National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


Version 2 of Archivist's Toolkit released

Version 2 of the Archivist's Toolkit software, "an open source collection management / metadata authority application funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation" was released on September 30, 02009. According to the announcement on the ARCHIVES & ARCHIVISTS (A&A) LIST,

New features added to AT 2.0
• Revised Digital Object module, so that Digital Object records can be created and managed independent of Resource records.
• Tab delimited Digital Object import
• Batch export of Digital Objects
• Assessment module
• New reports for Digital Object and Assessment modules
• Revision of all other reports (Names, Subjects, Accessions, Resources)
• Improved stylesheets for EAD to PDF and EAD to HTML outputs
• Bug fixes as noted in release notes

New Digital Holocaust Collection from and the U.S. National Archives

Some details about a new digital Holocaust Collection launched on September 29, 02009 by and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration are available on Gary Price's blog The Resource Shelf.


Madrona, an open source museum collections management system

Madrona, an open source museum collections management system, is being launched in its free, community edition and the commercial version in November 02009. Madrona is based on Spectrum, a standard developed in the UK. Madrona is a project of Zero One Design, a Victoria, British Columbia, company that works with museums and art galleries to create Web sites.

Ten Thousand Year Blog (June 02003 to September 02008) lives again

For those of you who missed The Ten Thousand Year Blog that lived between June 02003 and September 02008 (just over five years) at, I've resurrected it at This is a semi-inactive version to which I'll make changes from time to time, so for the current version continue to read The Ten Thousand Year Blog at I've decided not to renew and link my domain name to the current WordPress version, but there will be a pointer to the current version on the start page of

BagIt: Transferring Content for Digital Preservation, a Library of Congress video on the YouTube channel

The announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02009 09 28) contains this blurb about "bags" and the BagIt specification and open source utilities (SourceForge and RubyForge) for transferring digital content which is described in this short video, "BagIt: Transferring Content for Digital Preservation", a Library of Congress video on the YouTube channel:
The Library of Congress - with the California Digital Library and Stanford University - has developed guidelines for creating and moving standardized digital containers, called "bags."

Bags have a sparse, uncomplicated structure that transcends differences in institutional data, data architecture, formats and practices. A bag's minimal but essential metadata is machine readable, which makes it easy to automate ingest of the data. Bags can be sent over computer networks or physically moved using portable storage devices. Bags have built-in inventory checking, to help ensure that content transferred intact. Bags are flexible and can work in many different settings, including situations where the content is located in more than one place. This video describes the preparation and transfer of data over the network in bags.

BagIt: Transferring Content for Digital Preservation


September/October 2009 issue of D-Lib Magazine is out

The September/October 2009 issue of D-Lib Magazine is out. Among the articles are

  • "Establishing Trust in a Chain of Preservation: The TRAC Checklist Applied to a Data Staging Repository (DataStaR)" by Gail Steinhart and Dianne Dietrich, Cornell University; and Ann Green, Yale University

  • "Subject-based Information Retrieval within Digital Libraries Employing LCSHs" by Ioannis Papadakis and Michalis Stefanidakis, University of Ionio; and Konstantinos Kyprianos and Rosa Mavropodi, University of Piraeus

  • "Analysing Selection for Digitisation: Current Practices and Common Incentives" by Bart Ooghe, Heritage Cell Waasland; and Dries Moreels, Flemish Theatre Institute (BE)

  • "OA Network: An Integrative Open Access Infrastructure for Germany" by Uwe Mueller, Robin Malitz, and Peter Schirmbacher, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin; and Thomas Severiens, Universitat Osnabruck

  • "Curriculum for Digital Libraries: An Analytical Study of Indian LIS Curricula" by R.S.R.Varalakshmi, Andhra University


Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscapes exhibition

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' exhibition Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918, which will be travelling to the Vancouver Art Gallery, is a spectacular assemblage of some of the best landscape art and photography of its period. Except for Emily Carr whose earliest explorations of Northwest Coast First Nations villages are included, none of the Canadian photographers or artists lived west of Ontario. The Museum's Web site includes every artwork and photograph in the show, so it's well worth exploring. The Museum is also encouraging on-site and remote visitors to share their own comments and photographs of American and Canadian landscapes.

Sounding off archivally at the British Library

The British Library has launched an online archives of 28,000 sound recordings (2,000 hours) that date back to 1898 when wax cylinders were all the rage. According to the library's announcement of 2009 09 04:

The Archival Sound Recordings project makes a variety of music, spoken word, and environmental sounds from the British Library Sound Archive available online and is part of the British Library's ongoing commitment to improving access and ensuring the preservation of invaluable primary source materials for research, teaching and learning. All recordings on Archival Sound Recordings can be accessed from British Library reading rooms and are available for free to licensed UK higher and further education institutions. In addition, where permission has been granted, these recordings can be listened to by the public online at:

The digitisation of the sounds was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) which supports education and research in the use of information and communications technology: British Library’s Archival Sound Recording project is part of the JISC Digitisation Programme, which has received over £22 million in funding from the Higher Education Funding Councils for England and Wales to make available a wide range of heritage and scholarly resources of national importance. This includes sound recordings, moving pictures, newspapers, maps, images, cartoons, census data, journals and parliamentary papers for use by the UK further and higher education communities.

Source: DIG_REF@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU (02009 09 07)


City of Vancouver Archives does Twitter

The City of Vancouver Archives launched its Twitter feed on September 3, 02009. I'm fairly certain they are the first government archives in British Columbia with this distinction.

The RSS feed URL is