Monday, September 29, 2008

Event: Digital Directions: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections, May 27 - 29, 2009

SAVE THE DATE - San Diego 2009

Digital Directions:

Fundamentals of Creating
and Managing Digital Collections

May 27-29, 2009
Westin San Diego
San Diego, California

For more information on the Digital Directions conference content and audience, see:

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Workshop: Digitizing Audio Collections, Oct. 22 - 24, 2008

Updated October 14, 2008: A commenter (below) has said that the October workshop was canceled and asks if there are any similar workshops around. If anyone knows of possible workshops, please post a comment here. Thank you!

Hopefully workshops like this will become more frequent.

Digitizing Audio Collections

  • October 22-24, 2008 -- Metro/Davidson County Archives, Nashville, TN
  • July 22-24, 2009 Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, MO

Cost: $200 American Association for State and Local History members/$265 nonmembers

Over three days you will learn about planning for an audio project and leave with an outline of how to manage an audio project specific for your institution. Day Two will help you build vocabulary, understand how audio is recorded and transferred to digital, and there will be a demonstration of a portable studio set up. On the third day we will step through a new cataloging process that has been specifically created for audio and video collections. Participants will work in teams to create metadata records on site and have resources and examples to take home.

For more information and registration see

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Call for Papers: Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA), 2009

From the Sigdl-l mailing list.



Dubrovnik and Zadar, Croatia, 25 ? 30 May 2009

Inter-University Centre ( ) and University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia (

Full information at: Email:

The annual international conference and course Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) addresses the changing and challenging environment for libraries and information systems and services in the digital world. Each year a different and ?hot? theme is addressed, divided in two parts; the first part covering research and development and the second part addressing advances in applications and practice. LIDA brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and developers from all over the world in a forum for personal exchanges, discussions, and learning, made easier by being held in memorable locations.

This is the tenth and last LIDA that will be held in Dubrovnik; after that LIDA moves to University of Zadar (Croatia) on a biannual basis.

Themes LIDA 2009

Part I: REFLECTIONS: Changes Brought by and in Digital Libraries in the Last Decade

Contributions are invited covering the following topics (types described
  • synthesis of research, practices, and values related to digital libraries that were prominent in the past decade; conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches that emerged
  • reflections and evaluations of the impact digital libraries have had on various social enterprises
  • particularly as related to scholarship, education, and government
  • reflections and evaluation of the impact digital libraries have had on individuals in their everyday life; changes in use and users of digital libraries
  • assessment of changes that digital libraries brought to traditional libraries and vice versa, changes in digital libraries based on requirements of their host institutions
  • growth in involvement with digital libraries of a variety of institutions such as museums, professional and scientific societies, and other agencies
  • emergence and effects of mass book digitization efforts, such as Million Book Project, Google Books Library Project, and others; library participation in these projects
  • examples of good practices that emerged in a variety of efforts, such as digitization, preservation, access, and others
  • reflections on challenges and lessons learned from national, funded digital library research and application projects such as US National Science Digital Library Program, the European Delos and Digital Library Project, and others
  • examination of international aspects of digital libraries with related trends in globalization and cooperative opportunities.
Part II: HERITAGE & digital libraries - digitization, preservation, access

Contributions are invited covering the following topics (types described below):
  • theories and taxonomies of heritage as related to digital libraries and heritage libraries in a digital world
  • dimensions of e-heritage and areas of significance (documents, monuments - cultural and natural, as well as ancestry records broadly conceived to encompass bio-cultural heritage)
  • institutional perspectives on creation, dissemination, and access to heritage including local, national, trans-national and global strategies for digital heritage
  • perspectives on heritage information: cultural, political, educational, economic, legal, socio-technological, bio-technological
  • surveys of preservation activities, programs, projects, best practices
  • technologies for heritage information management: solutions and challenges
  • forms of heritage, their representations, and connection to artifacts, memories, and record-keeping practices
  • specific concerns for library and information science (including but not limited to digital curation, web archiving, automation of cultural heritage archives, etc.)
  • preservation efforts related to scholarly communication and the knowledge continuum.
Types of contributions

Invited are the following types of contributions:
  1. Papers: research studies and reports on practices and advances that will be presented at the conference and included in published Proceedings
  2. Posters: short graphic presentations on research, studies, advances, examples, practices, or preliminary work that will be presented in a special poster session. Proposals for posters should be submitted as a short, one or two- page paper.
  3. Demonstrations: live examples of working projects, services, interfaces, commercial products, or developments-in-progress that will be presented during the conference in specialized facilities or presented in special demonstration sessions.
  4. Workshops: two to four-hour sessions that will be tutorial and educational in nature. Workshops will be presented before and after the main part of the conference and will require separate fees, to be shared with workshop organizers.
  5. PhD Forum: short presentations by PhD students, particularly as related to their dissertation; help and responses by a panel of educators.
Instructions for submissions are at LIDA site


For papers and workshops: 15 January 2009. Acceptance by 10 February 2009.
For demonstrations and posters: 1 February 2009. Acceptance by 15 February 2009.

Final submission for all accepted papers and posters: 15 March 2009.

Conference contact information

Course co-directors:
TATJANA APARAC-JELUSIC, Ph.D. ;Department of Library and Information Science University of Zadar; 23 000 Zadar, Croatia;

TEFKO SARACEVIC, Ph.D.;School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ, 08901 USA

Program chairs:
For Theme I: ELIZABETH D. LIDDY, Ph.D.; Dean, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University; Syracuse, NY 13210, USA;

For Theme II: MARIJA DALBELLO, Ph.D. School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA;

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Call for Papers: IADIS e-Society 2009 conference

If you look through the "call", you'll see that this conference does have a digitization element to it.

-- CALL FOR PAPERS - Deadline for submissions: 20 October 2008 --

February 25-28, 2009 – BARCELONA, SPAIN

* Conference Background and Goals
The IADIS e-Society 2009 conference aims to address the main issues of concern within the Information Society. This conference covers both the technical as well as the non-technical aspects of the Information Society. Broad areas of interest are eSociety and Digital Divide, eBusiness / eCommerce, eLearning, New Media and E-Society, Digital Services in eESociety, eGovernment /eGovernance, eHealth, Information Systems, and Information Management. These broad areas are divided into more detailed areas (see below). However innovative contributes that don't fit into these areas will also be considered since they might be of benefit to conference attendees.

* Format of the Conference
The conference will comprise of invited talks and oral presentations. The proceedings of the conference will be published in the form of a book and CD-ROM with ISBN, and will be available also in the IADIS Digital Library (online accessible). The best paper authors will be invited to publish extended versions of their papers in the IADIS Journal on WWW/Internet (ISSN: 1645-7641) and other selected Journals.

* Types of submissions
Full and Short Papers, Reflection Papers, Posters/Demonstrations, Tutorials, Panels and Doctoral Consortium. All submissions are subject to a blind refereeing process.

* Topics related to the Information Society are of interest. These include, but are not limited to the following areas and topics:

«« eSociety and Digital Divide »»
Connectivity may imply social coherence and integration. The opposite may result as well, when systematic measures are taken to exclude certain individuals or certain groups. Papers are welcomed on the next keywords:
• Social Integration
• Social Bookmarking
• Social Software
• E-Democracy
• Social Integration

«« eBusiness / eCommerce »»
May include issues relating to:
• Business Ontologies and Models
• Digital Goods and Services
• eBusiness Models
• eCommerce Application Fields
• eCommerce Economics
• eCommerce Services
• Electronic Service Delivery
• eMarketing
• Languages for Describing Goods and Services
• Online Auctions and Technologies
• Virtual Organisations and Teleworking

«« eLearning »»
May include issues relating to:
• Collaborative Learning
• Curriculum Content Design & Development
• Delivery Systems and Environments
• Educational Systems Design
. E-Citizenship and Inclusion
• eLearning Organisational Issues
• Evaluation and Assessment
. Political and Social Aspects
• Virtual Learning Environments and Issues
• Web-based Learning Communities

«« New Media and E-Society »»
May include issues relating to:
• Digitization, heterogeneity and convergence
• Interactivity and virtuality
• Citizenship, regulation and heterarchy
• Innovation, identity and the global village syndrome
• Internet Cultures and new interpretations of “Space”
• Polity and the Digitally Suppressed

«« Digital Services in E-Society »»
May include issues relating to:
• Service Broadcasting
• Political Reporting
• Development of Digital Services
• Freedom of Expression
• E-Journalism
• Open Access

«« eGovernment /eGovernance »»
May include issues relating to:
• Accessibility
• Democracy and the Citizen
• Digital Economies
• Digital Regions
• eAdministration
• eGovernment Management
• eProcurement
• Global Trends
• National and International Economies
• Social Inclusion

«« eHealth »»
May include issues relating to:
• Data Security Issues
• eHealth Policy and Practice
• eHealthcare Strategies and Provision
• Legal Issues
• Medical Research Ethics
• Patient Privacy and Confidentiality

«« Information Systems »»
May include issues relating to:
• Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
• Intelligent Agents
• Intelligent Systems
• IS Security Issues
• Mobile Applications
• Multimedia Applications
• Payment Systems
• Protocols and Standards
• Software Requirements and IS Architectures
• Storage Issues
• Strategies and Tendencies
• System Architectures
• Telework Technologies
• Ubiquitous Computing
• Virtual Reality
• Wireless Communications

«« Information Management »»
May include issues relating to:
• Computer-Mediated Communication
• Content Development
• Cyber law and Intellectual Property
• Data Mining
• ePublishing and Digital Libraries
• Human Computer Interaction
• Information Search and Retrieval
• Knowledge Management
• Policy Issues
• Privacy Issues
• Social and Organizational Aspects
• Virtual Communities
• XML and Other Extensible Languages

* Important Dates:
- Submission deadline: 20 October 2008
- Notification to Authors: 17 November 2008
- Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration: Until 15 December 2008
- Late Registration: After 15 December 2008
- Conference: Barcelona, Spain, 25 to 28 February 2009

* Secretariat
Rua Sao Sebastiao da Pedreira, 100, 3
1050-209 Lisbon, Portugal
Web site:

* Program Committee

Program Chair
Piet Kommers, University of Twente, The Netherlands

Conference Chair
Pedro IsaĆ­as, Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open University), Portugal

Committee Members:*
* for committee list please refer to

* Co-located events
Please also check the co-located events:
Information Systems 2009 ( - 25-27 February 2009
Mobile Learning 2009 ( - 11-13 April 2008

* Registered participants in the e-Society conference may attend Information Systems and Mobile Learning conferences’ sessions free of charge.

Paper: Mass Digitization and Copyright Law, Policy and Practice

This 25-page well-researched paper by Georgia Harper has this as it premise:
Copyright industries live and die by their bottom lines. Some of the money that has trouble achieving what it used to in Washington has begun to bet on the strengths of the digital networked environment rather than against them. This paper describes how that change is beginning. The story does indeed start with Congress but quickly turns to what’s taking place outside the law, in the markets. Then it looks to the courts, where mass digitization is having its most direct effect on copyright law. Even here, however, the markets are, again, the bigger story. I’ll close with Google Book Search, an important part of any path forward.
Published in May 2008, it was recently promoted through the Center for Intellectual Property.

I could see assigning this as a paper that students studying copyright or digitization would need to read, because it is well-written and easy to understand.

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For New Yorkers: Informal notes from the Sept. 26 Regents Advisory Council on Libraries meeting

Due to time constraints, the committee met by conference call rather than in person in NYC.

We welcomed two new council members:
  • Bridget Quinn-Carey, Director, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
  • John P. Monahan, Director, School Library System, Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES
We also said good-bye to Carol Tauriello and Mary Lou Caskey, whose terms are over. Both will be missed on the Committee.

The state budget was on everyone's mind. With the changes that are occurring in the state budget and the economy, every state agency is concerned about the future. Planning is difficult, since no one knows what will occur when the legislature goes back into session and tackles the current budget. And everyone is concerned about the 2009 - 2010 budget.

Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, gave the Council an update on the search for a new State Librarian. He reported that the search is continuing and in-person interviews will occur soon with the goal of presenting the new State Librarian at the New York Library Association conference. When asked what he is looking for in a candidate, Cannell listed serveral qualities that can be summarized as looking for someone who can move the State Library forward, who will help libraries adapt for the future, and who will make our library (and its services) seen as being world-class. It is important to remember that the State Library is more than what occurs in Albany and that is touches every New Yorker in some way, nearly every day (whether they know it or not).

Brief updates were given on the Regents Cultural Education and EMSC committee meetings earlier this month. (BTW The New York Digital Collection Initiative was presented at the last EMSC Committee meeting. That initiative had been presented at the Cultural Education Committee meeting in May.)

Sam Simon announced the winner of the Joseph Shubert Award. The award was given the the Mid-Hudson Library System. Queens Library was "runner up" and will be honored -- along with Mid-Hudson -- at the NYLA conference. (Formal announcements were circulated online yesterday.)

Carol Desch gave an update on the Division of Library Development. One item for people to be aware of is the draft strategic plan entitled "Improving Library Services for All in the 21st Century: 2008-2010 Strategic Plan." The State Library will be soliciting feedback on this document.

Loretta Ebert gave an update on the Research Library and specifically on a theft from the State Library and State Archives that came to light last winter. The formal resolution is expected to occur soon. In addition, the Library and Archive have been reviewing their security, etc. A consultant was hired to make recommendations on security improvements as well as policy changes. While some security upgrades have been made, it is believed that more (the remainder) will be made in 2009 - 2010.

Finally, next year is the 400 year anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of what is now the Hudson River. Several events, etc., are planned for 2009. If I heard correctly, those events will cross all of Office of Cultural Education.

More was reviewed than I had time to type. Mostly items for Council to be aware of. We will meet in November and I expect the we will have a better understanding of what is happening with the state budget then.

Other Digitization 101 blog posts on the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries can be found here.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blog: A View to Hugh: Processing the Hugh Morton Photographs and Films

Stephen Fletcher's first blog post on Nov. 1, 2007 explains this blog that documents a digitization project:
The life’s work of photographer Hugh Morton has a new home: the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It took two trips in four vans filled to the gills to bring it all from the Morton residence near Grandfather Mountain to the university where Morton spent his freshman through junior years as a student. His enlistment in the United States Army in September 1942, at the outset of his senior year, pulled him away to the Pacific and on to what became a celebrated life, but he returned to the campus he loved time and time and time again—and likely always with his camera. ...

We also needed a way to keep people informed about our progress and offer glimpses into the collection’s wealth. We are enthused by the public interest and want to transform it into community involvement. So we developed this blog to meet those needs and we hope it “clicks” with you!
This is a very interesting blog and view of the work they are doing. Once you visit it, I guarantee that you'll be skimming through it, looking at photos, and reading snippets of information.

They say that Hugh Morton took his camera everywhere. From the photos I can see, that definitely was true!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reformed Church of America archives and Russell Gasero

At the American Association for State and Local History conference, Russell Gasero, archivist for the Reformed Church of America (RCA) gave each person in our presentation a DVD with four videos he had produced to promote his archives. The videos give a peek into the history of the church and show materials from the archives. Each is under 10 minutes in length. The archives web page contains one of the videos. During his presentation, Russell assured us that this had been simple to do and had given us an outline of his process (my notes). Through the use of pictures/video and words, Russell sparks our curiosity...and his he can do it, we all should be able to do it too!

I've just finished watching two of them...well done, Russ!

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Radio Episode -- Remember, Remember -- available until Sept. 26, 2008

This 45 min. BBC program is available for a limited period of time. Overview:
Psychologist Susan Blackmore investigates how we are outsourcing the memory of our lives to digital devices and asks whether that is changing the nature of human memory. She hears from a 'lifelogger' who is recording every detail of his daily life - and from an academic who has taped 220,000 hours of audio and video of his infant son. She asks whether we will all end up doing the same and how this will affect the way we remember our own lives.
Question to consider: How will we save these digital memories? Can we save these (given their size)?

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Need your help with two questions (Atiz & Scribe)

I need your help with two questions.

First, I received an email today from someone who was looking for feedback on the Atiz BookDrive DIY. I also received an unrelated comment today about the Atiz machine. So, I'm turning to you all for help. If you are using the Atiz BookDrive DIY and willing to share your impressions of the machine, please contact me. I'll summarize and anonymize the comments for the blog. Thanks!

Second, occasionally I look for a sales/marketing web site for the Scribe machine for digitizing books, but never find one. There must be one, right? So, if you know of a legitimate sales/marketing site for the machine, please let me know. Thanks!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"C" is for Conversion

Today I am giving a presentation at Syracuse University entitled "C" is for Conversion. Abstract and slides are below.

The term "digitization" covers many activities including project management, copyright clearance, conversion, and digital preservation. Converting paper-based and analogue materials to digital formats ensures broader access to those items. The activity requires adherence to standards, guidelines and best practices. Mass digitization programs (e.g., Google) have focused many people on the activity of conversion and the ability to do it effectively and efficiently. However, numerous institutions have still not begun digitization programs and some, who have begun, are using conversion processes that are not best-in-class. This presentation will focus on the history of conversion, its current state, and the impact of DIY (do-it-yourself).
"C" is for Conversion
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: digitization diy)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Event: Museum Computer Network annual conference

In case you haven't seen this.
Save the Date!

Join the Museum Computer Network for the 36th annual conference in Washington, D.C., November 12th - 15th.



Join MCN in the nation's capital for four days of targeted programming emphasizing the "how-tos" and "why-tos" of Information Technology for Museums.

We'll meet in downtown Washington, DC at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel for a full range of programs addressing a wide array of topics, including the following:
  • Issues of National Concern for Museums
  • Social Networking, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0
  • Superior Content, Superior Delivery
  • Digital Readiness
  • Museum Information Standards
  • Leadership, Sustainability, Accountability
  • Staying Current
  • Case Study Showcases on Innovation, Collections and Open Source efforts
Visit to view the preliminary program and for registration, hotel & travel information.

About the Museum Computer Network

Mission: The Museum Computer Network (MCN) supports the greater museum community by providing continuing opportunities to explore, implement, and disseminate new technologies and best practices in the field.

Founded in 1967, MCN is a nonprofit organization with members representing a wide range of information professionals from hundreds of museums and cultural heritage institutions in the United States and around the world. MCN helps museum information professionals and people interested in technology in the cultural heritage community seek out and share ideas and information through a wide range of activities, including an annual conference, special interest groups, website, and other outstanding resources such as the new MCN Project Registry at MuseTechCentral (

Event: VSMM 2008 - Call for Participation

In case you haven't seen this. This arrived in my email....

International Conference VSMM 2008 - Call for Participation

Digital Heritage: Our Hi-tech-STORY for the Future

Technologies to Document, Preserve, Communicate,
and Prevent the Destruction of our Fragile Cultural Heritage
October 20. - 25th, 2008
Limassol, Cyprus

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 14th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia - VSMM2008:

"Digital Heritage 2.0: Our Hi-tech-story for the Future". Technologies to Document, Preserve, Communicate, and Prevent the Destruction of our Fragile Cultural Heritage

The conference, held under the Patronage of H.E. the President of the Republic of Cyprus and UNESCO, will take place in the 5-star beachfront Amathus Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus from October 20-25th, 2008.

Leading heritage, digital technology, and policy leaders from around the world in libraries and archives, museums, virtual reality and multimedia, and heritage documentation and presentation, will be converging to share ideas, present their latest findings, and develop new initiatives.

Conference registration, and air and hotel discounts are all now available on the conference website

Centered on the key themes of Digital Libraries, Digital Museums, Digital Recording, and Virtual Systems, some 180 papers have been selected by a 100-member program committee from over 300 submissions from across the world. The papers will be available in proceedings, which will be complimentary with conference registration. The 10 best papers presented at the conference will be published in a Special Edition of the International Journal of Architectural Computing, while the 11 special panels and workshops will be published in a unique book edition to be published in early 2009.

In addition to the many papers, across its multiple days the Conference will feature 7 plenary talks by leading experts, and a rich variety of workshops, and special sessions.

Conference Highlights:

Digital Heritage Information: Libraries and Archives
  • i2010 Digital Libraries' Initiative - Europe's Cultural Heritage at theClick of a Mouse, Javier Hernandez-Ros, Head of Unit, Information Society & Media DG, The European Commission
  • The World Digital Library Initiative, Dr. John Van Oudenaren, Director, World Digital Library, The Library of Congress
Panels & Workshops
  • Open Content - Maximizing Usability of Digital Heritage (Alexandria Archive)
  • Archives Infrastructure for Digitized Cultural Content in Europe (Rob Davies, Romana Krizova)
  • Multilingual & Multimedia Access to Cultural Heritage Digital Objects (the EU MultiMatch Project)
  • The EU Michael / Minerva Projects (Rosella Caffo, Italian Ministry of Culture)
  • Preparing the Cultural Heritage Research Agenda of Tomorrow ( Sorin Hermon, EU Cultural Heritage Informatics Research Oriented Network)
Digital Museums, Interpretation and Presentation
Libraries, Monuments, Archives, Museums: European heritage facing the digital challenge, Prof. Massimo Negri, Director, European Museum Forum and Board of the European Digital Library

Showcases & Panels
  • NODEM: Nordic Excellence in Digital Museums (Halina Gottlieb, The Interactive Institute)
  • COINS: Automated tools to trace stolen collections (Franco Niccolucci, EU COINS Project)
  • EPOCH KnowHow Books: Knowledge Transfer (Halina Gottlieb & Daniel Pletinckx, EPOCH Project)
Digital Heritage Documentation
The Acropolis of Athens: From Ancient Greece to the Digital Age, Vassilios Tsingas, Elliniki Photogrammetriki Ltd

Workshops and Panels
  • Terrestrial Laser Scanning Essentials (Andreas Georgopoulos, National Tech. Univ. of Athens)
  • Digital Tools for Recording Heritage Places (Mario Santana, KU Leuven)
Virtual Systems and Multimedia
Designing the Digital Imaginary: a Convergence of Art and Supercomputer Science, Prof. Donna J. Cox, Advanced Visualization Laboratory, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne

Panels and Workshops
  • Virtual Reality: Communities and 3D Worlds (Maurizio Forte and Lily Diaz)
  • FocusK3D: Promoting Semantic 3D Media (Manolis Vavalis, Marios Pitikakis)

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Monday, September 15, 2008

For New Yorkers: Presenting the NY Digital Collections proposal to the Regents' Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education Committee

Today I am presenting the proposal for the New York Digital Collections Initiative to the Regents' Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education Committee. The two-page overview that is in the Committee's meeting packet was written by Johanna Duncan Poitier (Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education) and Jeffrey Cannell (Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, and Acting State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries). [MS Word version] The four-age discussion paper on the Initiative provides more background.

Like many other states, our state government is looking for ways of trimming the budget. This leaves every department and agency with a difficult decision -- how do you decrease spending while meeting the needs of constituents? In New York State, how do we create infrastructure for this Initiative -- that is necessary for the creation and use of digital resources that will improve access to information for students, teachers, researchers, businesses and ordinary citizens -- in today's economic reality?

My personal hope is that this proposal will be seen as a foundation for the future and a foundation that requires a commitment -- at some level -- in the 2009 budget. Waiting could be devastating. Short-term, I hope the EMSC Committee supports this proposal (as did the Cultural Education Committee) and that it will soon be supported by the entire Board of Regents.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) conference notes

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to present at the AASLH conference in Rochester, NY on a panel with John Ansley (Marist College), Russell Gasero (Reformed Church in America) and Duane Watson (Wilderstein Historic Site). Our topic was "Using Digital Collections to Expand Your Audience" and each of us took a different viewpoint on the topic.

I led off and talked about for digitization programs and how each is using its assets to promote their collections and institutions. My slides are below. I talked about two programs that had placed materials elsewhere on the Internet, then about two programs that had placed materials on their web site in interesting ways.

Russell Gasero talked about creating and using video at the Reformed Church in America to educate people about its history as well as what is in its archives. In the 1980s, the RCA wanted to produce a video about its history, however, a producing a video was going to cost $1000/minute. The RCA did do a 15 minute video, but there was much more that could be said. Russell is using software on his computer to create short videos. He noted that while people are purchasing high-definition TVs, our cell phones are video studios and playback devices. People seem to be okay with the rugged and rustic look from cell phone video. Therefore, we shouldn't be obsessed with having the best quality available.

When creating a video, Russell:
  • Determines the purpose of the video
  • Decides on the audience
  • Works on his storytelling techniques
    • Watch TV commercials in order to learn how to tell a short, succinct story.
    • "Short is cheaper"
    • "Brevity is beautiful"
His work flow is:
  • Gather images/material
  • Create a storyboard. You'll need approx. 10 minutes per minute minimum.
  • Create the narrative and record the audio. Consider who, what, where, when, how and why.
  • Put the images and the audio together.
  • Look for transitions (how you get from one scene to the next) and keep it simple.
  • Export to whatever medium you want.
Russell mentioned the following software -- PowerPoint Pro, Encore, Moviemaker and Audacity.

Duane Watson gave us a brief overview of Wilderstein, which is a historic house. The house is staffed by 200 volunteers and 2 paid staff. There are 10 people who work in the archives. The house has extensive holdings (45 rooms of "stuff"). Duane has worked with the Southeastern NY Library Resources Council to create digital images for Hudson River Valley Heritage. They digitize 108 items with help from an MLS student who was hired (grant funded). The 108 items equates to many more images, since some of the items are newsletters. For example, they digitized the American Field Service Bulletin.

John Ansley talked about the Lowell Thomas Travelogues that have been digitized at Marist College. This project is not yet completed (it will end in 2009). The 1000 cubit feet of materials spans the mid-1800s to the 1980s and include materials in all types of formats. He mentioned using Moviemaker and Audacity, as well as Google Analytics. John sees this digital collection as being a teaser for researchers. It will definitely attract me people to the collection.

After our presentation, I went to the exhibit hall (approx. 60 exhibitors) and visited with Alexander Street Press, Kirtas Technologies, Museum Association of NY, PastPerfect Software, and the Upstate History Alliance.

It was unfortunate that I couldn't stay for the more of the conference due to my crowded schedule. I know it would have been an educational and useful conference for me. Next year's conference will be August 27-30, 2009 in Indianapolis, IN. The call for proposals is already online. A session proposal must be submitted by an AASLH member, however, non-members may be presenters.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008


In numerology, I believe that the number 7 stands for completion. If you look at some ancient writings, the number 7 seems to mean a long time. It has been 7 years since Sept. 11, 2001. For some, it may seem like yesterday and for others, it is a long time.

I will never forget that day. First, my best friend works and lives in NYC and had worked near the Trade Center. Her quick email that morning said in part, "Jill, I am ok...I am not in downtown area. I am hoping midtown is not next. I can't find my sister or husband. I hope they were not traveling. In case something happens, it has been really wonderful getting to know you again. You are a great person and have helped me [immensely]....cease the day!!! I WILL speak to you soon!!!! " Thankfully, her family was okay, although she did know some people who died that day. My email back also had a sense of saying good-bye. Part of it said, "You are a very special person. Truly my best friend...and I hope you will be that for many years." Yup, it was a day for saying the things that mattered.

Second, I didn't own a TV then, so had to rely on the radio and Internet for the news. It wasn't, however, until I saw some of the images on TV later in the day, that I understood what they meant when newscasters said that the Towers had fallen. Fallen? Wasn't that impossible? No, it wasn't.

Third, I taught a class at Syracuse University that afternoon, where I had to use all my humanity and compassion in order to address the situation and tell them about resources, etc. Class didn't last very long.

Today I'm flying to Washington, D.C. for a conference tomorrow. Because of that, 9-11 is on my mind more. Today will not be normal, although I wish it were. Sadly, for tens of thousands, today will never be normal, no matter how many years pass.

On New Year's Eve 2001, I visited Ground Zero and some other places around NYC. At the time, I didn't feel right taking photos of memorials. Two years later, I did photograph two memorials. The photos below were taken in 2003 near/at St. Vincent's Hospital on 7th Avenue. Many of the injured were taken to this hospital in 2001. The tiles were done by artists from all ages and backgrounds from across the U.S. When I was in NYC last fall, the tiles were still there. It was one of many impromptu memorials and one that has lasted. The very last photo is of a memorial that was on a wall at St. Vincent's. I do not know if it is still there.

You can click on the photos in order to view a longer image.

9/13/2008: The flight on Sept. 11 went well, although we took an odd landing approach coming into National Airport. I always like flying into D.C. because of all you can see from the air. It is a great view of Washington!

BTW Today I corrected grammar and typos in this blog post, and added Technorati tags. I guess I wrote it too quickly on Thursday.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Google partnering with ProQuest & Heritage - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the partnership between Google, ProQuest and Heritage. The ProQuest press release states:

"Newspapers are the lifeblood of every community-with a wide ranging interest for a myriad of users. The demand for digitized newspaper archives is clearly there. The problem is it that, until now, finding a workable economic model for libraries and publishers has been challenging," said Rod Gauvin, ProQuest senior vice-president of publishing. "This model overcomes that hurdle, unlocking a wealth of content for libraries and internet users with unique research needs."

The ProQuest/Google partnership does not impact ProQuest's other digital newspaper offerings such as its acclaimed ProQuest Historical Newspapers, which will continue to be strongly developed for use by serious researchers. Users of such products require robust application and search tools provided by the power of the ProQuest platform. The content delivered via Google's platform will be supported with a variety of advertising and e-commerce models that are standard in an open web context.

ProQuest will contribute content to the partnership, and will introduce newspaper publishers nationwide to the program. ProQuest will also supply from its microfilm vault newspaper content that can be delivered effectively in the less formal framework of the open web. The company currently holds more than 10,000 newspaper titles, most of which are pristine master film copies. This high level of microfilm quality allows for the creation of better scanned images, which will ultimately deliver more accurate OCR results for users.

While ProQuest's film vault will be tapped, the open web model does not replace or diminish ProQuest's commitment to microfilm. "The open web program is about access to content and has no impact on preservation, where microfilm is the 'gold standard,'" said Mr. Gauvin. "Microfilm is a technology-neutral format, so no matter the state of future technology, anything preserved on it can be read and stored effectively. It's an essential for preserving local history and culture, as well as the world's scholarship."

The work of the ProQuest/Google partnership commences immediately and is expected to be ongoing over multiple years.

The press release only talks about the microfilm content that ProQuest owns. ProQuest owns a lot of other content and so I will continue to wonder if this partnership could lead to something else between the company and Google.

Heritage, which creates microfilm and also can scan microfilm, does not have a press release on its web site about this partnership. Heritage owns which boasts:

Easily Find Over 2.90 Billion Names • Over 968.76 Million Articles Search 89.7 Million Pages • 760 Cities • 240 Years • 2,905 Titles

Raymond McInnis asked in his comment on yesterday's post:
what impact, do you suppose, google will have up
Okay, so let's assume that Heritage is not willing to open up its NewspaperARCHIVE and let people have access to the content for free. Heritage could be the company that does the actual digitizing of the microfilm. And they could allow their newspapers to be indexed by Google so that searches through Google would find newspaper content that Heritage owns. Both of those would be a "win" for the company at least for the near-term.

Finally, I want to point to comments made by Stephen Arnold in his blog. I've known Steve for many years and trust his opinion. He has a keen insight into the search market and has been watching Google closely (and writing about them). Steve made three points in his blog post about this announcements:
  • First, you can kiss most commercial database publishers’ as great investments good bye.
  • Second, you can ignore those Monday Night Football ads from Thomson Reuters.
  • Third, the yip yap of competitors, advertisers, and Google critics won’t make a single iota of difference to what Google is doing.
If I take his comments into account (and you should read the entire blog post), this is a short-term win-win situation for the companies involved, but long-term this is a bigger win for Google. Google's service model has broadened the search market. Oh...but professional searcher don't use Google. Honestly, they're likely using Google more than they will admit. And if Google continues to add content and improve, wouldn't it be more cost-effective to use Google first and use the others if necessary? (And what portion of the search market are professional searchers?)

This will continue to be something to watch. I'll be interested in other people's analysis of the situation and what other companies do now in hopes of combating Google. If you have comments or pointers to information, please let me know.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Google partnering with ProQuest & Heritage to digitize newspapers (oh...and ProQuest already has access to a lot of newspaper content)

Google is expanding its digitization efforts with this announcement:
Today, we're launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives.
Google explains that this effort will be a partnership:
This effort expands on the contributions of others who've already begun digitizing historical newspapers. In 2006, we started working with publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post to index existing digital archives and make them searchable via the Google News Archive. Now, this effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small, in conjunction with partners such as ProQuest and Heritage, who've joined in this initiative.
mmm...and ProQuest now owns Dialog, which likely has one of the largest newspaper repositories already. I wonder if that will somehow get factored in? One of the questions I posed in June was:
Wouldn't it be interesting if they -- at some point -- bought and added Dialog's files to its service?
Let's keep our eyes on this and see what develops!

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The Millennial Disc: A disc that lasts forever?

A company in Utah, named Millenniata, Inc., says they have a disc that can save content forever. "...the Millennial DiscTM [is] a permanent archiving solution for the preservation of data, information and records for institutions, businesses, consumers and families." According to the company:
We have developed a Write Once Read ForeverTM DVD made from materials that are known to be capable of enduring over 1,000 years. Research to this point has produced optically-recorded bits with optical contrast superior to that of today’s DVD-R technology; this optical contrast will not degrade with the passage of time. Our Millennial WriterTM uses a higher energy laser to ablate a dark glassy surface. These Millennial DiscsTM will be readable in all current DVD readers.
Only the disc and the disc writer are new technology. The discs are playable in existing CD and DVD players.

Millenniata's web site shows this graphic of the disc layers:

Looking at the web site, it doesn't seem that the company is doing mass production at this point. It would be interesting to get this technology into an organization that could give it a full testing and then report on the results. Is it the solution? Is it a solution? If not, why not?

By the way, their literature contains this information on media longevity that we all should keep in mind (no matter what media we're using):

  • Magnetic Tape: 30 to 50 years
  • Hard-Drive: 7 to 12 years
  • CD/DVD (recordable): 7 to 23 years
  • Solid state (Flash memory): 10 to 12 years
Of course, most people would dispute the fact that a CD/DVD could last 23 years. Perhaps under truly optimal conditions. I do I really think my flash drive is going to last 10 years? Perhaps if I don't lose it first!

BTW I'm always exciting when a company has a blog and even more exciting when the company really uses its blog. I hope Millenniata will use its blog more to help educate us.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Report: The International Survey of Institutional Digital Repositories

The company Research and Markets Ltd. has issued a reported entitled "The International Survey of Institutional Digital Repositories (cost EUR 96). The report description says:
The study presents data from 56 institutional digital repositories from eleven countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, South Africa, India, Turkey and other countries. The 121-page study presents more than 200 tables of data and commentary and is based on data from higher education libraries and other institutions involved in institutional digital repository development.

In more than 300 tables and associated commentary the report describes norms and benchmarks for budgets, software use, manpower needs and deployment, financing, usage, marketing and other facets of the management of international digital repositories.

The report helps to answer questions such as: who contributes to the repositories and on what terms? Who uses the repositories? What do they contain and how fast are they growing, in terms of content and end use? What measures have repositories used to gain faculty and other researcher participation? How successful have these methods been? How has the repository been marketed and cataloged? What has been the financial impact? Data is broken out by size and type of institution for easier benchmarking.
The web site gives a table of contents and a short sample.

If you've never ordered a professional report before, you're first question will be "is it worth it?" Good question. EUR 96 ($
138) may not be a lot of money for some organizations. And it might be what some are willing to pay for specific pieces of data. Experience has taught me that if you are willing to pay the report's cost for a few key data points, then it's worth it. For example, are they specific pages in the table of contents that you view as being "must haves"? If the answer is "yes" and you can bear the cost, then do it. If you can't see any data that you need or the cost is too much, then don't order the report. It could be that the data is actually available elsewhere (sometimes that's true) or that you can use other -- more readily available data -- as a substitute.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Survey concerning JPEG2000

David Lowe, Preservation Librarian at the University of Connecticut Libraries, is circulating a survey regarding JPEG2000. In the last year, I've learned more about JPEG2000 and blogged a bit about it. I quickly learned that some people perceived it to be an inferior format, but that indeed the standard is quite good (a testament to those who helped develop it). JPEG2000, however, may not be the first format that many programs consider. Lowe's survey hopes to help us understand if programs are considering JPEG2000 and what they are using it for. Having this solid information will be very helpful. In fact, it may help to build more trust in the format.

David Lowe's survey announcement said:
I am writing to solicit your help with a survey of library-related digital project staff regarding the implementation of the JPEG 2000 standard for digital images (specifically still images and not motion). We estimate that this task will take approximately 15 minutes of your time. It is available now at [this link].

The survey will remain open until October 31, 2008. We will post survey results via a report uploaded to our institutional repository, Please note that in our report, personal information from the survey will not be revealed, and any comments used will remain unattributed.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Workshops by Society of American Archivists

If you are looking for a digitization-related workshop in the U.S., one place to check is the Society of American Archivists (SAA). SAA offers workshops online and various locations across the country. A list of upcoming workshops is available on their web site and you can register for them online.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Article: One Man's Quest to Digitize and Publicize Rare Records

He's an article about a one-man digitization effort to digitized old 78 rpm records and make them available to others. Soon after the article appeared, his site received so much traffic that is was shut down by Yahoo. It then came back online and is being moved to a new hosting service. On his site, Cliff Bolling explains:
Hello, Everyone. Bad news. Jeff Goldstein from Yahoo called me today (8/27/08) and told me they don't want me to allow unlimited access to the downloadable songs on my web page. Even a few songs is too many as they are hosting a Small Business web service, not an unlimited shareware service, and I should look elsewhere for a web provider if I want to continue to allow unlimited access to the music. Apparently, it is OK to display my list and store the MP3 files on their servers, but only if I do not allow unlimited access to them.
Then he said:
GOOD NEWS! I just signed up with Lunarpages to host the music. They offer 1,500 Gb of storage and 15,000 Gb of data transfer for $6.95/month! It's going to take a few days to get things loaded and set up, but I feel real good about the music coming back.
And what about copyright concerns? The original article states:
The copyright situation surrounding some of these songs is as murky as their sound quality. But as with the music's political content, Bolling said he has yet to receive a copyright-related complaint about the recordings being online.
It sounds like Bolling is doing a reputable job. Wouldn't it be great if a digital archive stepped up to work with him and ensure that longevity of the files?

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