New York Times: How to Preserve Your Family Memories, Letters and Trinkets. “Recently, someone wrote to Mary Oey, a conservator at the Library of Congress, asking for help archiving her father’s personal papers. He was a Holocaust survivor, and he had used his diaries and papers as primary sources to teach schoolchildren about his experience. He had laminated them to keep them safe, and — Ms. Oey gave a mournful sigh as she told this story — lamination is a terrible way to preserve documents. There was no way to save this patron’s history.”
RTE: Digital project to recreate public record office destroyed by fire. “A project is under way to digitally recreate the building and contents of the Public Record Office of Ireland, which were destroyed by an explosion and fire at Dublin’s Four Courts in 1922. The six-storey Victorian building went up in flames on 30 June 1922 during the Civil War.”
Undark: In ToxicDocs.org, a Treasure Trove of Industry Secrets . “The site officially launched last Friday with an initial 20 million pages of material focused on six toxic substances: asbestos, benzene, lead, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polyvinyl chloride, and silica, and millions more pages are coming.” The whole article is worth a read; in particular, the problems solved to process five million pages of documents with OCR. “A recent batch of about 1.5 million pages only required about three days to convert to OCR.” Yow!
State Archives of North Carolina: New Siler City Veteran’s Vietnam War Collection Available. “The Grover M. Johnson Jr. Papers is composed of correspondence, photographs, 35mm and 126 Format color slides, and miscellaneous materials, documenting the U.S. Army service of Grover M. Johnson Jr. of Siler City, N.C., during the Vietnam War from November 1966 to October 1968. He served for several months in the 569th General Supply Company at the U.S. Army’s Camp Davies, just outside of Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. For most of his overseas service during the war, Johnson Jr. served on Okinawa in the Headquarters Company at Headquarters, U.S. Army Ryukyu Islands (USARYIS).”
University of Virginia: Digital Social Network Linking The Living And The Dead Expands. “The Social Networks and Archival Context, or SNAC… aims to blow open the doors of libraries and archives and revolutionize the way primary documents are organized and made accessible. The digital platform addresses the longstanding research challenge of discovering, locating and using historical records stored all over the world. It can show links between the living and the dead, and between individuals, families and organizations, across time and place.”
San Francisco Chronicle: State archives documents put online to be used in classrooms. “Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea says she’s making the primary source documents available in this way for the first time as part of American Archives Month, so educators can use them in their classrooms. The teacher resources section on the Department of State website features an interactive timeline of Rhode Island’s history from 1600 to the present and themed collections of significant archival documents dating back to the 1600s.” This brief story does not provide links to the archival documents, so try looking at http://sos.ri.gov/divisions/Civics-And-Education/teacher-resources . I’m not 100% certain when this launched.
Harvard: Scroll through Colonial life. “n a few weeks, the Harvard Library will release a new website for its ongoing, multiyear digitization ‘Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.’ Approximately 450,000 digitized pages of all the known archival and manuscript materials in the Library relating to 17th- and 18th-century North America will be available to the public.”