National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


19th-century books from the British Library on Kindle for free

So screams the headline of Barbara Quint's Information Today Newsbreak of February 25, 02010. The Microsoft-British Library partnership to digitize 19th century books was completed last year and Microsoft "handed over 25 million pages in 65,000 19th-century books". The British Library then struck a deal with to make these works available for free and as print-on-demand paperbacks through the bookseller's Kindle ebook reader. Quint predicts that "Expect to see the digital collection appear elsewhere as well. The Amazon arrangement is nonexclusive."

If you go to the bottom of the Amazon Kindle page you'll see links to Kindle software for the PC and Mac that allows you read Kindle ebooks on those platforms without owning a Kindle reader.

Royal British Columbia Museum joins the sociable world of Facebook

The Royal British Columbia Museum has launched itself into the sociable world of Facebook. A YouTube channel was started in September 2008. Could a blog be next?


A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation published by the MetaArchive Cooperative

Members of the MetaArchive Cooperative (Atlanta, GA, USA) wrote and published A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation as "the first of a series of volumes from the Educopia Institute describing successful collaborative strategies and articulating specific new models that may help cultural memory organizations work together for their mutual benefit." The guide is available as a freely available PDF or for purchase as a print publication.

Source: ARCHIVES mailing list, 02010 02 24


CHIN Digital Heritage Symposium, Feburary 02010, archived

The CHIN (Canadian Heritage Information Network) Digital Heritage Symposium, held February 4 and 5, 02010 at the University of British Columbia's newly renovated Museum of Anthropology (MOA), has been archived and is available to CHIN members through the Professional Exchange. During Museum Month in May the symposium proceedings will become available to the general public.

Source: The CHIN Digital Heritage Symposium: a popular success!, 02010 February 22


BC Government Web site gets social (media)

The main BC Government Web site is now offering social media services through the news releases and other access points. You can share the content through Facebook, Twitter (retweet it), Delicious social bookmarking or e-mail the content to someone. There's also a Goverment of BC YouTube Channel, three blogs, and Facebook and Twitter sites for BC Government content. It would be nice to see BC Government photos on Flickr as well.

Wikipedia Saves Public Art (WSPA): New Project to Document Public Art on a Global Scale

The ResourceShelf reported on an interesting new Wikipedia project to document public art on a global scale initiated by faculty and students at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The IUPUI Public Art Collection on Wikipedia is worth a look.


Smashing Magazine and the sound of design success

I'd come across Smashing Magazine before. It was launched in September 2006 and features lots of content about Web site design and development. Consider it essential reading if you're in this field., another Canadian, open source digital records lifecycle system

Close on the heels of Archivematica, a digital preservation system built from open source products and created by British Columbia's Artefactual Systems, comes from the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island. According to the About page, "Islandora combines the Drupal and Fedora software applications to create a robust digital asset management system that can be used for any requirement where collaboration and digital data stewardship, for the short and long term, are critical." You can see some examples of how the Islandora project is being deployed through IslandArchives, a set of digital collections, and IslandScholar, a "Repository-In-A-Box" solution for institutional repositories. Islandora also maintains a list of Virtual Research Environment (VRE) sites.

Please Rob Me and the problem of geo-location records

Please Rob Me points out the obvious to those who have been practicing and preaching the important mantra of online privacy. Constantly broadcasting your location and activities online has the potential of alerting criminals that you may not be at home. My philosophy is it's always better to tell your online followers where you've been, not where you are moment by moment.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) blogs

Since I've been doing some writing about Google, real-time and social search engines, I thought I'd list some of the Search Engine Optimization and search marketing blogs that offer useful content:

If you know of other super-duper SEO blogs, please leave a comment and some reasons why they should be consulted.


Martin Knelman claims Canadian audio-visual heritage at risk, but is it true?

Noted Canadian film critic Martin Knelman published in his column for on February 15, 02010 a piece titled "Audio-visual heritage of nation at risk".

He's responding in part to a devastating fire at CTV's Ottawa studio on February 7, 02010 that resulted in the loss of many broadcast recordings. He also put in an extended plug for the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation, an organization founded in 2001 with the goal of creating a Canadian museum of broadcasting history. Knelman erroneously concluded that "The priceless legacy of our national history, as recorded over the past 80 years in our electronic media, is slipping away." He also referred to the CBC having "purged its shelves of outtakes that likely included material of historic value," while "In Victoria, a private station [CHEK-TV] discovered that news footage compiled from 1956 to 1998 had deteriorated beyond repair because of faulty storage conditions."

Outtakes are outtakes for a reason. They are expensive to maintain and preserve and, unless converted into a format suitable for public access, will have little or no use. One reason, however, why an archives acquires outtakes is because other kinds of motion picture elements from a production may not exist.

Knelman disparages Canada's financial commitment to preserving its audio-visual heritage and sums it up ONLY in terms of the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation's contribution:

In Canada, with minimal funding from a number of industry and government partners, the broadcasting foundation has articulated the mandate, developed a coalition and built a collection of 16,000 broadcast artifacts. But the required great leap forward can't occur until the deposit of all material at a central agency (comparable to the U.S. Library of Congress) becomes mandatory for all broadcasters. And then a substantial annual budget would be needed to build and maintain an archive.

Supporters of the broadcast museum might wonder why a human rights museum in Manitoba got funded and not a museum with a more direct link to Canada's heritage. I would also argue that Canada's broadcast heritage has been remarkably well preserved at both the provincial and national level thanks to the diligence and on-going efforts of archivists and museum curators. What is remarkable to me about Knelman's opinion piece is the great disservice it does to the archival and museum communities, since he says not one word about them or the great audio-visual broadcast treasures they have been preserving for at least the past quarter-century. Ironcially, a small part of CHEK-TV's motion picture film news footage from the period of loss is preserved by the BC Archives (CHEK TV fonds).

The Library and Archives Canada is the repository of record for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, but in recent years the CBC also began digitizing and mounting some of its own audio, film and video recordings at its CBC Digital Archives. The BC Archives once held a large body of films from CBC Vancouver, but returned those at the request of the CBC. The BC Archives still preserves hundreds if not thousands of hours of CBC and private broadcaster recordings, including off-air recordings created by private individuals. I am fairly certain other provincial archives have similar holdings.

I'm not saying that more can't be done to ensure Canada's important broadcast history remains largely intact, but let's not ignore as Knelman has the extraordinary accomplishments of Canadian archives and museums prior to and continuing in parallel with the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation's work.


Questions and opinions from a Canadian music industry icon about Canadian archives

I hope legendary Vancouver rock and roll dj Red Robinson's letter to the Times-Colonist newspaper on February 13, 02010 might provoke more public discussion about relationships and expectations between donors and archives. He wrote in response to my letter of February 10, which I wrote in response to an article from February 6 about his donating his interviews to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. I took issue with this part of the original article:

Robinson would love to have kept it in Canada, but there was no place for it to go.

"There is no repository for my stuff, or Bruce Allen's, or Bryan Adams', or anybody," Robinson said. "It's a disgrace."

So he decided to give to the Rock Hall.

I posted two items about this on my personal blog at and


Google Maps Labs introduced

Google Maps Labs is an opt-in feature that introduces several new nifty functions and fun into Google Maps. The Google Maps Labs icon is a small green beaker in the upper right corner with the word "New!" to the right of it. Although you do not have to have a Google Account to add these features and fun things like a geography guessing game to Google Maps, in order to save the changes between browsing sessions, you have to log in to your Google Account.


My Newsbreak article on 12sprints (now known as StreamWork) is now online at

Update for April 26, 02010: SAP has branded its beta 12sprints product as StreamWork. If you had an account on the beta version, it is still accessible through the basic, free version of StreamWork at

My Newsbreak article on SAP AG's 12sprints collaborative decision-making Web application is now online at


Wordle, create your own word clouds

Wordle lets you create your own word cloudes. Cute and cool tool.

Attending OCLC WebJunction online conference, Technology Essentials 2010

I'm attending a two-day OCLC WebJunction online conference on technology essentials for libraries. The conference is being broadcast through Cisco's WebEx platform. The conference sessions will be archived at The Twitter hashtag is #wjconf. I'll post this as well on my Ten Thousand Year Blog and you'll see a tweet from that source.

2010-02-05 integration with SAP 12sprints

Update for April 26, 2010: SAP has branded its beta 12sprints product as StreamWork. If you had an account on the beta version, it is still accessible through the basic, free version of StreamWork at

I discovered during my beta testing of SAP's 12sprints that's Web-based document storage service is integrated with 12sprints. According to the earliest news release from 2006 on the Evernote Corporation's site, the company "is a provider of note management, digital ink and handwriting recognition software and technologies for the PC, mobile and wireless markets." The About Us page provides this information:

Our goal at Evernote is to give everyone the ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience whenever they want using whichever device or platform they find most convenient, and then to make all of that information easy to find.

And we’ve done just that. From creating text and ink notes, to snapshots of whiteboards and wine labels, to clips of webpages, Evernote users can capture anything from their real and digital lives and find it all anytime.

Ritescript is the division of the company that markets Evernote's "handwriting recognition and digital ink software and technologies." (

Digital ink software, another fascinating challenge for recordkeeping and archiving.


Testing 12sprints beta collaborative Web platform from SAP

Update for April 26, 2010: SAP has branded its beta 12sprints product as StreamWork. If you had an account on the beta version, it is still accessible through the basic, free version of StreamWork at

I am beta testing the collaborative Web platform from SAP with the codename of 12sprints. If you would like an invite to participate in an activity, I can set one up and you can contact me through the e-mail address on my personal blog. Do let me know what kind of activity you'd like to be involved in such as decision-making, online research, project planning, a discussion on a topic or an online meeting.


What's New, Issue 22 (February 02010)

Compiled by Najla Rettberg, What's New Issue 22 (February 02010), a joint publication of the Digital Preservation Coalition and the Digital Curation Centre, is available.