National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


X-woman, who is this new type of human?

X-woman or Woman X (Denisova hominin in scientific terms) is the name given to what is reported to be a new type of human that lived among modern humans and Neanderthals. The discovery came about as the result of genetic testing from a pinky finger bone uncovered in a Siberian cave. You can read more about this freaky science find through this BBC News story.

Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada fades to black, advocacy continues through Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television

Another casualty of the federal Conservative government's culture wars, the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada has dissolved effective March 31, 02010. Its important advocacy work for the preservation of Canada's audio-visual recorded heritage is being carried on through an agreement with the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television to whom it transferred its charter on November 30, 02009. You can read about the work of the AV Trust in the final issue of its newsletter, PreserVision, no.16, Winter 02010. The AV Trust worked very closely with the Library and Archives Canada.


Blogger Template Designer on Blogger in Draft

Google's Blogger service has been added a number of improvements, including the Blogger Template Designer, available on the Blogger in Draft service, that I'm likely going to switch all my blogs from WordPress to Blogger. One of my main reasons for doing so is that Blogger now permits the monetizing of any Blogger site through services such as Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. The ability to create one's own templates for a unique look is also a huge plus for the designer in me.


InterPARES International Symposium, May 29, 02010, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

From the announcement on ARCAN-L and other mailing lists (02010 03 24) on the InterPARES International Symposium:

The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) 3 Project is an international collaborative endeavour composed of 15 regional, national and multinational research teams. The overall goal of the Project is to enable small and medium-sized public and private records/archival units, organizations or programs, which are responsible for the digital records resulting from government, business, research, art and entertainment, social and/or community activities, to preserve over the long term authentic records that satisfy the requirements of their stakeholders and society’s needs for an adequate record of its past.

Begun in 2007, the project has reached its mid-term mark and is going to present and discuss its findings and products to date in an International Symposium that will see the participation of speakers from North and South America, Europe and Asia.

TOPICS WILL INCLUDE: the impact of organizational culture on the development of preservation programs; various cities' strategies for digital preservation; digital preservation in structured and unstructured environments (law enforcement and financial organizations versus academic and art organizations); pervasive issues in digital preservation (e-mail, vital records, XML, web 2.0); issues of terminology, and more.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Records and information managers, archivists, IT professionals, librarians, administrators, auditors, any decision maker responsible for digital records policies and procedures, and of course students, regardless of whether they are in the records and archives field...everybody should learn about digital preservation.

DATE: 29 May 2010 8:45am to 5:30pm (but registration starts at there bright and early)
WHERE: [Forest Sciences Centre (FSC), Room 1005] 2424 Main Mall, Point Grey Campus, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Registration fee: $20 (includes box lunch)
Registration mode and deadline: TBA

We will post the program on the InterPARES web site,, and will send another message as soon as registration will be open.

Location details about the symposium were provided to me by Randy Preston, InterPARES Project Coordinator, on March 24, 02010:

... the symposium is being held in the Forest Sciences Centre (FSC), Room 1005. Here is a link to a photo of the building, a campus location map and some images of the auditorium where the symposium will be held:

UK National Heritage Science Strategy released March 02010

The United Kingdom has released its National Heritage Science Strategy as of March 02010. According to the front page of the site, "The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry on Science and Heritage called for the production of a strategy. Work on this has been underway since October 2008 ...." On the Developing the Strategy page of the site, it's stated that "We have deliberately taken a very broad definition of "heritage" in these reports and the strategy which encompasses both movable heritage (museums and art collections, libraries and archives) as well as immovable heritage (archaeological remains, buildings, landscapes and townscape)." The Document Library section is where you'll find the House of Lords report as well as supporting documents, including reports of other "heritage science strategies" produced in the UK.


Code4Lib Journal Issue 9 now available

Issue 9 of the Code4Lib Journal has at least one article of interest to the archival community, quoting from the announcement on various mailing lists (02010 03 22):

Challenges in Sustainable Open Source: A Case Study Sibyl Schaefer

The Archivists’ Toolkit is a successful open source software package for archivists, originally developed with grant funding. The author, who formerly worked on the project at a participating institution, examines some of the challenges in making an open source project self-sustaining past grant funding. A consulting group hired by the project recommended that — like many successful open source projects — they rely on a collaborative volunteer community of users and developers. However, the project has had limited success fostering such a community. The author offers specific recommendations for the project going forward to gain market share and develop a collaborative user and development community, with more open governance.

Three other articles may be of broader interest as well to readers outside the usual audience:

Using Cloud Services for Library IT Infrastructure Erik Mitchell

Cloud computing comes in several different forms and this article documents how service, platform, and infrastructure forms of cloud computing have been used to serve library needs. Following an overview of these uses the article discusses the experience of one library in migrating IT infrastructure to a cloud environment and concludes with a model for assessing cloud computing.

Creating an Institutional Repository for State Government Digital Publications Meikiu Lo and Leah M. Thomas

In 2008, the Library of Virginia (LVA) selected the digital asset management system DigiTool to host a centralized collection of digital state government publications. The Virginia state digital repository targets three primary user groups: state agencies, depository libraries and the general public.
DigiTool’s ability to create depositor profiles for individual agencies to submit their publications, its integration with the Aleph ILS, and product support by ExLibris were primary factors in its selection. As a smaller institution, however, LVA lacked the internal resources to take full advantage of DigiTool’s full set of features. The process of cataloging a heterogenous collection of state documents also proved to be a challenge within DigiTool. This article takes a retrospective look at what worked, what did not, and what could have been done to improve the experience.

Wrangling Electronic Resources: A Few Good Tools Brandy Klug

There are several freely available tools today that fill the needs of librarians tasked with maintaining electronic resources, that assist with tasks such as editing MARC records and maintaining web sites that contain links to electronic resources. This article gives a tour of a few tools the author has found invaluable as an Electronic Resources Librarian.

New issue of Faculty of Information Quarterly, University of Toronto

Volume 2, no. 2 of the Faculty of Information Quarterly from the University of Toronto is available. One of the articles is "The Librarian as Digital Humanist: The Collaborative Role of the Research Library in Digital Humanities Projects" by Leigh Cunningham and another is "Digital Preservation and Technological Obsolescence: A Risk Assessment Strategy" by Suzanne LeBlanc. The journal is published with the Open Journal Systems software developed by the Public Knowledge Project.


Gentlemen, prime your cannons, it's the War of 1812 Canadian history site

1812 History is a Web site devoted to the War of 1812 that was assembled by Brock University Special Collections and Archives. Partners include a number of Ontario museums with significant collections of artifacts and records. The site was launched on February 16, 02010 and includes a digital collection of over 900 items and resources for teachers. The digital collection is accessed through Our Ontario, as a service of  Knowledge Ontario.

Joomla and Drupal for libraries (and archives)

Mark Jordan, head of library systems at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, replied to a question on the WEB4LIB mailing list about the open source content management system Joomla which led to other replies, including ones about Drupal, another popular CMS for library sites. So here are some of the resources about Joomla and Drupal as content management systems for libraries (and archives).


Canada150 social history archiving project for Canada's 150th in 2017

Canada will be celebrating its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary as a nation in 2017. Canada150 "is Canada’s largest history gathering project ever. It is a collaborative effort of organizations and individuals committed to recording Canadian family and community histories as our gift to our country on its 150th birthday--July 1, 2017." The project is aimed at the boomer generation and their children who "have rarely kept diaries, journals, letters or other documents. We may have thousands of photos stored on our computers but we have few documents that tell our stories. ... You and your parents and children need to record your stories and ensure that they are safely stored forever. Canada 150 is a national project to encourage them to do exactly that in time for our 150th birthday as a nation. By depositing our stories in our national Library and Archives Canada, we will give our families, community and entire country a gift that is invaluable. ..."


Twitter is over capacity?

Got this error screen upon checking my Twitter account:

Twitter is over capacity

A whale is a great metaphor for a sinking service.

My Information Today Newsbreak published on Google Buzz

Update for 02010 03 17:

Bad, bad, bad Google chastens FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour according to PC World as cited by Matt McGee in Search Engine Land.

Original post of 02010 02 22:

My short article on Google Buzz was published today as one of the Information Today Newsbreaks titled "Google Gets Stung by Its Own Buzz."

Google Buzz was launched by Google on February 9, 2010 and immediately generated a hornet's nest of buzzing, angered Gmail customers backed by a dark cloud of consumer privacy protection organizations. Who can resist these metaphors and puns? I was asked to write up the controversy surrounding Google Buzz for an Information Today Newsbreak that should appear on Monday, February 22, 2010. I completed and submitted it on time. This is my second Newsbreak in seven years almost to the day that I've written on Google, the first back in 2003 was on its purchase of Pyra Labs, the creators of Blogger and The title of that piece also had the word buzz in it: "Blooglelicious—the Buzz about Google Buying Pyra Labs."

Time Magazine 50 Best Websites and 25 Best Blogs for 02009

Time magazine has issued its 50 Best Websites and 25 Best Blogs for 02009.

Source: DIG_REF@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU, 02010 03 17


March/April 02010 issue of D-Lib Magazine available

The March/April 02010 issue of D-Lib Magazine is available. The lineup of main articles is impressive:

  • Realizing and Maintaining Aggregative Digital Library Systems: D-NET Software Toolkit and OAIster System by Paolo Manghi, Marko Mikulicic, Leonardo Candela, Donatella Castelli and Pasquale Pagano, Instituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione "Alessandro Faedo", Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

  • Using Omeka to Build Digital Collections: The METRO Case Study by Jason Kucsma, Metropolitan New York Library Council, and Kevin Reiss and Angela Sidman, City University of New York

  • Museum Data Exchange: Learning How to Share by Gunter Waibel, Ralph LeVan and Bruce Washburn, OCLC Online Computer Library Center

  • Crowdsourcing: How and Why Should Libraries Do It? by Rose Holley, National Library of Australia and the Open Government Data movement in Canada

According to its front page, " is a Canadian non-profit that promotes online tools for government transparency." Some interesting projects here, along with a blog and wiki.


SAMOA in Surrey goes online

SAMOA (Surrey Archives & Museum Online Access) is the acronym chosen by the Surrey Museum and the City of Surrey Archives for its implementation of Minisis Inc.'s MINT, M3 and M2A collections management applications for museums and archives. This may be the first implementation of Minisis' products in British Columbia by a museum or archives. According to its annual reports and other public sources of information on its Web site, the Royal BC Museum is also working with Minisis on a collections management system for its museum objects and archival records.


Help recover stolen books and documents from western US and Canadian public and university libraries

The Denver Public Library created a Flickr page to help recover photographs stolen by convicted thief James Lyman Brubaker. The FBI release dated September 15, 02008 indicates he stole books and/or multilated and stole books and historic documents, including maps and photographs, from public and university libraries throughout the western United States and Alberta:

Of the 832 books believed to have been stolen by BRUBAKER, 338 books have been confirmed to have been stolen from libraries. Of the apparent 109 victim libraries and universities (and other sources of books), 51 have been confirmed as having been the victim of the thefts. Victim libraries were found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. BRUBAKER also had valuable books from libraries in Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge, all in Alberta, Canada. Victim libraries in Montana included libraries in Belt, Big Timber, Billings, Bozeman, Browning, Butte, Frenchtown, Great Falls, Helena, Miles City, Red Lodge, and Roundup.

Ulysses S. Grant Digital Collection, Mississippi State University

From the announcement on the ARCHIVES mailing list (02010 03 11):

Mississippi State University Libraries are happy to announce that the Ulysses S. Grant collection is now available online at

The collection includes all 31 volumes of "The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant," as well as selected memorabilia. Digitization was made possible by generous support from the Ulysses S. Grant Association.


Oxford University Bodleian Library's futureArch project (02008-02011)

Oxford University's Bodleian Library is creating an electronic records and archives management system for born-digital materials called BEAM (Bodleian Electronic Archives and Manuscripts). In addition to information on the BEAM Web site, a related project, futureArch (Future Archives), offers a blog of its activities, which deal with curating a traditional and digital archives.

BEAM was preceded by the PARADIGM (Personal Archives Accessible in Digital Media) project, a joint effort of Oxford and Mancester universities, which ran between 2005-2007 and produced "Best-practice guidelines in the form of a workbook on issues relating to the archiving of personal papers in digital form...."

According to the first post on the futureArch blog (July 2, 02008), the futureArch project

"will see us move the curation of born-digital archives and manuscripts from a series of small projects to a sustainable activity integrated with other aspects of the Library's operations. When futureArch concludes, in just over three years time, we aim to have embedded the curation of born-digital archives and manuscripts into the way we do things."

Center for Digital Storytelling, Berkeley, CA, USA

The Center for Digital Storytelling, based in Berkeley, CA, USA, offers workshops around the world. An upcoming three-day workshop will be held at Royal Roads University, Vancouver Island, from March 26 to March 28, 02010.

Terrier wags its IR tail on verison 3

From the front page of Terrier, which is now at version 3.0 (02010 03 11):

Terrier is a highly flexible, efficient, and effective open source search engine, readily deployable on large-scale collections of documents. Terrier implements state-of-the-art indexing and retrieval functionalities, and provides an ideal platform for the rapid development and evaluation of large-scale retrieval applications.

Terrier is open source, and is a comprehensive, flexible and transparent platform for research and experimentation in text retrieval. Research can easily be carried out on standard TREC and CLEF test collections.

Terrier is written in Java, and is developed at the Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow.


ArchivePress plugin for WordPress sites

Update for April 20, 02010:

The first release candidate of the ArchivePress plugin put in an appearance.

According to its front page, ArchivePress

ArchivePress is a blog-archiving project being undertaken by the University of London Computer Centre and the British Library Digital Preservation department, funded by the JISC Information Environment Programme under its Rapid Innovation Grants Call (03/09).

The project will explore practical issues around the archiving of weblog content, focusing on blogs as records of institutional activity and corporate memory. As an alternative to the web crawling/harvesting approach of the Internet Archive and the UK Web Archive, ArchivePress will test the viability of using RSS feeds and blog APIs to harvest blog content (including comments, embedded content and metadata). The archived content will be stored and managed using instances of Wordpress, thereby maintaining the blogs’ native data structures, formats and relationships.

We hope to develop tools and methodology that will enable organisations to use simple, free, open source blogging software to manage a central archive of designated institutional blog outputs, even if they are spread over different blog hosts and platforms. The benefits of this approach will include:

* targeted gathering of selected weblogs
* improved reliability and authenticity of records
* citable blog content with persistent identifiers
* automated, ongoing harvesting, via newfeeds
* accessibility of content, using native blog interfaces
* use of native web and database file formats, compatible with registry-based preservation activities.

The Tectonics of Digital Curation Symposium, May 25–26, 02010, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

From an announcement posted to various mailing lists,



A Symposium on the Shifting Preservation and Access Landscape

MAY 25–26, 2010

The Ray and Maria Stata Center

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Cambridge, MA

PRESENTED BY the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)

HOSTED BY the MIT Libraries

THE TECTONICS OF DIGITAL CURATION explores the sustainability of cultural collections created for and maintained on the Web. At this two-day symposium, a diverse faculty of national experts will examine the forces at play in our increasingly networked society.

TOPICS WILL INCLUDE: divergence and complexity in information networking; digital preservation repositories; electronic copyright and intellectual property; collaborative and commercial preservation models; digital archiving strategies; open access to scholarly communication; the networked self; preservation of CAD models; and preservation of community-built digital creations (video games).


Librarians, archivists, museum professionals, IT professionals, CIOs, administrators, scientists, architects, and scholars – any decision-maker responsible for creating, managing, or preserving digital resources that are accessed via networked systems

COST: $325; students: $275




Google Chrome browser extensions for search marketers

The Distilled blog has a great piece dated March 8, 02010 by Frazer Lavender titled "7 Google Chrome Extensions To Make You A More Efficient SEO" (aka search marketer).

Oprah gets archives and goes genealogical

As noted by a BC archivist on the ARCAN-L mailing list (02010 03 09), today's Oprah Show looked at celebrities and their family histories. There are other links you can explore about some of these individuals, including former Friends star Lisa Kudrow who happens to be one of the executive producers of the American reality series Who Do You Think You Are?, which is based on a BBC TV program of the same name. With Oprah's interest in archives, can fame and fortune for archivists be far behind?


The Experts' Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media whitepaper from WordStream

Here's an interesting whitepaper from WordStream, a search marketing company, called The Experts' Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media.

Google Public Data Explorer available in Google Labs

The Google Public Data Explorer is now available in Google Labs. The data sources are mostly from the United States. Google is looking for feedback.

Source: "Google Adds Public Data Search Tool To Labs", Matt McGee, Search Engine Land, 02010 03 08

ArchivePress, a UK blog-archiving project

According to its front page, ArchivePress

is a blog-archiving project being undertaken by the University of London Computer Centre and the British Library Digital Preservation department, funded by the JISC Information Environment Programme under its Rapid Innovation Grants Call (03/09).

The project will explore practical issues around the archiving of weblog content, focusing on blogs as records of institutional activity and corporate memory. As an alternative to the web crawling/harvesting approach of the Internet Archive and the UK Web Archive, ArchivePress will test the viability of using RSS feeds and blog APIs to harvest blog content (including comments, embedded content and metadata). The archived content will be stored and managed using instances of Wordpress, thereby maintaining the blogs’ native data structures, formats and relationships.

We hope to develop tools and methodology that will enable organisations to use simple, free, open source blogging software to manage a central archive of designated institutional blog outputs, even if they are spread over different blog hosts and platforms. The benefits of this approach will include:

  • targeted gathering of selected weblogs

  • improved reliability and authenticity of records

  • citable blog content with persistent identifiers

  • automated, ongoing harvesting, via newfeeds

  • accessibility of content, using native blog interfaces

  • use of native web and database file formats, compatible with registry-based preservation activities.

Source: ARCHIVES mailing list, 02010 03 08


Museum Computer Network 2010 Conference call for proposals

The Museum Computer Network 2010 Conference Program Committee is delighted to announce the call for proposals for MCN's upcoming conference in Austin, Texas, Oct 27-30, 2010. We'll be accepting proposals from April 5 - May 3, so start sharpening up your ideas!

This year's innovative program will include not just a great line-up of papers and panels on the theme of I/O: The Museum Inside-Out/Outside-In [link to] but also a "slow un-conference" - Seizing the Tiger by the Longtail [link to:].

If the topic or problem you most urgently need to discuss with your peers and experts in the field is not covered by the scheduled papers and sessions, then propose an un-conference session and MCN will help bring together the conference's brightest and most experienced minds for your un-conference session.

Check out the conference planning wiki for more details:

Source: DIGLIB mailing list, 02010 03 05


Google giveth, Google taketh away SearchWiki

According to this Search Engine Land item, Google's killed its SearchWiki feature that allowed signed-in Google Account users to rank and comment on Web search results. SearchWiki has been replaced by Stars or Starred Results. More info at the Official Google Blog announcement.


Digital Antiquity: Transforming Archaeological Data into Knowledge

From the front page of an international initiative to create a digital archaeological record standard (tDAR) and digital repository:

Digital Antiquity is a collaborative organization devoted to enhancing preservation and access to digital records of archaeological investigations in order:

  • to permit scholars to more effectively create and communicate knowledge of the long-term human past;

  • to enhance the management of archaeological resources; and

  • to provide for the long-term preservation of irreplaceable records of archaeological investigations.

Digital Antiquity will establish a financially and socially sustainable, national/international, on-line digital repository that is able to provide preservation, discovery, and access for data and documents produced by archaeological projects. The repository, known as tDAR (for "the Digital Archaeological Record") is set up to encompass digital documents and data derived from ongoing research (more than 50,000 field projects are conducted in the US each year) as well as legacy data collected through more than a century of archaeological research in the Americas. With the active participation of the discipline, this initiative has the potential to transform the practice of archaeology and to revolutionize our knowledge of the past by enabling synthetic and comparative research on a scale that has heretofore been impossible.

With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funding, Digital Antiquity staffing will include a full-time Executive Director, two software engineers, a data curator, and clerical staff. In mid-November, Francis P. McManamon began working as the Executive Director. A search for the software lead engineer is underway. The remaining staff will be hired subsequently. Management of Digital Antiquity is overseen by a 12 member Board of Directors and informed by a distinguished external Science Board of professionals in archaeology and computer and information science. Digital Antiquity currently is housed at Arizona State University, as a collaborative effort with the University of Arkansas, the Pennsylvania State University, the SRI Foundation, Washington State University, and the University of York.


Wordnik Launches Smartwords Initiative as Open Standard

Wordnik Launches Smartwords Initiative as Open Standard according to this Information Today Newsbreaks from March 1, 02010. Version 1 of this standard, developed "with help from its first Smartwords partners, including The New York Times, Forbes, The Huffington Post, O'Reilly, Vook, Scribd, ibis reader, and the Internet Archive," is supposed to be released in the summer of 02010. More information is available on the Wordnik Blog about its Smartwords initiative under a post dated February 23, 02010.

Wordnik itself is I think the first online dictionary that fully engages the Web 2.0 environment. Tweets from Twitter that utilize a word you look up are displayed, along with all sorts of other contextual information, including individual comments and tags from registered users of Wordnik. Except for the fact that Wiktionary allows any registered user to directly add content about a word, I think Wordnik has one-upped Wiktionary. Wordnik claims in its FAQ that it will work with individuals to incorporate new words into its "giant databank of English!"

What's New, Issue 23 (March 02010)

DPC and DCC are delighted to announce the publication of "What's New 23"

This latest edition marks a new initiative between the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) which pools our efforts and produces a more frequent and more interactive news bulletin for those interested in all matters of digital curation and preservation. It is a successor of the DCC's monthly Curation News Round-up and the DPC's quarterly bulletin 'What's new in Digital Preservation?'

Each month, this publication will feature a snapshot of what's on and what's new, a topical discussion paper, a practitioner profile and an update from one of our partners overseas. In addition, readers are invited to share comments and debate current issues (simply add your comments at the bottom of the page on the DPC website).

The second issue of the joint publication includes an interview with Polly Parry from the Natural History Museum, an overview of recent developments from Sabine Schrimpf, NESTOR, Germany, a listing of forthcoming events and an editorial section from the DCC Director Chris Rusbridge.


Planets Testbed (public beta) released

As posted to DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK and elsewhere (02010 03 01),

The newly released Testbed (Public Beta) provides a scientifically sound environment for experiments on different methods in digital long-term preservation. Within Testbed v1.1 migration, emulation and other experiments may be executed in an intuitively comprehensible 6-step workflow on annotated data (Corpus) or own files.

We cordially invite you to join for usage!

For login information (or any question on the Testbed), please contact our Helpdesk:

To get more information on the Planets Testbed, have a look at

The Planets Testbed is a web application for experimenting on the performance and behaviour of tools and digital objects in digital preservation. It offers a controlled hardware & software environment and provides structured processes for the arrangement and evaluation of preservation experiments.

The Planets Project is funded under the IS&T FP6 Programme. To comment or ask a question about Planets, please e-mail us at: