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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. ... 

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. ... 

National Archives Transitions to Flickr Commons Membership

Even with the recent announcement that the Flickr Commons is not currently accepting new applications, there are clearly still applications being processed. NARA has been on Flickr since February of 2009 and loaded 49 sets of images. As announced in a recent press release, on the first of February 2010 Flickr flipped the switch and all the images in the The U.S. National Archives' photostream was shifted over into the Commons.

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. ... 

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... 

Archival Photographs as Art: A Part of Larry Sultan’s Legacy

EvidenceLarry Sultan was famed as both a photographer and archives researcher. He passed away on Sunday, December 13th, 2009 and his obituary in the New York Times describes his use of archival photographs as “harnessing found photographs for the purposes of art while using them as a way to examine the society that produced them”. The 59 photographs, selected in collaboration with Mike Mandel from a broad assortment of corporate and government archives, were originally displayed and published as a collection named ‘Evidence’ in 1977. A reprint of Evidence was published in 2004, including a new scholarly essay and additional images not in the original. ... 

Interactive Archivist: Spellbound Blog as a Case Study

I realized while at MARAC at the end of October that I never posted here about the completion and publication of the Interactive Archivist: Case Studies in Utilizing Web 2.0 to Improve the Archival Experience. The brainchild of J. Gordon Daines III and Cory Nimer, this free SAA ePublication only exists online and brings together ten Web 2.0 archivist-oriented case studies covering blogs, mashups, tagging, wikis, Facebook and more. It also includes thorough introductions to each of the technologies covered by case studies, an annotated bibliography and a link to a living list of resources on Delicious... 

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! ... 

Flickr Galleries: Fun with Flickr Commons

Over the past month I have been playing with Flickr’s new Galleries. Each gallery is limited to 18 images from anywhere in Flickr (provided that the image owner has made their image available for inclusion in galleries). I thought it might be fun to try my hand at picking the best of the new images added to the Flickr Commons each week.

Each Thursday over the past month I have created a Commons Picks of the Week gallery from the all the images added to the Commons in the prior 7 days. ... 

SEO Evaluation of an Archival Website: Looking at UMBC’s Digital Collections

Flickr Commons: Do-it-yourself-womanEach week brings announcements of archives launching new websites. Today both my email and Twitter told me about¬† University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s new Digital Collections site. Who can resist peeking at new materials available online?

I have spent much of the past year learning the details of Search Engine Optimization. Usually shortened to SEO, this simply refers to the use of techniques which improve the traffic sent to a website via organic search. Want your webpage to show up at the top of the list for a specific search in Google? You want to work on your SEO. ...