National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


What Is the Big Idea? asks The Chronicle of Higher Education

For its 10th anniversary issue, The Chronicle of Higher Education solicited a series of short essays from scholars and illustrators, asking them to define a single "idea of the coming decade, and why?" You can read their provocative, compelling and exciting thoughts in "What's the Big Idea?".

Digital Preservation FAQ from the UK National Archives

The UK National Archives is launching a new Digital Preservation FAQ. The FAQs are targeted at smaller, public-sector archives.



Vancouver Opera world premiere of Lillian Alling opera

On October 16, 02010 the Vancouver Opera will be premiering a commissioned opera titled Lillian Alling by John Estacio (music) and John Murrell (libretto). The opera is based on the true story of the mysterious woman of that name who walked across North America in the 1920s and ended up in BC where she also spent time in Okalla Prison.

Former National Archivist of Canada Dr. Jean-Pierre Wallot passes away

Cancer claimed the live of former National Archivist of Canada Dr. Jean-Pierre Wallot. According to an announcement on the ARCAN-L mailing list, "During his tenure, a new National Archives Act came into existence; a new state-of-the-art facility was constructed in Gatineau, Quebec; the Canadian Council of Archives came into being; and the International Council of Archives met in Montreal."


Ten Thousand Year Blog now available through syndication at Newstex

My Ten Thousand Year Blog was approved for syndication through Newstex. The company has begun marketing it. Details on the blog are available at

edUi 2010 Conference, November 02010, Charlottesville, VA, USA

If you're part of the Web design world, chances are you'll be angling for a chance to travel to Charlottesville, VA, USA, where the edUi 2010 Conference is being held on November 8 and 9, 02010 in the Omni Hotel. According to its About page,

Focusing on the universal methods and tools of user interface and interaction design as well as the unique challenges of producing websites and applications for large institutions, edUi is a perfect opportunity for web professionals at institutions of learning including: higher education, K-12 schools, libraries, museums, government, and local and regional businesses to develop skills and share ideas.

Google Real Time Search launches, ho-hum, or, bah, humbug

After being caught out by Google on Google Wave, I can't say I'm all that excited by Google Real Time Search, a new Web site for those who want only "real time" results. According to the Learn more about Realtime Search link below the search field box, "Realtime Search lets you see up-to-the-second social updates, news articles and blog posts about hot topics around the world."

Basically, what this "new" search feature from Google provides is results from the Updates link first, in other words, you're taken straight to the Updates results page instead of the Everything results page. From what I can tell at first glance, this is exactly the same stuff you'd see on a normal Google search of Everything and then clicking the Updates link to see what's there.

Ho-hum, or is it, bah, humbug.


Archival Missives blog from the Ontario Jewish Archives

The Ontario Jewish Archives has launched its blog Archival Missives, also on the Blogspot platform.

NetarchiveSuite Web harvesting software from Denmark

According to the Web site for the NetarchiveSuite software, it was "developed by the two national deposit libraries in Denmark, The Royal Library and The State and University Library, and has been running in production, harvesting the Danish world wide web for three years. The Danish netarchive currently contains over 120 TB of data that are mirrored on two different geographical locations." It's open source software based on the Heritrix web crawler from the Internet Archive. You can read more information about it on the project site. I first took note of it on my Ten Thousand Year Blog on July 20, 02004.


New, collaborative Chinese Canadian digital historical collection and Web portal under development

According to its front page, Chinese Canadian Stories – Uncommon Histories from a Common Past is a new, collaborative Chinese Canadian digital collection under development by the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and community partners. While I applaud and welcome this new effort to uncover, preserve and disseminate the historical record of a significant component of Canada's population, I can't say I agree with the last part of this sentence: "This project will reshape the way all of us understand Canada, and reclaim the forgotten histories of peoples who have long been ignored in Canadian history."

Long been ignored? Scholars, local historians and literary authors, many of whom are of Chinese descent, have been researching and writing about Chinese Canadian contributions to our collective culture for well over two decades if not a generation (30 years), that is, about 1/5 the length of time Chinese Canadians have been part of the BC experience. I even made a minor contribution in 1985 when the Vancouver Art Gallery published its photographic exhibit catalog Gum San/Gold Mountain: Images of Gold Mountain, 1886-1947, which included my essay "The Mirror of Prejudice: Vancouver Chinese and Nineteenth Century Photographers." That kind of statement is also, to me, somewhat offensive to the legacy of British Columbia Lieutenant-Governor David Lam who was appointed 22 years ago.

It would have been nice if the designers of the initial point of entry for this new portal had made an attempt to link to existing digital collections and databases that already delve into Chinese Canadian history. Among these are the Vancouver Public Library's Chinese Canadian Genealogy and its Chinese-Canadians: Profiles from a Community wiki (launched May 28, 2008), UBC's Historical Chinese Language Materials in British Columbia: An Electronic Inventory (project began in 2000), SFU's Multicultural Canada: Our Diverse Heritage, which dates back to at least 2003, the Library and Archives Canada's 2009 virtual exhibit The Early Chinese Canadians, 1858-1947 and database Immigrants from China, which contains the head tax records for Chinese immigrants to Canada from 1885-1949, as well as earlier digital collections put together through Canada's Digital Collections government funding between 1996-2004 such as the Vancouver Museum's A Chinese Canadian Story: The Yip Sang Family (the link takes you to the archived version at the Library and Archives Canada).


Wellcome Library announces huge digitization project on history of medicine and bioscience

The Wellcome Library announced on August 23, 02010 "the launch of an ambitious digitisation project, to provide free, online access to its collections, including archives and papers from Nobel prize-winning scientists Francis Crick, Fred Sanger and Peter Medawar." According to the media release, the "content will include 1400 books on genetics and heredity published between 1850 and 1990, along with important archives including the papers of Francis Crick and his original drawings of the proposed structure of DNA." The theme of the two-year pilot project, budgeted at £3.9 million, is "Modern Genetics and its Foundations."

August 02010 issue of Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter

The August 02010 issue of the Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter is available. Included in this issue is news of the Library of Congress' launch of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, "a collaborative effort among government agencies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and businesses to preserve a distributed national digital collection for the benefit of citizens now and in the future."


The Boston Typewriter Orchestra and Dead Media Ensemble

I read about the Boston Typewriter Orchestra on a mailing list. Intriguing sounds. I wonder if we will also see a Dead Media Ensemble that works with the likes of wire recorders, lantern slide projectors, Betamax video players and maybe a 3.5 inch diskette or two to store their works.


Librarians. Sheesh

Here's a great guest blog post titled "Librarians. Sheesh" on the Center for the Future of Museums blog. The writer, Lauren Silberman, is comparing the advanced and off-the-wall use of social media by librarians to help the public engage with the library and its staff compared with museumarians. I think if comparisons are drawn then let's also start by creating a word that's an equal to librjavascript:void(0)arians. It doesn't quite roll off the tongue the same way, but it looks great in print.


Primal search or primal scream, you be the judge

I read about the Primal semantic search engine a while back. It's supposed to help you brainstorm and/or find content related to your search terms. When the site fails you may be tempted to let out a primal yell of frustration and when it works a primal shout of glee. You can create an account for free to keep track of your searches.


Added the new Tweet button from Twitter

I read about the new Tweet button from Twitter on TechCrunch that was launched on August 12, 02010 and decided to give it a go as a gadget to replace the TweetMeme button. Tweet away!


What Does an Electronic Records Archivist Do?

Find out in Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig's post, What Does an Electronic Records Archivist Do?, on The Bigger Picture blog at the Smithsonian Institution where she works as an electronic records archivist.


U.S. National Archives' treasure hunting team

National Archives' treasure hunting team keeps watch over the nation's attic - - This story is about how employees of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration monitor online auction services such as eBay and collector shows to look for records that have been stolen. Nicholas Cage's character from the National Treasure movie franchise would not have gotten far had he tried to sell the Declaration of Independence that he stole from the National Archives. They are watching You!

Twitter trending topics, is this a new kind of chain letter game?

A posting to the WEB4LIB mailing list reminded me of many a chain letter I've received. This one has a library twist. It's all for a good cause, raising the profile of libraries around the world by gaming Twitter's top 10 trending topics list. Here's how Jorge Serrano-Cobos of pitched it:

Let me invite you to participate in a librarian collaborative global e-marketing experiment: to make #biblioteca (means "library" in spanish) one of top 10 Twitter trending topics TOMORROW!

Yes, this initiative will happen tomorrow, Tuesday August 10, 2010 for one hour, from 10:00 a.m to 11:00 (New York), or 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. (in Spain).

The idea is to have thousands of people (librarians, patrons, readers,

everybody) around the world sharing many posts during that time, achieving (through the collective strength) that the hashtag #biblioteca to scale to the top 10 trending topics on Twitter at that time.

What to talk about? Share recommendations of books, interesting librarians sites or talk about activities occurring in libraries. In short, talk of libraries just using hashtag #biblioteca. Have fun and tell it to your friends throughout the world!

No matter if you use English in your comments, but simply use the library hashtag #biblioteca, not (or not only) #library

If you want, we can arrange the same initiative for #library another day.

Just tell us and many Hispanic librarian twitters will support it.

Thank you very much in advance, and regards from Spain ;-)

Search for twitter marketing such as Twitter Marketing For Dummies


Changes at announced some significant changes through Issue 2 (August 02010) of its newsletter e-mailed to various mailing lists. Among the changes are:

  1. A new version of the Canadiana Discovery Portal can be viewed at
  2. Canadiana is now ready to receive metadata from all sources into the Canadian Metadata Repository, but you have to e-mail to find out how to do this or to get more information.
Search Books for canadiana


    Anthologize that WordPress blog, just not your one

    Form follows feed promises Anthologize, a new open source blog publishing tool that according to its About page

    is a free, open-source, plugin that transforms WordPress 3.0 into a platform for publishing electronic texts. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI.

    Please note that Anthologize cannot be installed on blogs hosted at

    Anthologize is a project of One Week | One Tool a project of the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University. Funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Google Wave crashes on boulders of public apathy

    Google announced on August 4, 02010 that it will no longer be developing Google Wave as a standalone product. As I said on my personal, the Wave has crashed on the boulders of public apathy. This must be disturbing news to Novell whose Pulse product is to include Wave support and happy news to SAP whose StreamWork was seen as a competitor to Wave. For more breaking news about Google Wave check out these Google News search results.


    Nomenclature 3.0 Community available

    Nomenclature 3.0 Community – Now Available!, so proclaims the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) News. According to the August 2, 02010 story, "Nomenclature 3.0, a product of the American Association for State and Local History, is a classification system for cataloguing man-made objects that is heavily used by Canadian museums with humanities collections.  The Nomenclature 3.0 Community is moderated by the members of the Nomenclature Committee, including Heather Dunn from CHIN, who are available to answer questions and review term submissions."

    DCC / DPC What's New: Issue 28

    The Digital Curation Centre and the Digital Preservation Coalition released What's New, Issue 28 (August 02010), on August 3, 02010. According to the announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK, "As well as the regular round up of news and events this issue includes an interview with digital curator Sharon McMeekin of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and an overview of recent digital preservation activities in Ireland from Tim Keefe of Trinity College Library in Dublin. William Kilbride's editorial discusses the difficulty of knowing whether a preservation plan will work."