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Category: original order

Concertina History Online Features Virtual Collaboration and Digitization

In the early 1960s, my father bought a Wheatstone concertina in London. He tells how he visited the factory where it was made to pick one out and recalls the ledger book in which details about the concertinas were recorded. After a recent retelling of this family classic, I was inspired to see what might be online related to concertinas. I was amazed!

First I found the Concertina Library which presents itself as a ‘Digital Reference Collection for Concertinas’. With fourteen contributing authors, the site includes in depth articles on concertina history, technology, music, research and a wide range of concertina systems... 

SAA2008: Preservation and Experimentation with Analog/Digital Hybrid Literary Collections (Session 203)

floppy disks

The official title of Session 203 was Getting Our Hands Dirty (and Liking It): Case Studies in Archiving Digital Manuscripts. The session chair, Catherine Stollar Peters from the New York State Archives and Records Administration, opened the session with a high level discussion of the “Theoretical Foundations of Archiving Digital Manuscripts”. The focus of this panel was preserving hybrid collections of born digital and paper based literary records. The goal was to review new ways to apply archival techniques to digital records. The presenters were all archivists without IT backgrounds who are building on others work … and experimenting. She also mentioned that this also impacts researchers, historians, and journalists.For each of the presenters, I have listed below the top challenges and recommendations. If you attended the sessions, you can skip forward to my thoughts... 

Of Pirates, Treasure Chests and Keys: Improving Access to Digitized Materials

Key to Anything by Stoker Studios (flickr)Dan Cohen posted yesterday about what he calls The Pirate Problem. Basically the Pirate Problem can be summed up as “there are ways of acting and thinking that we can’t understand or anticipate.” Why is that a ‘Pirate Problem’? Because a pirate pub opened near his home and rather than folding shortly thereafter due to lack of interest from the ‘very serious professionals’ who populate DC suburbs – the pub was a rousing success due to the pirate aficionados who came out of the woodwork to sing sea shanties and drink grog. This surprising turn of events highlighted for him the fact that there are many ways of acting and thinking (some people even know all the words to sea shanties without needing sheet music). ... 

ISSUU: Interesting Platform for Online Publishing

Issuu, with the tag line ‘Read the world. Publish the world.’ and pronounced ‘issue’, gives anyone the ability to upload a PDF document and publish it as an online magazine. I am intrigued by the possibilities of using this service to publish digitized archival records – especially those that would lend themselves to a ‘book’ style presentation (thinking here of a ledger or equivalent). ... 

Thoughts on Archiving Web Sites

Shortly after my last post, a thread surfaced on the Archives Listserv asking the best way to crawl and record the top few layers of a website. This led to many posts suggesting all sorts of software geared toward this purpose. This post shares some of my thinking on the subject.

Adobe Acrobat can capture a website and convert it into a PDF. As pointed out in the thread above, that would loose the original source HTML – yet there are more issues than that alone. It would also loose any interaction other than links to other pages. It is not clear to me what would happen to a video or flash interface on a site being ‘captured’ by Acrobat. Quoting a lesson for Acrobat7 titled Working with the Web : “Acrobat can download HTML pages, JPEG, PNG, SWF, and GIF graphics (including the last frame of animated GIFs), text files, image maps and form fields. HTML pages can include tables, linkes, frames, background colors, text colors, and forms. Cascading Stylesheets are supported. HTML links are turned into Web links, and HTML forms are turned into PDF forms.” ... 

Paper Calendars, Palm Pilots and Google Calendar

In my intro archives class (LBSC 605 Archival Principles, Practices, and Programs), one of the first ideas that made a light bulb go on over my head related to the theory that archivists want to retain the original order of records. For example, if someone choose to put a series of 10 letters together in a file – then they should be kept that way. A researcher may be able to glean more information from these letters when he/she sees them grouped that way – organized as the person who originally used them organized them. ...