The Washington Post: 4 million cards. 4,000 drawers. And a whole lot of paper cuts. A coalition of book lovers rushes to save U-Va.’s card catalogue.

The Washington Post: 4 million cards. 4,000 drawers. And a whole lot of paper cuts. A coalition of book lovers rushes to save U-Va.’s card catalogue.. “They’d just finished setting up projectors to create a replica of the planetarium Thomas Jefferson had envisioned spanning the University of Virginia’s Rotunda dome when Neal Curtis and Sam Lemley stopped. They looked at each other. And they decided they had to come up with a plan — immediately They walked into the school’s Alderman Library and promised they wouldn’t leave that night until they had found a way to save the old card catalogue.”

Phys .org: Novel digitization methods and restoration technologies for preserving cultural heritage

Phys .org: Novel digitization methods and restoration technologies for preserving cultural heritage. “How can we protect and preserve cultural heritage? Researchers from 16 Fraunhofer Institutes are collaborating on the executive board’s cultural heritage project to develop the technologies needed for this undertaking. Whether it is visible in historical temples, ancient statues, or paintings by the great masters, cultural heritage must be preserved. But maintaining historical art treasures is not solely the responsibility of restorers – this task calls for research and the high-tech solutions it can provide. A glance inside some of the Fraunhofer labs reveals numerous researchers working on just these kinds of solutions.”

Taipei Times: ‘Frozen ark’ to preserve species

Taipei Times: ‘Frozen ark’ to preserve species. “Taiwanese researchers are contributing to a global initiative to identify, document and preserve the world’s species and biodiversity by developing cryobanking, DNA barcoding and online database programs, officials from the Forestry Bureau and the Academia Sinica’s Biodiversity Research Center told a news conference in Taipei on Thursday.”

Live Science: ‘Doomsday’ Library Joins Seed Vault in Arctic Norway

Live Science: ‘Doomsday’ Library Joins Seed Vault in Arctic Norway. “Known as the Arctic World Archive, the vault will act as a library of sorts, a storage option for governments and scientific institutions, as well as companies and private individuals, to keep their data safe. Though the vault’s security is high-tech, the medium for the new data archive is analog — photosensitive film. (Whereas digital data is stored as discrete 1s and 0s, analog data refers to a continuous recording of physical signals, like a record player’s needle translating bumps and dips into music.)”

South Carolina State Museum: Resources for Conserving Flood Damaged Photos, Antiques and Heirlooms

A resource list from the South Carolina State Museum, and I really hope you don’t need it: Resources for Conserving Flood Damaged Photos, Antiques and Heirlooms. “Due to the recent flooding disaster many of you may, unfortunately, be dealing with damaged family photos, antiques and other heirlooms. There is a lot of information available via the internet on how to save and conserve water damaged objects, so to make it easier for those needing these resources the State Museum has created a listing of links where you can find helpful information on how best to conserve these items.”

How Arches Is Being Used in the Middle East and Elsewhere

Voice of America has a story about the conservation software Arches and how it’s being used in the Middle East and elsewhere. “The system is being used by the American Schools of Oriental Research to monitor historic sites in Syria and northern Iraq, providing weekly updates and an online inventory of thousands of heritage sites. The American Schools’ Cultural Heritage Initiatives, which receives support from the U.S. State Department, has documented damage or destruction at hundreds of sites, and is developing protocols for post-war preservation.”

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.”

The Atlantic: Yale’s Project to Preserve Movies on VHS

The Atlantic has a fascinating article on preserving movies in VHS format. “VHS is a maligned medium. Libraries are rapidly culling it from their collections, a project in Ontario, Canada, wants to recycle the province’s 2.26 billion tapes, and the rise of digital streaming has made it mostly irrelevant to the general public. It’s often described as obsolete, even by those charged with preserving America’s cultural heritage. One reason Yale bought this video collection was to preserve rare titles—it’s been estimated that about 40 to 45 percent of content distributed on VHS never made its way into any subsequent digital format. But the primary focus of this collection effort was the physical nature of the medium and the cultures it changed and created.”

Jason Scott Saves Boatload of Technical Manuals

Jason Scott and a bevy of valiant volunteers have have saved a huge collection of technical manuals. “A few of us tried to do a very rough, very hand-wavy job of determining what the total number of manuals was, because it sure as hell wasn’t 25,000. At the end we decided that it is definitely over 50,000 and it is probably as high as 75,000. So we rescued twice as many items as I was told the room contained. That’s fantastic.” So wonderful. What a great job.

How Photographers Guard Against Digiblivion

Interesting roundup article from Amateur Photographer – How photographers back up their digital photographs. “Earlier this year, Amateur Photographer (AP) published an online article highlighting the dangers of photographers sleepwalking towards a photographic Armageddon, threatening access to today’s imagery in years to come. AP has since contacted several photographers, asking them to share their experiences and tips as they strive to ensure photos are not permanently consigned to the digital dustbin.”

State Archives of NC Tutorial on Scanning Local Records

The state archives of North Carolina has a tutorial on scanning local records. “We have written on this blog several times about scanning government records. There was a detailed explanation of how to determine whether scanning is an appropriate document management solution. There have been several overviews of scanning operations for local governments, most recently in response to the question, If our county has a public record on paper and we scan it, do we have to keep the paper version of the record? Now we can also offer you an online tutorial that walks you through the planning process for a digital imaging project and also explains what it means for you regarding handling public records.”