National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


Second International Conference on Inclusive Museum, July 02009, Brisbane, Australia

From the announcement on various mailing lists:

Second International Conference on Inclusive Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 8-11 July 02009

At this time of fundamental social change, what is the role of the museum, both as a creature of that change, and perhaps also as an agent of change?
The International Conference on the Inclusive Museum is a place where museum practioners, researchers, thinkers and teachers can engage in discussion on the historic character and future shape of the museum. The key question of the Conference is 'How can the institution of the museum become more inclusive?' ...

In addition, the Conference will also include numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by practitioners, teachers and researchers. We would particularly like to invite you to respond to the Conference Call-for-Papers. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in the fully refereed International Journal of the Inclusive Museum. If you are unable to attend the Conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic Journal, as well as access to the electronic version of the Conference proceedings.

Whether you are a virtual or in-person presenter at this Conference, we also encourage you to present on the Conference YouTube Channel. Please select the Online Sessions link on the conference website for further details.

The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 11 January 2009. Future deadlines will be announced on the Conference website after this date. Proposals are reviewed within two weeks of submission. Full details of the Conference, including an online proposal submission form, are to be found at the Conference website -


JISC preservation of Web resources (PoWR) handbook available

The United Kingdom's JISC has released a handbook on the preservation of Web resources. View or download it from



Blue Ribbon Task Force issues interim report on data deluge

According to an e-mail I received from Art Pasquinelli of on 2008 12 17,

A task force of experts set up last year to look at sustainable economic models for preservation has issued its interim report.

The press release can be seen at;

The report is available at;

The contributor biographies are at;

A presentation on this report was recently given by Sayeed Choudhury from Johns Hopkins U. at the November Sun PASIG. This is accessible at;

Great new look to backend

So that's what happens when you don't blog for three weeks running and log in to and get greeted with a new backend. It's great, I like it, especially the QuickPress form. The only bad part of the QuickPress form is that it lacks my Categories. A Tags field is present, but to categorize, I have to publish the post and then go back and re-edit it. That sucks and is a time waster for sure.


New Jersey historic land titles database

From the announcement on the Archives & Archivists mailing list (02008 11 25):

On behalf of New Jersey State Archives, I’m excited to announce the initial posting of our database indexing the earliest land surveys and warrants of the East and West New Jersey Proprietors. As many of you know, these records have become available through accession and deposit at the State Archives during the last decade, making over three centuries of hitherto privately held colonial records readily accessible to the public. Here’s the link to our databases page:

The database title is Proprietary Warrants & Surveys, 1670-1727


Europeana launches and crashes into the iceberg of user demand

Europeana, the European online library, launched today and crashed into the iceberg of user demand. What is it with new sites and the inability of their builders to anticipate server overload and compensate for it?

Update for 02008 11 21:

At least they managed to get an error page up:

The Europeana site is temporarily not accessible due to overwhelming interest after its launch (10 million hits per hour).

We are doing our utmost to reopen Europeana in a more robust version as soon as possible.

We will be back by mid-December.

For a preview on Europeana and further information.


Google gives a new digital life to Life magazine

Google's struck a deal with the owners of Life magazine to digitize and place online its entire photographic and moving images collections. The Life Photo Archive is itself hosted by Google. Although Life wasn't being published way back then, the photo archive extends back to the 1860s.

As a search tip from the Life Photo Archive, "Add 'source:life' to any Google image search and search only the LIFE photo archive."

The images are mid-resolution JPGs (1280 pixels in one dimension and various pixel sizes in the second dimension) and watermarked with LIFE in the lower right corner.

Google really needs to improve its metadata display on its gallery page of thumbs. Getting the date or at least a year of the image in there would be a big help in deciding what's worth looking at. Sadly, some of the photos don't even have dates attached to them. I was interested, for example, in President Johnson's visit to Hawaii, but none of the photographs are dated! I guess that's a crowdsourcing opportunity Google offers through its image labeler program.

Source: DIG_REF@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU, 02008 11 19

The rainforest Cloudfront through its subsidiary Amazon Web Services LLC is now offering pay-as-you-go cloud computing through its new CloudFront service. The offering is in beta mode. Information served up this way has to be publicly accessible. According to the announcement I received, CloudFront works through "a worldwide network of edge locations that provide low latency and high data transfer speeds. ... [and] works seamlessly with other AWS services such as Amazon S3. ..."


Alliance for Permanent Access 02008 conference report

Quoting from Neil Beagrie's post to DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02008 11 14):

The Alliance for Permanent Access has just completed its annual conference (Budapest, 4 November): this year the theme was the economics of archiving scientific data.

The Alliance’s international membership includes strategic partners from the research community, libraries, publishers, and digital preservation organisations. Participants called upon the Alliance to act as an umbrella organisation to secure sustainable funding for permanent access in Europe.

A comprehensive conference report (complete with photographs conveying the atmosphere!), together with the powerpoint presentations, abstracts and authors’ biographies is now available online at


Roman de la Rose Digital Library

Quoting from the announcement on the DIGLIB mailing list (02008 11 12):

The Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are pleased to announce the Roman de la Rose Digital Library available at

The creation of this resource and the digitization of the manuscripts from the Bibliothèque nationale de France was made possible through generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The goal of the Roman de la Rose Digital Library is to create a digital library of all extant manuscript copies of the Roman de la Rose, of which at least 270 are known to exist. We expect to have full digital surrogates of about 150 of these manuscripts available here by the end of 2009. This Library features new content and enhanced functionality, and builds upon the previously developed prototype Roman de la Rose: Digital Surrogates of Medieval Manuscripts. There is an associated blog available at


Major library partners launch HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository

Update, 02008 11 10:

HathiTrust is currently experimenting with large-scale full text searching as part of an effort to create a mechanism to search across the entire repository. As an initial public beta of full text search functionality, we are offering a simple mechanism to search across all of the fully viewable works (both those in the public domain and those for which we have permissions) and a sprinkling of search-only works (i.e., in-copyright works where we may not show the text of the work).

The size of the content indexed is approximately 500,000 volumes, and the majority of the works are fully viewable. Although this is a fully functioning and reliable search mechanism for these works, we provide it as a public beta in order to learn more about these large search indexes in a public setting.

More information on our process to explore issues in this area is available in the large-scale search report.

Original post, 02008 10 14:

An exciting development in the world of digital repositories, this may be a first for North America, the HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository:

A group of the nation’s largest research libraries are collaborating to create a repository of their vast digital collections, including millions of books, organizers announced today. These holdings will be archived and preserved in a single repository called the HathiTrust. Materials in the public domain will be available for reading online.

Launched jointly by the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the 11 university libraries of the University of California system, the HathiTrust leverages the time-honored commitment to preservation and access to information that university libraries have valued for centuries. UC's participation will be coordinated by the California Digital Library (CDL), which brings its deep and innovative experience in digital curation and online scholarship to the HathiTrust.

"This effort combines the expertise and resources of some of the nation’s foremost research libraries and holds even greater promise as it seeks to grow beyond the initial partners," says John Wilkin, associate university librarian of the University of Michigan and the newly named executive director of HathiTrust. Hathi (pronounced HAH-tee), the Hindi word for elephant incorporated into the repository's name, underscores the immensity of this undertaking, Wilkin says. Elephants also evoke memory, wisdom, and strength.

As of today, HathiTrust contains more than 2 million volumes and approximately 3/4 of a billion pages, about 16 percent of which are in the public domain. Public domain materials will be available for reading online. Materials protected by copyright, although not available for reading online, are given the full range of digital archiving services, thereby offering member libraries a reliable means to preserve their collections. Organizers also expect to use those materials in the research and development of the Trust.

Volumes are added to the repository daily, and content will grow rapidly as the University of California, CIC member libraries, and other prospective partners contribute their digitized content. Also today, the founding partners announce that the University of Virginia is joining the initiative.

Each of the founding partners brings extensive and highly regarded expertise in the areas of information technology, digital libraries, and project management to this endeavor. Creation of the HathiTrust supports the digitization efforts of the CIC and the University of California, each of which has entered into collective agreements with Google to digitize portions of the collections of their libraries, more than 10 million volumes in total, as part of the Google Book Search project. Materials digitized through other means will also be made available through HathiTrust.

HathiTrust provides libraries a means to archive and provide access to their digital content, whether scanned volumes, special collections, or born-digital materials. Preserving materials for the long term has long been a mission and driving force of leading research libraries. Their collections, accumulated over centuries, represent a treasury of cultural heritage and investment in the broad public good of promoting scholarship and advancing knowledge. The representation of these resources in digital form provides expanded opportunities for innovative use in research, teaching, and learning, but must be done with careful attention to effective solutions for the curation and long-term preservation of digital assets.

"The CIC Libraries have always worked at a large scale, with big collections, big user communities and high expectations for service. They are not intimidated by big challenges, and will bring their comfort with this to the development of the shared digital repository," says Mark Sandler, director of the CIC Center for Library Initiatives.

"The University of California libraries have an unparalleled reputation for innovation in digital library development and inter-institutional collaboration," says Laine Farley, interim executive director of the California Digital Library."Participation in the HathiTrust continues this tradition and will enable UC to provide its students and scholars with access to one of the most significant digital collections ever assembled." Adds Brian Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UC San Diego, "The University of California Libraries are pleased to work collaboratively with our CIC colleagues to build a rich and coherent resource accessible to scholars for the long-term."

"Researchers will benefit from the expert curation and consistent access they have long associated with the CIC research libraries," says Michael McRobbie, president of Indiana University. "Great libraries have long been essential to outstanding scholarship, and the HathiTrust collaboration among the CIC institutions, the University of California and others provides an essential tool for 21st- century scholars."

"Digitization of print texts has the promise of being transformative of scholarship and of library practice," says Paul Courant, University of Michigan librarian, dean of libraries, and former provost. "In both areas, the ability to search many texts and to preserve texts accessibly creates tremendous opportunities for collaboration amongst scholars and universities. HathiTrust has made a good start, and like the elephant for which it is named, we expect that it will prove able to carry and deliver valuable resources with grace and reliability."

"Before this collaboration," Wilkin says, "the collections in each library existed in isolation. Now we are bringing them together, pooling resources and eliminating redundancies, and producing a valuable research tool that will be greater than the sum of its parts." ...

Source: DIGLIB mailing list, 02008 10 14


Piping the action in records and archives management journals

Pekka Henttonen, Assistant Professor (ERMS), Department of Information Studies, University of Tampere, Finland, has created a Yahoo Pipes that aggregates RSS feeds from records and archives management journals, including the Association of Canadian Archivists' flagship journal Archivaria.

Source: Archives & Archivists (A&A) List, 02008 11 06

The Best of Cybermuseology 02008 (FIAMP 02008)

Check out the winners of the Best of Cybermuseology 02008 from the ICOM/AVICOM conference in October in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. The formal name of this event is FIAMP, the Festival International de l’Audiovisuel & du Multimédia sur le Patrimoine.

The Grand Prize was awarded to Simon Fraser University's Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology for its A Journey into Time Immemorial, part of the Virtual Museum of Canada.

JHOVE2 project underway

Quoting from the announcement on DIGLIB (02008 11 06):

The open source JHOVE characterization tool has proven to be an important component of many digital repository and preservation workflows. However, its widespread use over the past four years has revealed a number of limitations imposed by idiosyncrasies of design and implementation. The California Digital Library (CDL), Portico, and Stanford University have received funding from the Library of Congress, under its National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP) initiative, to collaborate on a two-year project to develop a next-generation JHOVE2 architecture for format-aware characterization.

Among the enhancements planned for JHOVE2 are:

* Support for four specific aspects of characterization: signature-based identification, feature extraction, validation, and rules-based assessment
* A more sophisticated data model supporting complex multi-file objects and arbitrarily-nested container objects
* Streamlined APIs to facilitate the integration of JHOVE2 technology in systems, services, and workflows
* Increased performance
* Standardized error handling
* A generic plug-in mechanism supporting stateful multi-module processing;
* Availability under the BSD open source license

To help focus project activities we have recruited a distinguished advisory board to represent the interests of the larger stakeholder community. The board includes participants from the following international memory institutions, projects, and vendors:

* Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB)
* Ex Libris
* Fedora Commons
* Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA)
* Harvard University / GDFR
* Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB)
* MIT / DSpace
* National Archives (TNA)
* National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
* National Library of Australia (NLA)
* National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ)
* Planets project

The project partners are currently engaged in a public needs assessment and requirements gathering phase. A provisional set of use cases and functional requirements has already been reviewed by the JHOVE2 advisory board.

The JHOVE2 team welcomes input from the preservation community, and would appreciate feedback on the functional requirements and any interesting test data that have emerged from experience with the current JHOVE tool.

The functional requirements, along with other project information, is available on the JHOVE2 project wiki Feedback on project goals and deliverables can be submitted through the JHOVE2 public mailing lists.

To subscribe to the JHOVE2-TechTalk-L mailing list, intended for in-depth discussion of substantive issues, please send an email to (listserv at ucop dot edu) with an empty subject line and a message


Likewise, to subscribe to the JHOVE2-Announce-L mailing list, intended for announcements of general interest to the JHOVE2 community, please send an email to with an empty subject line and a message stating:


To begin our public outreach, team members recently presented a summary of project activities at the iPRES 2008 conference in London, entitled "What? So What? The Next-Generation JHOVE2 Architecture for Format-Aware Characterization," reflecting our view of characterization as encompassing both intrinsic properties and extrinsic assessments of digital objects.

Through the sponsorship of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the British Library, we also held an invitational meeting on JHOVE2 following the iPRES conference as a opportunity for a substantive discussion of the project with European stakeholders.

A similar event, focused on a North American audience, will be held as a Birds-of-a-Feather session at the upcoming DLF Fall Forum in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 13. Participants at this event are asked to review closely the functional requirements and other relevant materials available on the project wiki at prior to the session.

Future project progress will be documented periodically on the wiki.

The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 1846-1871

Reminiscent of the large-scale documentary editions of Presidential papers published in the United States, The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island British Columbia, 1846-1871 was formally launched on November 3, 02008 by the University of Victoria in a former Supreme Court of British Columbia courtroom in the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. I was privileged to have been invited. The Web site carries on and expands upon the work of University of Victoria emeritus professor James Hendrickson who began the monumental task of transcribing all the outgoing and incoming letters (despatches) between the British Colonial Office in London and the colonial governments of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The initial set of XML-based transcriptions, migrated from an older machine-readable format called Waterloo Script, covers the seminal year of 1858 when the colony of British Columbia was established in response to the Fraser River Gold Rush. The site is still under construction and one important aspect of the despatches, the attachments (usually maps), have yet to be digitized and added. The Colonial Despatches site is a model project in many ways and my hope is that we will see many other examples of its kind in Canada.

New UK study on digital preservation policies in higher education

From the announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02008 11 06):

The JISC are pleased to announce the publication of a study on Digital Preservation Policies which can be downloaded in PDF format from

A major business driver in all universities and colleges over the past decade has been harnessing digital content and electronic services and the undoubted benefits in terms of flexibility and increased productivity they can bring. The priority in recent years has been on developing e-strategies and infrastructure to underpin electronic access and services and to deliver those benefits. However any long-term access and future benefit may be heavily dependent on digital preservation strategies being in place and underpinned by relevant policy and procedures. This should now be an increasing area of focus in our institutions.

This JISC funded study completed by Charles Beagrie Ltd aims to provide an outline model for digital preservation policies and to analyse the role that digital preservation can play in supporting and delivering key strategies for Higher and Further Education Institutions. Although focussing on the UK Higher and Further Education sectors, the study draws widely on policy and implementations from other sectors and countries and will be of interest to those wishing to develop policy and justify investment in digital preservation within a wide range of institutions.

Two tools have been created in this study:

1) a model/framework for digital preservation policy and implementation clauses based on examination of existing digital preservation policies;

2) a series of mappings of digital preservation to other key institutional strategies in UK universities and colleges including Research, Teaching and Learning, Information, Libraries, and Records Management.

Our aim has been to help institutions and their staff develop appropriate digital preservation policies and clauses set in the context of broader institutional strategies.


What's New in Digital Preservation: Issue 18 now available

From the announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02008 11 04):

"Issue no. 18 (March - August 2008) of the DPC "What's New in Digital Preservation" bulletin is now available from the Digital Preservation Coalition Web site:"


HistoGrafica: historical images and Web 2.0

Received an e-mail from someone named Agata Dras to take a look at a new site called HistoGrafica that features historical photographs and other kinds of pictures and utilizes some Web 2.0 technology to make them more relevant to the Flickr generation. While I thought the site was based in Latin or South America, it's actually hosted in Ireland of all places. The site's very well thought out and could evolve into an important focal point for historical images of specific geographic locations. Much if not all the images are sourced from public domain repositories such as the Library of Congress or WikiMedia. The developers are hoping that individuals and institutions will decide to add their own images, especially if they're out of copyright. Users will not necessarily be able to verify the accuracy of any information on the site, especially user comments.


The Genographic Project

IBM and National Geographic co-sponsor the Genographic Project. Launched in April 2005, the project examines human migration through DNA studies. If you have a $100 lying around, you can buy a DNA testing kit and submit your own sample.

SkepticBlog debuts

Except for Michael Shermer, chances are you won't recognize any of the names associated with the new SkepticBlog that began publishing on October 24, 02008. The collaborators are members of the Skeptologists, "a pilot skeptical reality show." Sounds a bit like Mythbusters. They did film a pilot. I wonder how they'll keep viewer attention beyond the usual talking heads and images of things they'll be debunking.


Reality Check for Your Muses: Creativity and Business Innovation Resources

My latest article for Searcher magazine, "Reality Check for Your Muses: Creativity and Business Innovation Resources," was published in the November/December 02008 issue (vol. 16, no. 10). It's not available online for free, so you'll have to either purchase it through Information Today or access it through one of the full-text commercial databases.

[caption id="attachment_2747" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Searcher magazine cover, November/December 2008"]Searcher magazine cover, November/December 2008[/caption]


UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, October 27, 02008

Go ahead, hug an audiovisual curator, archivist or librarian who's caring for our precious audiovisual heritage. On October 27, 02008, it will once again be UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, activities for which are being promoted by the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations. This year's theme is "The Audiovisual Heritage as a Witness of Cultural Diversity."


Dickinson College and Millersville University digital project, "Slavery & Abolition in the U.S.: Select Publications of the 1800s"

Congratulations to Dickinson College and Millersville University on opening this important digital collection to the Internet community:

"Slavery & Abolition in the U.S.: Select Publications of the 1800" is a digital collection of books and pamphlets that demonstrate the varying ideas and beliefs about slavery in the United States as expressed by Americans throughout the nineteenth century. The works in this collection reflect arguments on both sides of the slavery debate and include first person narratives, legal proceedings and decisions, anti-slavery tracts, religious sermons, and early secondary works. The 77 titles in the collection represent the works of over 70 authors and/or organizations, published between 1787 and 1911. The publications are all drawn from the holdings of Millersville University Library and the Dickinson College Library, as well as each of their respective Special Collections Departments. The collection includes more than 15,000 individual pages of printed text and corresponding searchable transcriptions. This online resource is made freely available to the public, and we hope that providing these rare and important research materials will enhance teaching and learning about this complex issue at all levels of instruction.

This collaborative digitization project was supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in association with Millersville University and Dickinson College.

"Slavery & Abolition in the U.S." utilizes CONTENTdm to organize and present its materials online. The software makes it possible to view textual materials online, to display page images and full-text transcripts side by side, and to offer full-text searchability of the materials in the digital collection.

Source: ARCHIVES & ARCHIVISTS mailing list (02008 10 20)

Fifth PLANETS newsletter is out

From the announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02008 10 22):

Planets is happy to announce that the project’s fifth newsletter is now available!

The newsletter from the Planets project includes highlights from the annual review, an introduction to Plato, as well as an article introducing a conceptual model for expressing concepts and requirements in digital preservation.

The newsletter also presents detailed lists of recent Planets publications and the project's participation in past and forthcoming events.

Finally, the fifth issue reveals a new name, Planetarium, and general makeover of the publication.

The newsletter can be read here -

The newsletter is also available on the Planets web site - unspools itself to the public is now available and open for public signups, that is, it's now officially out of beta.

EAD@10 Symposium Proceedings

From the announcement on the ARCHIVES & ARCHIVISTS mailing list (02008 10 22):


The Society of American Archivists (SAA) and OCLC's RLG Programs sponsored a symposium in August to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Encoded Archival Description (EAD). European speakers discussed how EAD has been implemented in their countries and a group of innovative archivists presented their forward-thinking views about what the next 10 years may bring.

Merrilee Proffitt and Jackie Dooley from OCLC Research are working with panelists to make the proceedings from the day fully available for those who were unable to attend. The first stage of the proceedings -- PowerPoint presentations and audio files (in MP3 format) -- are now available online. Additional material will be available in the near future, including edited versions of the papers presented at the symposium.

Please visit

Collected Visions, an online archive of personal photos

Collected Visions is a provocative photo site brought to my attention as something to "read" in preparation for an online discussion with a couple of photo curators and critics:

Approximately 3,000 images collected from over 300 people are in a searchable archive of family snapshots. More than 250 photo essays exploring how photographs shape our memories are posted in the CV Gallery, the CV Museum, and Positive Visions. Please contribute stories and photographs or create essays inspired by images in our archive. Launched in 1996, Collected Visions was conceived and is updated by Lorie Novak.

Source: front page of Collected Visions


Happy belated Open Access Day

The world's first Open Access Day was held on October 14, 02008. OAD was founded by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Students for FreeCulture, and the Public Library of Science.

[caption id="attachment_2510" align="alignleft" width="448" caption="Open Access Day"]Open Access Day[/caption]


Nestor handbook on digital preservation

Germany's Nestor (Network of Expertise in Long-Term Storage of Digital Resources) published version 1.2 in June 02008 of its digital preservation handbook, Eine kleine Enzyklopädie der digitalen Langzeitarchivierung. It's only available in German and, when the project wraps up in 02009, a printed version should appear. The work is still in progress.

Source: nestor newsletter no. 15 (02008 09 15)


United States National Park Service Centennial Initiative, 1916-2016

Yes, it's true, the United States National Park Service will be 100 years old in 2016. Its NPS Centennial Initiative site will keep you up to date as you count down the years, months and days. But wait, that's like eight years away. This is unheard of in government circles, planning that far ahead. Too bad the U.S. government economic strategists couldn't foresee the catastrophe they brought on for the rest of the world.

2008-10-13 explanation of the disappeared servers

Quoting the e-mail I and all affected customers received on October 13, 02008. I confirmed that my "hardware node" was gone. I'm posting this as a public service so anyone who's thinking of using is aware of this situation.

What Happened Here, Oct 8th.

We here at VPSVille have had a few days of frantic phone calls, hair-pulling, yelling, crying, screaming, sector-recovery crash courses and angry accusations. We've also looked closely at our logs and have pieced together what happened with our recent data loss incident.

Initially we thought it might be a case of gross negligence and some harsh words and harsher threats were exchanged, but we now believe it was just an honest, stupid mistake. Inexperience sunk the ship.

One of our new employee's made some crucial errors regarding security, and this was compounded by one of our techs travelling abroad and requiring some relaxation in our usually strict access policy. One firewall in front of another and both temporarily disabled = no firewall at all.

This unfortunately resulted in some malicious SOB with no real life to waltz into an almost unprotected segment of the network through a newly installed appliance with a default password and start deleting things. Several servers actually and a NAS unit assigned to back them up. One of the servers was our control node, which interfaces between the website and the other servers. Even our mail server was affected.

Some servers were running even after their files were deleted, through some strange quirk of Linux buffering that we still don't fully understand.

Its easy to blame a hacker of course, but we do feel that an unfortunate series of events combined to make their hack particularly easy. Far to easy for a network of this magnitude and importance to so many people.

This looked like a total loss, with no way to recover the data, so we sent out a somewhat panicked email to affected users that their accounts would just be canceled and refunded. Shortly afterwords our outgoing email died.

This resulted in a torrent of email, most of it surprising friendly, and much of it understandably angry and dismayed, telling us they wished to remain customers even if their data was not recovered.

Happily we were able to restore many servers with a sector recovery service. In light of this we have not arbitrarily canceled any accounts.

All affected accounts are re-enabled and have been credited. If we were able to restore your data we have sent you an email about it (hardware nodes rapier, cutlass and spear).

We sincerely express our condolences to affected customers for this unfortunate series of events, nobody should lose data at VPSVille, its an awful thing and we feel your pain.

Things do happen in life, but this won't happen again.

- Staff


Ten Thousand Year Blog Is Here

Due to a combination of what appears to be incompetence and a deliberate act of sabotage by a staff member at (Very Poor Service), they wiped out my sites, along with those of other customers, with no chance of restoration and can't even offer those affected space to rebuild. It's the latter issue that has upset me more than having to rebuild everything. So I'm now using as the new home for my Ten Thousand Year Blog. I will be importing the existing site's contents as best I can over the next few weeks following a writing assignment for the Vancouver Sun newspaper. Importing means having to resurrect the site on my local PC and creating a WordPress export file. Since the import function in doesn't appear to work as advertised -- I had a file well under the 15MB size limit -- I think I will simply close off the old Ten Thousand Year Blog and start fresh here. If you see posts and comments disappearing from time to time, that is why. 

Here is Google's cached version of the last iteration of The Ten Thousand Year Blog (June 2003-October 2008).


3rd Annual WePreserve Conference in Nice (France), October 02008

DigitalPreservationEurope, Planets (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services) and CASPAR (Cultural, Artistic and Scientific knowledge for Preservation, Access and Retrieval) warmly invite you to you to join the:

3rd Annual WePreserve Conference in Nice (France): A New Generation of Preservation Tools and Services 28-30 October 2008

This conference presents the most recent results of CASPAR, Planets, DPE and other European Union co-funded research and development work into methods, tools and services to facilitate digital preservation and curation. During the two conference days these projects will present and give live demonstrations of the latest tools and services.

The conference will open with an evening reception poster session showcasing innovative and tangible results of our research. It will be followed by two full days of presentations, demonstrations, guest speakers and discussion panels.

Attendees will gain knowledge of the methods, tools and services they can take now to address the digital preservation challenge in their institution.

To register today or to submit a poster please visit our website: or contact us at:

Source: PACS-L@LISTSERV.UH.EDU, 02008 10 10