National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


ICA-AtoM (MemoryBC) workshop at AABC Conference

Two of the crew from Artefactual Systems, the boss himself Peter van Garderen and systems archivist/analyst and consultant Evelyn McLellan, along with AABC education coordinator Kelly Stewart, presented a great workshop around ICA-AtoM, the open source archival description tool under development by Peter's company for the International Council on Archives.

The Archives Association of British Columbia adopted ICA-AtoM as a replacement for the existing process and computing infrastructure around the British Columbia Archival Union List or BCAUL (B-Call). Come November 02009 when it will be officially launched, BCAUL will be rebranded as MemoryBC. Workshop participants got a taste of the current iteration of ICA-AtoM through a LiveCD version in the UBC SLAIS computer lab. I volunteered my services as someone familiar with ICA-AtoM to assist the participants. Peter introduced me as a "power user."

I think most everyone was very excited by the application and had many questions and useful suggestions for Peter. One of the big questions, which I asked, is whether ICA-AtoM will evolve into a full-fledged archival management system and Peter gave an affirmative answer to that.

Artefactual Systems is also now offering Web hosting of ICA-AtoM for institutions at $125/month, a very reasonable cost considering you're getting a phenomenal 100GB of storage for any digital objects you attach to item-level records.

Peter also reported on the workshop on the ICA-AtoM discussion group on Google Groups.


Web 2.0 workshop at the AABC Conference

Thanks to a retired archivist from UBC Library, I was able to borrow a laptop to use in a Web 2.0 workshop at the Archives Association of British Columbia Conference on April 24, 02009 at UBC. A laptop is mandatory and mine wasn't up to the task since a wireless connection was required and my laptop's wireless was temporarily broken.

The workshop was presented by techie Jethro Taylor who works for the Nisga'a Nation school district. After a quick definition of Web 2.0, he showed an interesting video by Kansas State University Professor Dr. Michael Wesch on digitalethnography. He pointed out that the video kept coming back to the importance of metadata.

Some of the Web 2.0 tools he described were blogs, wikis, RSS, tags, and crowdsourcing. He had us use Google Reader to subscribe to a RSS feed. I learned through Google Reader that I have at least 202 subscribers to the current iteration of The Ten Thousand Year Blog, which I consider pretty remarkable considering that people had to make a conscious effort to subscribe. This took some time because the UBC wireless connection went down more than once. He wanted us to set up a blog but ran out of time. He talked about wikis and pointed out a sandbox wiki he set up at Heck, I set up my own because Wikispaces participates in OpenID so I was able to use my ID to get into Wikispaces and create

Because of the wireless problems we were all experiencing, the workshop didn't go as smoothly as it could have.


I-CHORA 5: Fifth International Conference on the History of Records and Archives, London, UK, July 02010

The Fifth International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (I-CHORA 5) will be held in London, UK, between July 1 and 3, 02010. The title of the conference is "Records, archives and technology: interdependence over time." According to the conference Web site, "The conference will explore this subject from a historical perspective, but will interpret it as broadly as possible. It will consider the evolving interrelationships between records, archives and any technology, not just the digital technology of our own time; and will embrace any kind of interdependence, including the role, challenges or opportunities of technology in creating, maintaining or using records. It will provide an opportunity to examine these topics from the standpoint of different disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, history, archival science, computer science, law and literary and cultural studies." A call for papers is available.


The Digital Dilemma report, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

I'd been curious about The Digital Dilemma: Strategic Issues in Archiving and Accessing Digital Motion Picture Materials report, published in November 02007, from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's Science and Technology Council and was pleased to find a link to a page through which it can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Source: Library of Congress, Digital Preservation Newsletter, April 02009


Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training eBook

Athabasca University Press has published a paperback and eBook editions of Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training, edited by Mohamed Ally. According to the AU Press blurb,

This collection is for anyone interested in the use of mobile technology for various distance learning applications. Readers will discover how to design learning materials for delivery on mobile technology and become familiar with the best practices of other educators, trainers, and researchers in the field, as well as the most recent initiatives in mobile learning research. Businesses and governments can learn how to deliver timely information to staff using mobile devices. Professors can use this book as a textbook for courses on distance education, mobile learning, and educational technology.

You can download the entire Creative Commons Licensed eBook edition or just the individual chapters.

Society of American Archivists ePublications

The Society of American Archivists has a growing list of ePublications, "edited monographs, case studies, and formal papers that have gone through a review process. These professional publications are available online free of charge."

Governance and Recordkeeping Around The World newsletter debuts from the Library and Archives Canada

From the announcement on the ARCAN-L mailing list (2009 04 15):

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the debut of our online newsletter entitled "Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World".

Published regularly, the newsletter explores and highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sector.

This collaborative tool was designed to help readers stay up-to-date with the latest news, events, trends, products and publications in the field of public administration and recordkeeping.

Graphics Atlas available from the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology

The Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology has released its Graphics Atlas Web application. According to an announcement on the Archives & Archivists (A&A) List (02009 04 15):

Graphics Atlas is a new online resource that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic exploration tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and the general public. Initial development of this resource began in 2006.
Graphics Atlas has two central web applications. The print identification application guides you through a concise set of representations that replicate the experience of identifying prints using common tools (i.e., a loupe and simple stereomicroscope).

A second application, the Object Explorer, allows you to browse and compare traits across processes using a set of 18 views made with various lighting techniques and magnifications. Characteristics including size, format, color, texture, sheen, and layer structure are explored logically. The Graphics Atlas contains additional web pages devoted to the history of printing technologies expressed through text, images, and diagrams.


The Road to Area 51 - Los Angeles Times

The Road to Area 51 - Los Angeles Times

Posted using ShareThis.

This story reminds me of my one and only UFO sighting when I was growing up in Hawaii. It was around 1963. I was playing in a neighbor's yard and happened to look up and noticed a very high-flying round object, very silver, heading in a northwesterly direction. There was no vapor trail. I later thought it was a weather balloon, but this news story about declassified OXCART files makes me now wonder whether there had indeed been an early overflight of Oahu.


William Mumler the spirit photographer

Though I haven't seen this book, it looks like a great contribution to the literature of ghost photography: The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer by Louis Kaplan, University of Minnesota Press, 2008. Here's a link to a Google search that will lead you to various Web sites about the book. The virtual American Museum of Photography also has a great exhibit on spirit photography called Do You Believe?: A Ghostly Gallery.

Why Darwin Matters to Creationists

Professor skeptic Michael Shermer blogs about a presentation he gave at the University of California at San Diego Biological Science Symposium on April 2, 02009 based on his book Why Darwin Matters and the reaction to his talk by " 'expelled' creationist Caroline Crocker" whose reaction to his talk she blogged about under the title "How Disappointing!" on the Access Research Network's blog The ID Update: News and Commentary Updates for the ID Community.


World Digital Library to launch on April 21, 02009

According to this blurb on its site, "The World Digital Library will make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials. The objectives of the World Digital Library are to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provide resources to educators, expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and to contribute to scholarly research." First proposed to UNESCO in 2005 by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, the WDL is largely a project of the Library of Congress with contributions from UNESCO, IFLA, around three dozen partner institutions and Google, Inc.

SPER (System or Preservation of Electronic Resources) digital preservation testbed, U.S. National Library of Medicine

From the overview of SPER (System or Preservation of Electronic Resources) is a digital preservation testbed created at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, U.S. National Library of Medicine. It's a Java-based client-server system and uses DSpace and the OAIS model for digital archiving. Interestingly enough, "The ingested documents may be searched and retrieved publicly using a Web browser, submitting simple and advanced queries. A MySQL database is used by SPER for storing all ingest and retrieval information." There are several conference papers available about SPER.

SPER was used to create the FDA Notices of Judgment Collection, 1906-1963, "a set of historic medico-legal documents aquired by NLM from the Food and Drug Administration. This collection of more than 40,000 digitized pages, referred to as FDA Notices of Judgment (FDANJ), consists of about 70,000 published notices of judgment (NJ) from court cases, involving products seized under authority of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act."


Museums and the Web 2009 papers online

Papers and demos from the Museums and the Web 2009 conference being held April 15 to 18, 02009 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, are online. Another great roundup of fascinating museuological practices, concepts and dreams.

Art talk: Curators in Context

Curators in Context is a project of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and the Artist-Run Centres & Collectives of Ontario to publish Canadian visual art curators talking about their work. The talks are available as bilingual video and as a PDF transcript. Linked to the site is a wiki that attempts to document some of the new vocabulary around new art media.

VoiceThread: please leave a message about this document, video or image

VoiceThread is an interesting free and premium (user-pay) service that lets users comment on videos, documents or images. I came across it in the April 02009 issue of the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) Newsletter where there is a link to its use by the Yukon Historical and Museums Association. They are "posting digital copies of photographs at Yukon Archives online using the Voicethread technology. With Voicethread anyone can post text, audio, or video comments on the photographs. It's part information gathering, part story telling, and part community commentary."

Virtual Reference Bibliography Online launched by Rutgers University

Rutgers University's School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies has launched an online version of a digital reference services bibliography originally maintained by Bernie Sloan between 2000 and 2004. The Virtual Reference Bibliography contains over 900 entries "designed to be used by virtual reference (VR) practitioners, researchers, students, and others." The VRBib is directed by Dr. Marie Radford. The site includes a submission form.

Source: DIG_REF mailing list, 02009 04 06


Presentations from Strategies for Multimedia Archives Conference, Belgium, February 02009

BOM-vl, "a research project and consortium supported by the Flemish Government," organized a one-day conference called Strategies for Multimedia Archives: Funds, Users and Context for the Digital Archives of Culture and the Media. Held on February 6, 02009, presentations, including audio, from the conference are available.


Say Hello to MIKE 2.0 (Method for an Integrated Knowledge Environment)

According to its front page,

MIKE2.0 (Method for an Integrated Knowledge Environment) is an Open Source methodology for Enterprise Information Management that provides a framework for Information Development. The MIKE2.0 Methodology is part of the overall Open Methodology Framework.

MIKE2.0 is a collaborative effort to help organisations who have invested heavily in applications and infrastructures, but haven't focused on the data and information needs of the business. We believe this has resulted in many of the business problems faced by organisations today around compliance, lack of customer insight, failed transformation programmes and the high cost of technology systems.

MIKE 2.0 runs on an open source application called omCollab.


IMAP Preservation 101 and EAI Online Resource Guide for Exhibiting, Collecting and Preserving Media Art

The Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP), founded in New York State in 1999, has general information on media preservation in the Preservation 101 section. More specific information, created with Electronic Arts Intermix, about preserving three different kinds of electronic media art forms is found in the EAI Online Resource Guide for Exhibiting, Collecting & Preserving Media Art.


Long-term preservation of Open Access Journals secured

From the announcement on DIGLIB and other mailing lists (02009 04 01):

The Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ) - Lund University Libraries and the e-Depot of the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) today announced the start of a cooperation in order to secure long-term preservation of open access journals. The Swedish Library Association is generously acting as sponsor.

Long-term preservation of scholarly publications is of major importance for the research community. New formats of scholarly publications, new business models and new ways of dissemination are constantly being developed. To secure permanent access to scientific output for the future, focussed on the preservation of articles published in open access journals, a cooperation between Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ –, developed and operated by Lund University Libraries and the e-Depot of the National Library of the Netherlands ( has been initiated.

The composition of the DOAJ collection (currently 4000 journals) is characterized by a very large number of publishers (2.000+), each publishing a very small number of journals on different platforms, in different formats and in more than 50 different languages. Many of these publishers are – with a number of exceptions – fragile when it comes to financial, technical and administrative sustainability.

At present DOAJ and KB carry out a pilot project aimed at setting up a workflow for processing open access journals listed with DOAJ. In the pilot a limited number of open access journals will be subject to long term preservation. These activities will be scaled up shortly and long term archiving of the journals listed in the DOAJ at KB’s e-Depot will become an integral part of the service provided by the DOAJ.