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Category: future-proofing

Encouraging Participation in the Census

1940-census-posterWhile smart folks over at NARA are thinking about the preservation strategy for digitized 2010 census forms, I got inspired to take a look at what we have preserved from past censuses. In specific, I wanted to look at posters, photos and videos that give us a glimpse into how we encouraged and documented the activity of participation in the past.

There is a dedicated Census History area on the Census website, as well as a section of the 2010 website called The Big Count Archive. While I like the wide range of 2010 Census Posters – the 1940 census poster shown here (thank you Library of Congress) is just so striking. ... 

Leveraging Google Reader’s Page Change Tracking for Web Page Preservation

The Official Google Reader Blog recently announced a new feature that will let users watch any page for updates. The way this works is that you add individual URLs to your Google Reader account. Just as with regular RSS feeds, when an update is detected – a new entry is added to that subscription.

My thinking is that this could be a really useful tool for archivists charged with preserving websites that change gradually over time, especially those fairly static sites that change infrequently with little or no notice of upcoming changes. If a web page was archived and then added to a dedicated Google Reader account, the archivist could scan their list of watch pages daily or weekly. Changes could then trigger the creation of a fresh snapshot of the site. ... 

Blog Action Day 2009: IEDRO and Climate Change

IEDRO LogoIn honor of Blog Action Day 2009‘s theme of Climate Change, I am revisiting the subject of a post I wrote back in the summer of 2007: International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO). This non-profit’s goal is to rescue and digitize at risk weather and climate data from around the world. In the past two years, IEDRO has been hard at work. Their website has gotten a great face-lift, but even more exciting is to see is how much progress they have made! ... 

DH2009: Digital Lives and Personal Digital Archives

Session Title: Digital Lives: How people create, manipulate and store their personal digital archives
Speaker: Peter Williams, UCL

Digital lives is a joint project of UCL, British Library and University of Bristol

What? We need a better understanding of how people manage digital collections on their laptops, pdas and home computers. This is important due to the transition from paper-based personal collections to digital collections. The hope is to help people manage their digital archives before the content gets to the archives. ... 

Warner Brothers Archive DVDs: Classic Movies On-Demand

The latest example of a media company finding a way to profit from their archives, Warner Brothers has launched the Warner Brothers Archive. Nestled neatly within the the WBshop.com website, among the TV shows and promotional merchandise, the movies from the archives include everything customers have come to expect from an online shop. We have user reviews, video clips and the ways to share links. You can browse by genre or decade. They are currently holding a vote to see what title should be added to the inventory next. ... 

Archiving Women in Technology: A Tribute to Ada Lovelace

In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day 2009, I decided to see how many different archival resources I could dig up that document the achievements of women in technology.

My first find has me giving a big hats off to IBM. They have a page dedicated to IBM Women in Technology, but the real fun is in digging through the persona pages listed in the IBM Women in Technology International (WITI) hall of fame. You can watch oral history interviews with women like Frances Allen,  an “expert in the field of optimizing compilers”, or Caroline Kovac, who “oversees the development of cutting-edge information technology at IBM for the life sciences market”. ... 

Library of Congress Inauguration 2009 Audio and Video Project

President Taft and his wife lead the inaugural parade, 1909 (Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs Division)

Amazing how much can change in 100 years. In March of 1909, the stereograph above shows African Americans driving the carriage that carried President and Mrs. Taft from the Capitol to lead the inauguration parade to the White House. On January 20th of 2009, Barack Obama will be the guest of honor. The American Folklife Center‘s Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project aims to collect recordings, transcriptions and ephemera of speeches addressing the significance of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African American president. ... 

Google Tackles Magazine Archives

Google Book Search: Popular Mechanics Jan 1905 Cover ImageAs has been reported around the web today, Google is now digitizing and adding magazines to Google Book Search. This follows on the tails of the recent Google Life Photo archive announcement.

I took a look around to see what I could see. I was intrigued by the fact that I couldn’t see a list of all the magazines in their collection. So I went after the information the hard way and kept reloading the Google Book Search home page until I didn’t see any new titles displayed in their highlighted magazine section. This is what I came up with, roughly grouped by general topic groupings. ... 

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty in the Archival Record and Beyond

Blog Action Day - Poverty long

In honor of this year’s Blog Action Day theme of Poverty, I want to point people to examples of ways in which poverty is documented in archives, manuscript collections and elsewhere.

The most obvious types of records that document poverty are:

There are also organizations dedicated to research on poverty – such as the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research and National Poverty Center. The archival records from groups such as these could show ways that organizations have addressed poverty over time, as well as the history of poverty itself. ...