Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Copyright and Art Issues

Christine L. Sundt maintains a web site titled "Copyright & Art Issues" which she started during the days of the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) (1996). This spring Sundt reported that the site has been updated, with links checked and more content added...and she is continuing to update it.  Sundt reported that she is interested in comments and suggestions to help improve the site.

Christine Sundt is the former Visual Resources Curator at the University of Oregon (1985-2005) and a former member of the board for the College Art Association (2003-2007).  

The Copyright & Art Issues web site can be found at two slightly different URLs:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Report: Puzzling over digital preservation – Identifying traditional and new skills needed for digital preservation

This paper, written by Thomas Bähr, Michelle Lindlar and Sven Vlaeminckas was recently presented at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress. The 14-page report includes pointers to additional useful resources.  Abstract:
Digital preservation is a task requiring library and information science as well as information technology skills. It simultaneously utilizes traditional library skills and requires knowledge from information technology that goes far beyond the traditional roles of library and archive staff. But where does one start when implementing a digital preservation program? What knowledge is needed? What tasks can be covered by existing personnel? Where can one acquire expert knowledge needed? What information resources exist? Can a scalable approach be implemented to gain necessary skills? The paper is based upon a gap analysis conducted by the Leibniz Library Network for Research Information “Goportis”. It describes necessary know-how identified, ranging from digital curation skills needed to evaluate digital data carriers to specialist digital preservation knowledge of file formats needed to describe information with the goal of sustaining accessiblilty over long-term. It shows how central tasks of digital preservation like process description and preservation planning require expert knowledge of traditional librarian and information technology skills as well as new knowledge which is described as digital preservation skills.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Selecting materials to digitize

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Jay Park who lives and works in New Zealand.  Jay was interested in talking about how libraries select materials for digitization and wanted to talk by phone. One Aug. 24 we both got on Skype for our conversation and found that his Internet connection was stable that day. I offered to record my response to his question and then give him a link to the recording. Since it may be of interest to others, I'm placing it here also. It is 20 minutes in length and done without any notes, which makes it very "off the cuff" and informal.

If you want to download the audio, you can do so here

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jill's alternate to the 2015 Beloit College Mindset List

iSchool new student receptionBeloit College has released it 2015 Mindset List ® and, as I did last year, I'm going to write my own take on the mindset of this year's incoming college freshman class.

Incoming college/university freshmen were born in 1993.  Here are some other things - and odd pieces of trivia -  that you need to know about them:  (My apologies for the list being a bit U.S.-centric.)

  • Mobile technology - in a variety of forms - has always been a part of their lives. (It is interesting to note that the iPod and iTunes store were introduced in 2001 and 2003 respectively.)
  • Peer-to-peer file sharing - which began in 1999 - is normal for them, no matter if it is done legally or illegally.
  • The Iraq War (or Second Gulf War) is the only war that they know.  (It began in 2003.) The first Gulf War was before they were born (1990-1991). 
  • They have lived through two economic recessions (2001-2002 and 2008-present).
  • They have always known of people that were out of work because their employers downsized, outsourced, or went out of business.
  • They have watched their older friends have problems finding full-time work and may already be anxious about their own job prospects.
  • Financial security may be a foreign concept to many of them.
  • The increased security protocols that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001 are not abnormal to them.
  • They have grown up using debit cards and online banking, rather than relying on checks and in-person banking like their parents and grandparents.
  • Business casual is standard work attire for them.  The idea of suit-up Friday (which is an informal event in some communities) is cool because that level of dress up is a novelty.
  • Rap and hip hop music are mainstream forms of expression in their world.
  • Rapper Tupac Shakur, who has had a lasting impact on the music world, died before they knew who he was (1971-1996). 
  • They have grown up listening to Eminem (born in 1972) and may consider him an "old guy".
  • Politicians recently have been talking about "Reagan Republicans" and mentioning other things about the Reagan presidency.  President Ronald Reagan was in office from 1981–1989, before our incoming freshmen were born.
  • Need to give cardiac resuscitation? Doctors have recommended doing the compressions to be beat of "Staying Alive".  That song was released 16 years before they were born and is music associated with some funky era their parents went through.
  • The idea of a global economy is normal for them and has been reinforced by such things as:
    • The formation of a single market for the European Union (1993).
    • The enforcement of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (1994). 
  • They don't remember Hong Kong as being a separate country from China.  (Britain turn it over to China in 1997.)
  • They never knew Czechoslovakia as a country.  (It dissolved in 1993.)
  • OJ Simpson, to our freshmen, has always been someone known for his legal problems and not for his abilities as a football player or for his airport sprints in a Hertz TV ad.
There's lots that I could say about this list and what it means for the worldview of our freshmen, but I'll comment only on the "employment".  I grew up when it was much easier for people to find a job.  Even people that were average workers could find meaningful employment.  That is no longer true.  Our freshmen know bright people that are out of work.  Some may be surrounded by people that are working several part-time jobs and see that type of employment to be more normal than working one job full-time.  And when they graduate from college, those things will likely impact how they look for a job and perhaps even what type of work they look for.  It will also impact them for the rest of their lives in the same way those that lived through the Great Depression were impacted by it.

If you have comments on this list (or on Beloit's), I would enjoy hearing them.  Please leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Digital preservation policies: guidance for archives

This is old news....

The National Archives in the UK have developed guidance on the need for a digital preservation policy. The document discusses the main success criteria for a digital preservation policy and its relation to other policy areas.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Report: Funding for Sustainability: How Funders’ Practices Influence the Future of Digital Resources

This 60-page report was published in June 2011 by JISC.  Reading the executive summary, these words resonated with me:
Content developed through the course of a grant may end up on a platform that is not well maintained or developed over time, where few are likely to find and use it. In a worst case scenario, a project team disbands and the resource languishes, available to those who may know where to find it in the short term, but at risk in the long term.
The report outlines problems as well as ways that funders could help the situation. Of course, we all must admit first that we have a problem and I hope this report will help us to do so.

Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer...

As Nat King Cole sang in the early 1960s:
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer
I just realized that I hadn't added to this blog in a week.  And while my blogging has become more sparse at times, I had gotten on a good "roll" recently...but then summer called to me (as well as preparations for the fall semester) and blogging took a back seat.

One of the joys of summer is "doing things" other words, taking advantage of what we can do in real life.  On Tuesday, I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  While the Hall of Fame has online exhibits, there is nothing like seeing the stuff live and experiencing everyone's reaction to it.  (And nothing like a  Yankee fan dad making his Red Sox fan son stand next to Yankee memorabilia to have his picture taken!)  A good reminder that getting away from the virtual/digital is always a good thing to do.

And in case you need a "pick-me-up" and a reminder that this is summer in the northern hemisphere, listen to this.

P.S. - I'll try to get another quick blog post out this afternoon, so you'll have something substantial before the weekend.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blog post: A is for Archives: the ABCs of preserving digital information

Yesterday Martha Anderson began "a series that will explore the topic of digital preservation in an alphabetical way. Each post will use a word or phrase as a device to explore a concept and point to a what [she hopes] is a useful resource for understanding a specific aspect of the practice of digital preservation." I'm looking forward to reading this series and especially seeing how she incorporates letters like "x"! If this series interests you, you can subscribe to that blog (look at the top of the page).

Event: Mysteries of Magnetic Tape Revealed!, Oct. 19-21, 2011

I bet there are institutions that need this unique workshop, so feel free to pass along the word on this one.

Mysteries of Magnetic Tape Revealed!

Plan now to attend this practical and informative workshop on preserving and managing audio-video tape, hosted by the Midwest Archives Conference to be held Oct. 19-21, 2011, at the Sioux City Hotel (formerly the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center) in Sioux City, IA.

To register, go to and choose "Registration."

Analog audio- and videotape formats dominated the recording of sound and moving images for the better part of the late 20th century, stretching back as far as the 1950s. Whether acquired through in-house creation or external donation, these machine-readable formats have become increasingly common denizens of archival holdings all over the world. And their growing numbers, the recent alarms regarding their uncertain physical viability and their dependence on largely obsolete technology serve only to further perplex the collections manager who is more comfortable with paper and born-digital records.

This symposium gathers archivists and practitioners to discuss the basics of magnetic audio and video media. Topics such as physical characteristics, preservation issues, format obsolescence, collections management, description, use and options for reformatting represent some of the content of this valuable exploration of the mysterious world of analog magnetic media. The symposium has been approved for ACA certification credit.

The symposium, sponsored by the Midwest Archives Conference, will be held Oct. 19-21, 2011, at the Sioux City Hotel (formerly the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center) in Sioux City, IA. Join us for the opening reception, 5-7 p.m. , Wed., Oct. 19, at the newly-opened Sioux City Public Museum across the street from the hotel.

For more information, go to

About the speakers: 

George Blood of George Blood Audio and Video (formerly Safe Sound Archive) in Philadelphia is an expert in preserving and transferring magnetic recordings, both audio and video. He will discuss the technical aspects of magnetic media and their care, the digitization process, and working with vendors.

Elizabeth Clemens is the audiovisual archivist at Wayne State University in Detroit. She will share her experiences working with magnetic media from an archivist's perspective, covering topics such as preservation, selection, description and access.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

blog post: When I Go Away: Getting Your Digital Affairs in Order

Wondering how to get your digital life in order for your heirs? Mike Ashenfelder provides details on the steps you will need to take. The process is not easy. (Definitely not as easy as creating your last will and testament.) As Ashenfelder notes:
Planning is tedious but crucial and your heirs will appreciate your considerate forethought.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Report: The Bookends Scenarios - Alternative futures for the Public Library Network in NSW in 2030

I am not sure where I ran across this report, but it seems like something others might be interested in.

This 64-page report is the output of a strategic planning project.  It "provides a framework for the NSW public library network to monitor trends and developments in society that will inevitably have an impact on our future services and customers."

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Save My Memories: Digital Photo Storage

Five members of the International Imaging Industry Association have created this educational web site geared toward end users.  The site is divided into five categories:
  • Learn
  • Prepare
  • Protect
  • Recover
  • Resources
While you may not have use for this site, you may not of a user (perhaps a friend or family member) who would benefit from seeing it.  Go ahead...pass it along!

Universal Photographic Digital Imagins Guidelines, v. 4.0

These guidelines (four pages) are not specifically for a digitization program, but they still may be useful.  At least worth taking a look at.

Article: What Big Media Can Learn From the New York Public Library

If you haven't read or skimmed this article - published in June 2011 - then you should.  Here is a teaser:
The library clearly has reevaluated its role within the Internet information ecosystem and found a set of new identities. Let's start from here: One, the New York Public Library is a social network with three million active users and two, the New York Public Library is a media outfit.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Event: Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP), London (UK), Nov. 14-16

I've received several inquiries recently about digitization-related workshops and what's available.  I generally post anything I receive that is a multiple day event. If you are looking for something shorter, check with your state/province library or regional library consortium to see if they know of an event you can attend (perhaps a webinar).

We invite you to book your place on the next Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP) in London, 14th - 16th November 2011. Please book now to guarantee your place:

The DPTP is a modular training programme, built around themed sessions that have been developed to assist you in designing and implementing an approach to preservation that will work for your institution. Through a wide range of modules, the DPTP examines the need for policies, planning, strategies, standards and procedures in digital preservation, and teaches some of the most up-to-date methods, tools and concepts in the area. It covers these topics via a mixture of lectures, discussions, practical tasks and exercises, and a class project. (The course does not, however, offer hands-on training with any of these tools, and is not an 'enabling' course).

The course is aimed at multiple levels of attendee: people from technical and archival professions come together, to learn the same standards and methods for digital preservation. The overall aim of the course is critical thinking, assessing ways of acting and planning at an organisational level.

Bookings for the DPTP should be made via the ULCC online store. Please note that currently only payment by credit/debit card is fully automated online, and this would be our preferred method of payment. However, if you require to be sent an invoice, please see the 'more info' tab on the DPTP booking page for further information.

The training is £650 + VAT

Please see the links below for further information:

DPTP online:

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Low cost digitization

Sometimes I start a blog post and then never finish it. This is one of those. This announcement arrived in March and it has been sitting patiently waiting to be reformatted and published.

The project web site says:
The online finding aid serves the primary point of entry to the online material. This provides users with the same context, provenance, and order as encountered by a researcher perusing the analog materials in the reading room. Additionally, this workflow provides quick and efficient online access to content, at a remarkably low cost. Out cost of digitization throughout the project (including administration and the usability study) was less than $1.87 a page. Creation of minimal item-level metadata is automated through the software, saving time and money.
The actual scanning was completed students under the supervision of a staff member.

More information about the project and processes can be found on its wiki page.

Completed UA Libraries Grant Project Provides Model for Low-Cost Digitization of Cultural Heritage Materials

The University of Alabama Libraries has completed a grant project which demonstrates a model of low-cost digitization and web delivery of manuscript materials.  Funded by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the project digitized a large and nationally important manuscript collection related to the emancipation of slaves:  the Septimus D. Cabaniss Papers.  This digitization grant (NAR10-RD-10033-10) extended  for 14 months (ended February 2011), and has provided online access to 46,663 images for less than $1.50 per page:

The model is designed to enable institutions to mass-digitize manuscript collections at a minimal cost, leveraging the extensive series descriptions already available in the collection finding aid to provide search and retrieval.  Digitized content for the collection is linked from the finding aid, providing online access to 31.8 linear feet of valuable archival material that otherwise would never be web-available.  We have developed software and workflows to support the process and web delivery of material regardless of the current method of finding aid access.  More information is available on the grant website: .

The Septimus D. Cabaniss Collection (1815-1889) was selected as exemplary of the legal difficulties encountered in efforts to emancipate slaves in the Deep South. Cabaniss was a prominent southern attorney who served as executor for the estate of the wealthy Samuel Townsend, who sought to manumit and leave property to a selection of his slaves, many of whom were his children.  Samuel Townsend’s open admission to fathering slave children and his willingness to take responsibility for their care, combined with the letters from the former slaves themselves, dated before and after the Civil War, will inform social and racial historians. Legal scholars will be enlightened by Cabaniss' detailing of the sophisticated legal mechanism of using a trust to free slaves. Valuable collections such as this have a promise of open access via the web when the cost of digitization is lowered by avoiding item-level description.

Usability testing was included in the grant project, and preliminary results indicate that this method of web delivery is as learnable for novices as access to the digitized materials via item-level descriptions. In addition, provision of web delivery of manuscript content via the finding aid provides the much-needed context preferred by experienced researchers.

Event: Future Perfect Conference 2012 - Call for proposals

I received this in email. Sounds interesting!

Future Perfect Conference 2012: Digital Preservation by Design Museum of New
Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ
26 – 27 March 2012

Call for Contributions now open

The Digital Preservation by Design theme of Future Perfect 2012 seeks to stimulate discussion about how, when and why influencing the design of systems can ensure that today’s information is available tomorrow.

The call for contributions is now open and we welcome proposals for original presentations and demonstrations on the following topics:
  • Where do we start with digital preservation – create a custom-made system or buy off the peg?
  • Who should do digital preservation? Where does preservation fit in the wider organisational context?
  • Case studies of working across disciplines, organisations and the lifecycle of information to ensure that information is successfully preserved (e.g. creating preservation ready objects, including preservation requirements in business systems, taking a cooperative approach to preservation)
  • How do you identify your digital content – using preservation formats and format libraries 
  • What are we preserving and how? Are we preserving appearance, structure, behaviour or content?
  • Repository examples, requirements and examples of innovation -Challenges of preserving data and databases 
  • What tools are in use and what skills are essential?
  • Opening up data and information through standards

We want to hear about innovations, success stories, war stories and challenges. Your submission can be in the form of a presentation or demonstration. If you would like to discuss your idea before submitting your
proposal, please contact us. More information can be found on our conference website


Please submit the following information:
  • Name
  • Title
  • Organisation
  • Email
  • Title of session
  • Session type (presentation, panel, demonstration, etc) Abstract (100-300 words) 
  • Personal Profile (100-200 words)
The deadline for submission of abstracts and accompanying documentation is August 31st 2011.

Send details to:
Mick Crouch, Conference Convener


Phone: +64 4 496 1389

We look forward to discussing ideas for contributions and receiving abstracts.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Video: Cornell University Staff Notes: Discussing the digital library with Jim Del Rosso

In this 20 minute video, Jim Del Rosso, the Web and Digital Projects Manager at the Cornell University Catherwood Library (part of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations), talks about their institutional repository, social media, networking and other topics.  I'm sharing this because I found it interesting to hear what they are including in their institutional repository, which includes asking for material in digital form as well as digitizing content.

8/2/2011: Fixed the video URL. Not sure what happened. Sorry.