National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


I was just following orders: Canadian Department of National Defense computers used to edit Wikipedia

Here's a sad but true CBC News article about Department of National Defense computers being used to edit a Wikipedia entry about about "the [F-35] Joint Strike Fighter jet and the Conservative government's decision to spend as much as $18 billion on the aircraft. Those edits included the removal of information critical of the government's plan to buy the jets and the addition of insulting comments aimed at Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff." No doubt the culprit's defense will be, "I was just following orders."


Google Apps for Government

According to this ITI Newslink item (July 29, 02010), Google has announced its Google Apps for Government, "the first suite of cloud computing messaging and collaboration applications to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from the U.S. General Services Administration." I wonder if that includes digital archiving/preservation measures and how that functionality will be enabled through cloud computing? Digital archiving/preservation is not one of the features that Google is promoting for this service. At $50 per user per year, you get what you pay for.


Et tu Snarkus

I read about "the rise of the ridicule" or "online snark culture" in a newspaper article by Melissa Martin of the Winnipeg Free Press on July 25, 2010. What was it comedian Rodney Dangerfield said, "Can't get no respect." The article is essentially a paen of praise for April Winchell's She mocks "the most hiedeous or head-scratching items on the handmade online marketplace, Etsy." Get it? Etsy + Regrets = Regretsy. Winchell, the article recounts, "was something of a connoisseur of really crappy art." So now she's laughing all the way to the bank with no regretsies. Did I mention she's also published a book titled Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF.


14th European Conference on Digital Libraries, Glasgow, Scotland, September 02010

The 14th European Conference on Digital Libraries, also known as the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL), has issued its call for participation. ECDL 02010 is organized by the University of Glasgow and is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK from September 6 to 10, 02010. There's already a fascinating array of accepted research papers, poster sessions and demonstrations.


TinEye Reverse Image Search

I have not tried a search with TinEye, "a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version. TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. It is free to use for non-commercial searching. TinEye regularly crawls the web for new images, and we also accept contributions of complete online image collections. To date, TinEye has indexed 1,630,532,499 images from the web to help you find what you're looking for." (

New English language publication from the Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation

The Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation released an English language translation of A Future for Our Digital Memory (2): Strategic Agenda for Long-term Access to Digital Resources (2010-2013) (PDF) in June 02010.


Google purchases Metaweb

Google announced on its official blog the purchase of Metaweb, the company behind Freebase, about which I wrote an article for Searcher, "The Freebase Experience: Getting Addicted to the World’s Largest Open Database" Searcher, v. 16, no. 2 (February 2008): 26-29, 49-58. According to the Freebase Blog's announcement of the purchase,

"Whoah… what’s going to happen to Freebase?" you might ask. Well, we're also extremely pleased to be able to say "nothing"…. or rather, nothing other than getting better, and yes, even more open.

Get thee a Web 2.0 OPAC with VuFind release 1.0

From the announcement on the WEB4LIB mailing list (0210 07 16):

VuFind's long beta period is now over. Yesterday [02010 07 15], VuFind 1.0 was released. In addition to improved stability, the new release includes several features missing from the previous release candidate:

* Flexible support for non-MARC metadata formats
* A mobile interface
* Dewey Decimal support
* Integration with Serials Solutions' Summon
* Dynamic "recommendations modules" to complement search results with relevant tips

For all the details and to obtain the software, please visit

Pretty cool stuff, so congrats VuFind team!


ACRL/IRIG Visual Literacy Standards blog

Quoting from the announcement on IMAGELIB (02010 07 15):

The ACRL/IRIG Visual Literacy Standards Task Force is working on Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. We have started a blog as a forum for discussion about visual literacy, and as a communication tool to provide information about the standards development process and progress. Please visit the blog here:

We would like to encourage broad community engagement in the Visual Literacy Standards development process, and invite you to participate in the blog discussions. Please feel welcome to comment on the blog, and invite others to do so as well. We appreciate all input.

According to a post on the blog on 02010 07 15, "We are defining visual literacy in the context of an interdisciplinary, information-literacy-based, higher education environment."

July/August 02010 issue of D-Lib Magazine available

Quoting from the announcement on various mailing lists (02010 07 15):

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

This issue contains four articles, an opinion piece, and a conference report. Also in this issue you can find 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 The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery of Scripps College collection of Japanese woodblock prints.

The articles include: OpenSearch: A Case Study in OpenSearch and SRU Integration by Tony Hammond, Nature Publishing Group

Document Management in the Open University of Catalunya (UOC) Classrooms by Albert Cervera, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

The Benefits of Integrating an Information Literacy Skills Game into Academic Coursework: A Preliminary Evaluation by Karen Markey, Fritz Swanson, Chris Leeder, Brian J. Jennings, Beth St. Jean, Victor Rosenberg, Soo Young Rieh, Robert L. Frost, Loyd Mbabu, and Andrew Calvetti, University of Michigan; Gregory R. Peters, Jr., Cyber Data Solutions LLC, and Geoffrey V. Carter and Averill Packard, Saginaw Valley State University

Semantically Enhancing Collections of Library and Non-Library Content by James E. Powell, Linn Marks Collins and Mark L. B. Martinez, Los Alamos National Laboratory


PARSE.Insight, final symposium and digital preservation of scientific data tools and reports

Update for 02010 07 13:

Quoting from the announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02010 07 13):

After two years of research, the European project PARSE.Insight held its final symposium on 25 June 2010. ... Ten major insights in research were presented, amongst these major gaps between European countries in how to deal with research data and researchers' reluctance to share their data while they certainly want others' data. These findings were enforced by the outcomes of three case studies in High-Energy Physics, Earth Observation and Social Sciences and Humanities.

In conjunction with these insights the final roadmap for a science data infrastructure in Europe has been published. Aside from technical aspects this also addresses organisational as well as social aspects such as incentives for researchers to increase their willingness to share their data. Furthermore, the gap analysis tool was presented which helps analysts to find weak spots and contradictions in stakeholder communities.

Please visit our website for downloading the PARSE.Insight reports:

Apart from these documents, PARSE.Insight created an online visualisation of actors putting effort in digital preservation. This Interactive Map is a first attempt to give an overview of who is playing an important role in research to digital preservation. Via this map researchers, data managers, publishers, funders and other stakeholders that would like to learn more about best practices in preservation can look for an organisation in their country or discipline.

Update for 02008 11 13:

Quoting from a request on the DIGLIB mailing list (02008 11 13):

The PARSE.Insight project and the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) seek your input towards a major international survey on digital preservation.

Preservation of digital information is a major challenge for many organizations. The long-term management, access and preservation of this information presents a number of serious risks and unresolved problems. The international scientific research community must rise to this challenge if it is to take full advantage of the data and information resources available for research today and in the future.

There is a growing realisation that the answer to these challenges calls for coordinated approaches on both national and international level.
The PARSE.Insight project, partly funded by the European Commission, aims to produce a roadmap for development of an infrastructure for digital preservation. The first step is to conduct a wide-ranging survey of many stakeholders, which we are carrying out in conjunction with the DCC.

Your particular views and experiences are of great value in helping to shape the roadmap, and we would be very grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete the survey, which may be accessed at

All responses to this survey will be aggregated for analysis and made anonymous. The findings will be used to help inform and shape the funding landscape for digital preservation activity throughout Europe. We encourage you to make your views known and would be grateful if you would forward details about this survey on to any colleagues who may be interested in contributing.

Quoting from the front page of PARSE.Insight (Permanent Access to the Records of Science in Europe),

PARSE.Insight is a two-year project co-funded by the European Union under the Sixth Framework Programme. It is concerned with the preservation of digital information in science, from primary data through analysis to the final publications resulting from the research. The problem is how to safeguard this valuable digital material over time, to ensure that it is accessible, usable and understandable in future. The rapid pace of change in information technology threatens media, file formats and software with obsolescence, and changing concepts and terminology also mean that, even if data can be read, it might not be correctly interpreted by future generations.

Many initiatives are already under way in this area, and the aim of the PARSE.Insight project is to develop a roadmap and recommendations for developing the e-infrastructure in order to maintain the long-term accessibility and usability of scientific digital information in Europe. The project will conduct surveys and in-depth case studies of different scientific disciplines and stakeholders and will base its results on these findings, as well as knowledge of ongoing developments.

PARSE.Insight is closely linked to the Alliance for Permanent Access to the Records of Science. The output from the project is intended to guide the European Commission's strategy about research infrastructure.

Digitized fire insurance plans of Canadian cities at Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada has digitized much of its Canadian fire insurance plans originating with the Charles E. Goad Company fonds. The short form of the URL that will take you to the series-level description of the plans through which you can view lower-level descriptions and the item-level description with the digitized representations of the plans is The JPG images are of sufficient resolution that when downloaded can be used for research purposes. Higher resolution TIFF images can also be ordered.

Fire insurance plans are an extremely valuable archival research tool for environmental and urban studies. Congratulations to LAC on this accomplishment.


Takeaways and Q&A from “Social is the Next Search” Gigya Webinar, 02010 03 04

Takeaways and Q&A from “Social is the Next Search” Webinar, March 4, 02010

Looks like some useful tips here for anyone interested in how to apply social search concepts to their online business.

United States National Archives launches OurArchives, follows revolutionary trend set by mother country England

In a bold move that follows the revolutionary trend of old mother country England, the United States National Archives officially launched on July 8, 02010, 234 years and four days after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, a public wiki for researchers called Our Archives. According to the About Our Archives page,

Users can contribute to the Our Archives wiki in numerous ways. You can:

* Create new pages and edit pre-existing pages about historical subjects and records held by the National Archives
* Expand upon a description in our online catalog
* Publish your transcription of a document
* Add information to build upon other resources
* Use it as a workbook to store useful information discovered during your archival research
* Collaborate with other users working on similar subjects or to work together on research projects

The wiki is hosted by Wikispaces (the paid, private label version).

The United Kingdom's YourArchives wiki, launched in April 2007, is at and is powered by MediaWiki, the software made famous by Wikipedia.


If you get it, share it, but why are there no sharing tools on the Social Media Club site?

The Social Media Club was founded in 2006 in San Francisco, California, USA, and there are now chapters around the world. The Social Media Club's tag line is "If you get it, share it." Well, I get it, but I'll be darned if I can figure out why the Social Media Club Web site has not a one social media sharing tool in sight.


Historypin to see the past through Google Maps

In partnership with Google, We Are What We Do, a social action movement based in London, England, created Historypin:

a digital time machine that provides a new way for the world to see and share history.

The site allows users to share images from their personal photo albums, as well as the stories behind them. To date, pictures have been provided from various national archives, as well as diverse contributors including Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, the Royal Albert Hall and Arsenal FC.

Developed in partnership with Google, the site finds a unique use for Google Maps and Street View, meaning pictures can be dated as well as geo-tagged and then 'pinned' into place on top of modern Street View photography.

The result is a fascinating snapshot of the changing face of local streets and well known landmarks and provides a new perspective on historic moments.

The site has ambitions to become the World's largest user-generated archive of historic images and stories, providing easy access to digitised history stretching from the invention of the camera to yesterday.

Source: An historic launch for We Are What We Do and Google, June 7, 02010 and thanks to Peter Kurilecz for his notice on a photohistory mailing list, June 5, 02010