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Category: what if

Countdown to Partners for Preservation

Yes. I know. My last blog post was way back in May of 2014. I suspect some of you have assumed this blog was defunct.

When I first launched Spellbound Blog as a graduate student in July of 2006, I needed an outlet and a way to connect to like-minded people pondering the intersection of archives and technology. Since July 2011, I have been doing archival work full time. I work with amazing archivists. I think about archival puzzles all day long. Unsurprisingly, this reduced my drive to also research and write about archival topics in the evenings and on weekends. ... 

Career Update


I have some lovely news to share! In early July, I will join the Library and Archives of Development at the World Bank as an Electronic Records Archivist. This is a very exciting step for me. Since the completion of my MLS back in 2009, I have mostly focused on work related to metadata, taxonomies, search engine optimization (SEO) and web content management systems. With this new position, I will finally have the opportunity to put my focus on archival issues full time while still keeping my hands in technology and software. ... 

Breast Cancer: Join the Army of Women & Help Scientists Find the Cause

In honor of the Army of Women Day, my post today takes a quick look at how the American public  has been delivered various messages about cancer via posters and PSAs.

These two 1930s posters from the Library of Congress focus their message on convincing women to seek treatment from their doctor quickly and not fight their cancer alone.

By the 70s we got PSAs from organizations like the American Cancer Society, focusing on not smoking, doing self-exams and seeing your doctor for ‘regular cancer check-ups’. The clip below features Farrah Fawcett in 1981 (25 years before her own cancer diagnosis): ... 

ArchivesZ Needs You!

I got a kind email today asking “Whither ArchivesZ?”. My reply was: “it is sleeping” (projects do need their rest) and “I just started a new job” (I am now a Metadata and Taxonomy Consultant at The World Bank) and “I need to find enthusiastic people to help me”. That final point brings me to this post.

I find myself in the odd position of having finished my Master’s Degree and not wanting to sign on for the long haul of a PhD. So I have a big project that was born in academia, initially as a joint class project and more recently as independent research with a grant-funded programmer, but I am no longer in academia. ... 

Ada Lovelace Day: Portraits of Women in Technology

What does a brilliant female scientist look like? In honor of the 2010  Ada Lovelace Day, I went on a hunt through the Filckr Commons and other sources of archival images to see how many portraits of women who have contributed to science and technology I could find.

A few years back I read Malcolm Gladwell‘s book Blink. One of the ideas I took away was the profound impact of the images with which we surround ourselves. He discusses his experience taking an Implicit Association Test (IAT) related to racism and his opinion that surrounding oneself with images of accomplished black leaders can change ones ‘implicit racism’. Project Implicit still continues. I found a demo of the ‘Gender-Science IAT’ and took it (you can too!). “This IAT often reveals a relative link between liberal arts and females and between science and males.” My result? “Your data suggest little or no association between Male and Female with Science and Liberal Arts.” My result was received by 18% of those taking the test. 54% apparently show a strong or moderate automatic association between male and science and female and liberal arts. ... 

Archivists and New Technology: When Do The Records Matter?

Navigating the rapidly changing landscape of new technology is a major challenge for archivists. As quickly as new technologies come to market, people adopt them and use them to generate records. Businesses, non-profits and academic institutions constantly strive to find ways to be more efficient and to cut their budgets. New technology often offers the promise of cost reductions. In this age of constantly evolving software and technological innovation, how do archivists know when a new technology is important or established enough to take note of? When do the records generated by the latest and greatest technology matter enough to save? ... 

SAA2008: Chinese Hammered Dulcimer + Tango = Archivists as Creative Collaborators

Library of Virginia: St. Peters Service Club dance, Richmond HotelThe official title of this session was Getting to the Heart of Performance: Archivists as Creative Collaborators. It was a lovely change of pace. Upon entering this session, we discovered someone tuning a Chinese hammered dulcimer in the middle of a social dance floor. Our hosts were Scott Schwartz of the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University of Illinios, Urbana-Champaign and Andrew M. Wentink of Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives. The goals of the session? To teach us about Asian American Jazz fusion and Tango. ... 

Copyright Slider: Quick Easy Access to Copyright Laws and Guidelines

ALA OITP Copyright SliderThanks to Digitization 101’s post I learned about the Copyright Slider. A creation of the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) – you can find more official information over on ALA’s Washington Office blog (Let the OITP Copyright Slider Answer Your Questions!) and order one of your own for only a bit more than $5 (less if you order in bulk).

The Copyright Slider lets you answer questions such as (quoting the post linked to above): ...