National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

2010-09-23

Bing Rewards, if you can't lick them, buy them

Microsoft has launched a search loyalty program for Bing called Bing Rewards. If you already have a Windows Live ID, you can use that to register for this program.

2010-09-22

The Way We Were: Nova Scotia in Film, 1917-1957

The Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management has released a new digital collection called The Way We Were: Nova Scotia in Film, 1917-1957. An alternate URL is via its YouTube channel http://youtube.com/user/nsarchives/http://youtube.com/user/nsarchives/ According to an announcement on the ARCAN-L mailing list (02010 09 21), the collection consists of "96 'movies' that showcase the early years of amateur and professional filmmaking in Nova Scotia."

2010-09-17

Yahoo! Search previews new features

The Yahoo! Search Blog offered a preview of some new features coming in the fall 02010. According to the blog,

With more searches than ever for information-rich topics like music, movies, and news, we’ll be launching new, more visually compelling search results that let you discover information and be entertained all on one search result page.

2010-09-15

Tweet to the beat from Aviary online music creation software

In late June 02010 Aviary, a company that offers a free suite on online creation and editing tools, introduced an unusual one called Music Creator. They provide you with the virtual instruments and sound to create your beats and you take it from there. Pretty cool! But the app is still in Alpha mode.

2010-09-14

Call For Papers: "Electronic Records to Born-Digital Archives: Evolution in Theory and Practice", Archivaria #72, Fall 02011

As announced on the ARCAN-L mailing list (02010 09 13):

Call For Papers: "Electronic Records to Born-Digital Archives: Evolution in Theory and Practice"

Archivaria #72, Fall 02011

Archivists have dealt with digitally-created records for over 35 years. During this time, the archival profession has made significant progress towards establishing bodies of knowledge and expertise in their management. This sector of the profession has evolved continually in response to changes in technology, society, mandates, and expectations. The time is right to reflect on and critically examine this evolution in theory and practice with an eye towards future professional obligations and possibilities.

Accordingly, Archivaria #72 (Fall 2011) will be devoted to exploring the theme of  "Electronic Records to Born-Digital Archives: Evolution in Theory and Practice". Mark A. Matienzo, Digital Archivist at Manuscripts and Archives in the Yale University Library, will serve as Guest Editor of this special issue.

Contributions to this special issue should address changes in theory and practice related to electronic records and born-digital archives. ...

Deadline for expressions of interest:

Expressions of interest consisting of an abstract of the proposed article (300-500 words) must be received by the Guest Editor by 1 November 2010.

Please feel free to direct questions related to this special issue to
the Guest Editor:

Mark A. Matienzo at mark@matienzo.org or +1 734-834-4334

Submission guidelines:

Final submissions should follow the "Advice to Authors of Submissions
to Archivaria" at:

http://www.archivists.ca/content/advice-authors-submissions-archivaria

Deadline for complete manuscripts:

Complete manuscripts are due 1 March 2011.

2010-09-12

Fending off the digital dark ages: The archival storage issue

ComputerWorld published an article by Lamont Wood titled "Fending off the digital dark ages: The archival storage issue". Wood discussed the many complex issues involved with both vendor representatives and practitioners in the archives and library worlds. Overall, I got the impression that the situation is no better, at least in North America, than it was a decade or even two decades ago. In Europe, however, there seems to be a stronger desire and, more importantly, the will to get something done. Some national jurisdictions already have many of the necessary infrastructure and processes in place, and European digital preservation researchers work with national, pan-European and international partners. For example, while the digital preservation aspect is still a work in progress, the National Library of the Netherlands, according to an article on the Library of Congress' Digital Preservation site, has been receiving electronic publications under its legal deposit system since 2003. Are there any cultural institutions in North America that have as lengthy a track record?

2010-09-11

Real Live Search with the Bing API was there first

Over at Search Engine Journal, Yvonne Bell reports that an Australian developer Long Zheng created an app in 02009 called Real Live Search that uses the Microsoft Bing search engine API to produce the kind of "instant search" results Google was touting in its announced improvement on September 9, 02010. But while USA Today's Technology Live interview with Bing director Stefan Weitz referenced Zheng's app, it is not an official Microsoft offering. Here's what Weitz said:

Weitz: The [Google Instant Search] interface itself isn't anything new. There was a site put up last year that does the same thing with Bing APIs. The magic was they (Google) were able to do it at scale, for all of their searchers. It's an impressive technical accomplishment for sure.
In response to the question of whether Bing will counter Google Instant Search with something like Zheng's app, Weitz stated that "We have a fundamentally different philosophy about how search is evolving. It's not about giving you much more links faster, it really is about getting you the information you need to make a decision faster in the format that makes the most sense."

2010-09-09

Site your Points of Interest at Sextant.org

A new wiki called Sextant.org devoted to telling stories about historical points of interest has emerged. Here's what its About page says:
Sextant.org is a website dedicated to allowing anyone to learn about the history of any place on earth. The site's content is written by its users and can also be edited by its users. Anyone is encouraged to add to any of the existing pages or create a new page about a location not yet covered by Sextant.org. Sextant.org's goal is to eventually be able to offer users information about almost every historically significant place one earth, explaining what happened there, when, why, who was involved, and what were the consequences. Access to such information about millions of locations all over the world will allow one to appreciate how, not only does the past surround him/her, but that it is intimately connected to the present.

Help solve some national problems in the USA at Challenge.gov

According to an ITI Weekly News Digest story, Challenge.gov is "a new online site and digital platform to help mobilize American ingenuity to solve some of our nation’s most pressing challenges. Challenge.gov is an online site where entrepreneurs, innovators, and citizen solvers can compete for prestige and prizes by providing novel solutions to tough national problems, large and small."

Source: "Challenge.gov Prize Platform Invites Citizens to Solve Nation’s Challenges", Weekly News Digest, September 9, 02010 via White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Google Instant saving you time

Google announced on September 9, 02010 it was rolling out a new service called Google Instant. The catch is, you have to have a Google Account and be logged in in order to benefit from the two to five seconds of time savings per search. Google Instant attempts to predict your search and starts showing you results as you type.

2010-09-08

New issue of open access journal LIBER Quarterly (Vol. 20, No. 1, 02010)

A new issue of the open access journal LIBER Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1 (02010) is available. LIBER is the acronym for the Ligue des Bibliothèques EuropĂ©ennes de Recherche or Association of European Research Libraries. This issue includes an article titled "User Collaboration for Improving Access to Historical Texts" by Clemens Neudecker and Asaf Tzadok in which they discuss the work of the 02008-02012 IMPACT (Improving Access to Text) project, one of whose goals is "to develop tools that help improve OCR results for historical printed texts, specifically those works published before the industrial production of books from the middle of the 19th century. ... The IMPACT project will specifically develop a tool that supports collaborative correction and validation of OCR results and a tool to allow user involvement in building historical dictionaries which can be used to validate word recognition." 

2010-09-07

Call for Papers, Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference, February 02011


Quoting from the announcement on various mailing lists (02010 09 07):
The Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference has begun to accept program proposals for the 2011 conference in Austin, Texas.Pre-Conferences are scheduled to be held on 27 February 2011 and the regular conference begins the morning of 28 February and runs through mid-day on 2 March.

We are encouraging proposals for the following program tracks:

Managing E-Resources in Libraries
Collection Development and Assessment
Workflow and Organizations
External and User Relationships
Emerging and Future Technologies
Scholarly Communication and Licensing
Library as Publisher

Please see the call for proposals on the Electronic Resources and Libraries website for more details:

Proposals will be accepted through 15 November 2010 and early submissions will be given priority.

Lastly, registration has also opened for the conference so if you are interested in attending, please take advantage of early registration by clicking on the bright red registration button on the web site:

2010-09-03

Six Apart's Vox blog publishing service closing September 30, 02010

While the comment spammers who invaded the Vox blog publishing system will be disappointed and possibly helped initiate the process, Six Apart has notified its Vox blog users that the service is shutting down effective September 30, 02010. You can either migrate to Six Apart's subscription-based TypePad service or use an import tool at WordPress.com or Posterous to move your blog. I was able to migrate my one Vox blog, The Fictional World of Archives, Art Galleries and Museums, so that it too is now part of Google's Blogspot service.

DCC / DPC What's New, Issue 29, September 02010

As announced on the DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK mailing list (02010 09 03), the Digital Preservation Coalition and Digital Curation Centre have published Issue 29 of What's New for September 02010. This issue "includes an interview with Catharine Ward of Cambridge University Library and an overview of recent digital preservation activities in Canada from Pam Bjornson of the Canadian Institute for Science and Technical Information."

United States NARA tells agencies to delete Web 2.0 / social media content

According to this report from Federal Computer Week, "Dump That Data", the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is advising its clients that they need not necessarily preserve their own Web 2.0 / social media content. You can obtain the full NARA report (PDF file) through this link.

2010-09-02

Singapore Memory Project inaugural conference, When Nations Remember, October 02010, Singapore

As announced on the DIGLIB mailing list (02010 09 02), the Singapore Memory Project is holding its inaugural conference on October 11 and 12, 02010 at the Carlton Hotel. The title of the conference is When Nations Remember: An International Conference on Memory.

National Digital Forum 02010 Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, October 02010

The National Digital Forum is holding its 9th annual conference on the theme of "Linking data, linking people" The NDF 02010 Conference is being held in Wellington, New Zealand, at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on October 18 and 19, 02010. According to an announcement on the DIGLIB mailing list (02010 09 02), the early registration deadline has been extended to September 17, 02010.

The NDF "is a coalition of museums, archives, art galleries, libraries and government departments working together to enhance electronic access to New Zealand’s culture and heritage."

Digital Content Quarterly Issue 3 (Summer 02010) from the UK JISC Strategic Content Alliance

The UK's JISC Strategic Content Alliance published its Summer 02010 Issue 3 of the Digital Content Quarterly in both interactive and non-interactive PDF versions. This is a superb publication which I highly recommend. Details and download links are found on the Strategic Content Alliance Blog.

Lost civilizations, fact vs fiction, in Cosmos Online magazine

The online version of Cosmos, a science magazine from Australia, features an article from its June 02010 Issue 33 titled "Lost" by Emma Young, a review of various lost civilizations and the myths that have evolved around them versus the ongoing scientific knowledge through reputable archaeological and other kinds of analysis.

National Library of Australia closes the digital door on PADI

The National Library of Australia announced through various mailing lists on September 1, 02010 that it is closing the digital door on its PADI subject gateway and associated mailing list padiforum-l. The library inaugurated PADI (Preserving Access to Digital Information) in 1997. The reasons for the change appear to be budgetary and technological pressures, as well as loss of outside interest in the utility of PADI.

According to the announcement,
A copy of the website has been archived in PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive. The existing live website will remain available until the end of 2010; however no new resources have been added since the start of July 2010 and the existing links will not be actively managed. The archives of the padiforum-l list will continue to be available , however no new postings will be accepted from 30 September 2010.

2010-09-01

Early Ping reflections on the new Apple social network

On September 1, 02010 Apple launched a new social network called Ping that centers on the world of music. Since Apple's iTunes is a familiar voice to many consumers, I think Apple is banking on a loyal base of Pingers.

The Twittering of the Search World by David Mattison is online

My latest article for Searcher magazine, "The Twittering of the Search World" is available for free online.

Searcher magazine cover, September 02010