National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


Want to try a cloud computing OS now?

If you're itching to try an open source cloud computing operating system now a la Google OS, take a look at eyeOS, which appears to be a fully functional Web-based operating system. A public server is available at Took me a while to find it, but to close your eyeOS session on the public server, there's a double-circle icon in the lower right corner of the screen. Clicking that brings up a menu with the Close Session option.

I think the Google developers might want to save themselves a lot of work and simply ask their bosses to buy up this open source project.


Center of Oral History & Digital Storytelling, Concordia University, Canada

Since I started my archival career in part as an oral historian, I'm delighted to see a revitalization of this important tool through examples at and a software application under development by the Center of Oral History & Digital Storytelling at Concordia University, Canada. The Oral History Research Lab is finishing work on software for building oral history collections that it calls Stories Matter. Although described as open source software, the application uses Adobe AIR, but can run on Windows, Mac or Linux platforms. According to the Stories Matter blog post (2009 07 05),

"In its current state, Stories Matter is free, open source software that is compatible with MacIntosh and PC operating systems. It allows for the archiving of digital video and audio materials, enabling users to annotate, analyze, evaluate and export materials, as well as tag, index, search, and browse within interviews, sessions, and clips or across entire collections. ... the development of Phase II of Stories Matter, which will begin on July 15th. Its purpose is to enable increased collaboration among oral historians by providing an intuitive online database tool that can assist group projects and encourage public engagement. Phase II of Stories Matter is scheduled to be completed in December of 2009, with a public launch to follow shortly thereafter."

Among its projects are the Working Class Public History Website and the Sturgeon Falls Mill Closing Project.


Portal of Architectural Image-based Modeling

This is really cool, a portal devoted to 2D and 3D modeling of architectural works. The site contains articles, tutorials, experiences, resources and a gallery of images, videos and 3D models. User submissions are encouraged. The portal is the work of a group of French organizations, among them a body with the interesting name of MAP [UMR 694].


New York State Archives launches RSS news feed

I'm not sure why it is that some government jurisdictions, especially at the state or provincial level, have been slow to adopt RSS as a publicity and outreach tool, so it's good to see that the New York State Archives has launched a RSS news feed (feed URL). According to the announcement (Archives & Archivists mailing list, 02009 07 16),

"Subscribers will be among the first to find out about Archives events, new records brought into the Archives, press releases, resources for state agencies and local governments, and any major changes to the website - such as new guides to records, new educational sites for
teachers and students, and award and grant opportunities."


D-Lib Magazine July/August 02009 issue is out

From the announcement on various mailing lists (02009 07 15):

The July/August 2009 issue of D-Lib Magazine ( is now available.

This issue contains three articles, seven conference and workshop reports, the 'In Brief' column, excerpts from recent press releases, and news of upcoming conferences and other items of interest in 'Clips and Pointers'. This month, D-Lib features East Carolina University's Joyner Library Digital Collections, courtesy of Gretchen Gueguen, East Carolina University.

The articles include:

Measuring Mass Text Digitization Quality and Usefulness: Lessons Learned from Assessing the OCR Accuracy of the British Library's 19th Century Online Newspaper Archive
Simon Tanner and Trevor Munoz, King's College London; and Pich Hemy Ros, Digital Divide Data

21st Century Shipping: Network Data Transfer to the Library of Congress
Michael Ashenfelder, Library of Congress

Semantic Integration of Collection Description: Combining CIDOC/CRM and Dublin Core Collections Application Profile
Irene Lourdi and Christos Papatheodorou, Ionian University; and Martin Doerr, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas


EmeraldView, open-source PHP frontend for the Greenstone digital library system

From the announcement to the WEB4LIB mailing list (02009 07 10):

"The systems team at Touro College Libraries is pleased to announce the beta release of EmeraldView, a new open-source PHP frontend for the Greenstone digital library system.

More information is available at the project website at

A live demo is running at

We would be excited if anyone has a bit of time to contribute to the project, particularly in the design department, as the user interface is still waiting for a visionary."


Second international m-Libraries Conference (July 02009) presentations available

According to this blog post from the University of British Columbia's Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, presentations are now available from "The second international m-Libraries Conference, held and sponsored by the University of British Columbia in conjunction with Athabasca University,The Open University and Thompson Rivers University...." The conference occurred on June 23 and 24, 02009 at UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the First Nations Longhouse. The blog post went on to note the conference objectives:

"This conference aimed to explore and share work carried out in libraries around the world to deliver services and resources to users ‘on the move,’ via a growing plethora of mobile and hand-held devices. The conference will bring together researchers, technical developers, managers and library practitioners to exchange experience and expertise and generate ideas for future developments."

Chrome OS from Google, is it truly time for the Net as the Computer?

I'm very skeptical myself given issues around computer security and sustainability of cloud computing resources of Google's announcement of its Chrome Operating System that will turn the Net into a Computer, or something like that. How do you feel about this question? Would you buy a computer running Chrome OS and why? If existing netbook computers are perfectly capable of handling Windows XP or Linux and doing all the things that one does today in an online environment, what incentive or benefit do you think Chrome OS besides offering users more of a choice of operating systems?

Some of the media stories about Chrome OS are, like my attitude, less than enthusiastic.


Photographing the American Dream: the Maynard L. Parker Collection, Huntington Library, California

As announced on the ARCHIVES AND ARCHIVISTS mailing list (02009 07 07), the Maynard L. Parker Collection at the Huntington Library in California is now accessible online:

"The archive of noted architectural photographer Maynard L. Parker, who captured midcentury modern architecture on the West Coast and the nation, is now cataloged and accessible online through The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The archive consists of some 58,000 photographs, negatives, and other materials documenting the modern home and garden in mid-20th-century America. The project was funded by a "We the People" grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Parker (1901-1976) was a Los Angeles-based photographer whose work captured a postwar era of suburban middle class homes that celebrated an indoor-outdoor lifestyle and burgeoning consumer culture. From the late 1930s to the early 1970s, his images were featured in many of the nation's top shelter magazines, including House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, and Sunset."

According to the Huntington page on the collection, "The archive is organized by photographic assignment (identified as “projects”) and is searchable by keyword and across multiple fields in a database. Many projects also include selected digital images made from original collection material. See the finding aid through the Online Archive of California for a complete description of the archive and its contents." The collection is also linked through Calisphere, a digital collections service of the University of California Libraries designed for educators.


Illinois shoulders ATLAS (Alliance's Trail to Learning-casts and Syndicated Sites)

Illinois, long a leader in the digital world, has put together another fascinating tool called ATLAS (Alliance's Trail to Learning-casts and Syndicated Sites). A project of the Alliance Library System and LearningTimes, ATLAS, according to announcement posted to various mailing lists,

"is a new set of social media tools ALS is using to promote information and historical photos about Illinois history. ALS and LearningTimes partnered to create this innovative and exciting new model of collaborative digital imaging collections using multimedia and social networking tools to bring historical times to life, and involving a community at large in its creation. The project debuted June 29th with an online conference. A recording of the event is available at The Cullom-Davis Library at Bradley University will serve as the first partner library to produce additional podcasts on Illinois history to be added to the site. They were involved in the first set of ten podcasts, providing the material for the five from Peoria.

At the heart of the ATLAS project are digital images of historic people, places, documents and objects. The images are combined with audio descriptions and placed on a map of Illinois to produce an engaging new interactive learning model for libraries and their customers. The project began with ten short high-quality podcasts about nineteenth century Illinois and famous women from the first hundred years of statehood. Produced in association with LearningTimes, each podcast spotlights a specific person or topic area. ATLAS visitors are able to mouse over a city in Illinois and select a story of interest, featuring engaging commentary and information. A searchable database allows users to search sound files, narratives and photographs. The programs may be enjoyed right from the ATLAS site, or downloaded to a portable audio player."

The site includes an Add Your Podcast component for those wishing to participate in the building of more online history about Illinois and its people.

Collaborative Electronic Records Project (CERP) email preservation parser available

The Collaborative Electronic Records Project (CERP), a partnership of the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Rockefeller Archive Center that wrapped up in December 02008, has released its CERP Email Parser as an open source application. Here's more information from an announcement that's been circulated to various mailing list beginning on July 6, 02009:

"The Email Parser ... migrates an email account and its messages into a single XML file using the Email Account XML Schema developed in collaboration with the North Carolina State Archives and the EMCAP project.

The CERP Email Parser migrates an email account in MBOX format into XML, using the schema to preserve the full body of messages, together with their attachments, and keeps intact the account’s internal organization (e.g., an Inbox containing subfolders labeled Policies, Special Events, and Projects). The CERP team successfully preserved email accounts from a variety of applications including Microsoft Outlook, AppleMail, LotusNotes, and Netscape. All email messages retain their full header content, in contrast to some tools produced in earlier research efforts.

The parser runs on a workstation in a virtual machine environment compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and some Unix platforms. CERP testing was limited to the Windows XP environment. The CERP Email Parser is licensed as open source software so that it may be used, supported, and enhanced by all organizations that adopt it.

The Email Parser is designed to address the task of preserving bodies of email, such as an account, without requiring access to the original email systems. Still, email accounts from active email systems may also be preserved using this tool. The CERP Email Parser will be featured in the pre-conference workshop “Achieving Email Account Preservation With XML” at the Society of American Archivists 2009 Annual Meeting this August."


Green moth on green door, evolution in action?

For several years I've been watching the colors of moths outside my front door on the yellow wall of my house. Although I did not photograph it, one day in June 02009 I saw a distinctive yellow moth unlike the dark or white colored moths that usually rest on the wall and sometimes the door. On July 4, 02009 I was absolutely stunned to see a green moth at rest on my green front door. I had never noticed green moths before. I would like an explanation around this phenomenon. Is this truly evolution in action?

Here are two photos I took, one of the whole door with the moth barely visible resting on the bottom trim of the top panel and the other an extreme closeup. Click on each photo to see a larger version.

[caption id="attachment_2780" align="aligncenter" width="141" caption="Green moth on green door"]Green moth on green door[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2781" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Closeup of green moth on green door"]Closeup of green moth on green door[/caption]