tell It. “When a small group of San Antonians interested in local African-American history approached the City’s Tricentennial Commission, its members hoped it would be their chance to share with the whole city the rich trove of stories they had uncovered. After two meetings with Tricentennial officials, they came away feeling unheard, although the Tricentennial’s new director, Carlos Contreras, says the commission is working to be more inclusive in its presentation of San Antonio’s diverse communities.”

Library of Congress: Making a Newspaperbot

Library of Congress: Making a Newspaperbot. “The Chronicling America API provides access to historical newspapers from the first half of the 20th century, from geographically diverse sources. Such a collection presents a unique opportunity to retrospectively study the zeitgeist of a nation. Towards that end, ‘Newspaperbot’ is a Twitterbot that tweets out historical newspapers from the Chronicling America API. Everyday in the early hours of morning, the Twitterbot finds all the historical newspapers from that day exactly 100 years ago. The bot then proceeds to tweet the front page of each newspaper accompanied by the title of the journal and the place of publication. It is also accompanied by a link to the item’s location on the Chronicling America website where the reader can access high resolution images of the newspaper.”

Phys.org: Scientists pioneer new way to analyze ancient artwork

Phys.org: Scientists pioneer new way to analyze ancient artwork . “Scientists from UCLA and the National Gallery of Art have used a combination of three advanced imaging techniques to produce a highly detailed analysis of a second century Egyptian painting. They are the first to use the specific combination—which they termed “macroscale multimodal chemical imaging”—to examine an ancient work of art. The new technique enabled them to learn about the raw materials the artist used, and the order in which they were applied to the painting, and it uncovered insights about the painting’s connections to other work from the same era.”

The Atlantic: Future Historians Probably Won’t Understand Our Internet, and That’s Okay

The Atlantic: Future Historians Probably Won’t Understand Our Internet, and That’s Okay. “In a new paper, ‘Stewardship in the ‘Age of Algorithms,’’ Clifford Lynch, the director of the Coalition for Networked Information, argues that the paradigm for preserving digital artifacts is not up to the challenge of preserving what happens on social networks. Over the last 40 years, archivists have begun to gather more digital objects—web pages, PDFs, databases, kinds of software. There is more data about more people than ever before, however, the cultural institutions dedicated to preserving the memory of what it was to be alive in our time, including our hours on the internet, may actually be capturing less usable information than in previous eras.”