National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


Buy American? President Obama bought French game Just Dance 3 for Christmas

According to a tweet from French multinational computer gaming company Ubisoft, United States President Obama obtained their game Just Dance 3 as a family Christmas present. So much for Buy American! What's that about Do what I say, but not what I do....

The Ubisoft tweet also caught the attention of the venerable Forbes with this headline
"President Barack Obama Endorses Ubisoft's Just Dance 3 Videogame For Christmas". Forbes missed the obvious Buy American contradiction.


KEEP project releases new version of Emulation Framework (EF)

The European project KEEP released a new version of the Emulation Framework (version 1.1.0). The software is open source (Apache v2 license) and free to use for any organisation or individual. The software allows you to access old computer files and programs using emulation without the need to go through difficult installations and configurations.



The Burgess Shale, a new Web site from the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum developed a Virtual Museum of Canada Web site around The Burgess Shale, a UNESCO World Hertiage Site, which is located entirely in BC in Yoho National Park. The ROM has done fieldwork at the Burgess Shale. None of the Burgess Shale fossils appear to be on display anywhere in BC, so it's great to have this opportunity for a virtual visit. The guy with the sledgehammer kind of worries me though.

NMC (New Media Consortium) Horizon Report 2011 Museum Edition released

The NMC (New Media Consortium) Horizon Report 2011 Museum Edition was released at the Museum Computer Network Conference in November 02011 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. In order to download the report as a PDF file you'll need to create a free account.


Library and Archives Canada launches blog as pilot project

Not only has the Library and Archives Canada launched a "corporate" Web site (en francais, which seems to be an unnecessary expense and annoying instance of redundancy, they've also set up a blog as a pilot project with the prosaic name of the Library and Archives Canada Blog: A Pilot Project (the URL is actually a better title, The Discover Blog). The first post is dated November 24, 02011.

The RSS feed for the blog is


UNESCO adopts the Universal Declaration on Archives

On November 7, 02011, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Archives proposed by the International Council on Archives.
The first version of the Declaration was written by archivists in Québec in 2007.  It was then adopted by the Section of Professional Associations (SPA) in ICA, who developed the text and made sure that its key messages were understood across languages and cultures.  It generated many stimulating debates in ICA, before it obtained unanimous approval at the AGM in Oslo in September 2010.

Since then the international archival community has worked tirelessly to have the Declaration adopted by UNESCO.  Today's decision is the culmination of intense efforts led by Papa Momar Diop, the Ambassador of Senegal at UNESCO and the former National Archivist of Senegal.  He has been ably supported by Jens Boel, Head Archivist at UNESCO, and activists in the ICA network throughout the world.


Google eBookstore launches in Canada

Google has launched its competitive Google eBooks in Canada. They're going head to head against the likes of and (Chapters). Barnes & Noble does not have a Canadian presence. Google's offerings can be read on any current technology platform: Android operating system devices, smartphones, Apple products, Web browsers and "any dedicated ebook reader that supports the Adobe eBook platform, including the Reader™ from Sony".

While there are supposed to be around two million public domain books you can download for free, there is no one-click way to find them. You have to search for and then click the "Free Only" button on the search results page. There are, however, two "Best of the Free" lists, one for "classics" and one for Canadiana. The Canadiana one is rather short and I suspect is based on the number of times users have downloaded the titles.

The search results sorting options are also rather primitive: Any price or Free, and Relevance or Date published. The Date published is in descending order (most recent to oldest).

For this to be a useful tool, there need to be many more filtering options such as by author (A-Z and Z-A for starters), by title (A-Z and Z-A for starters), by date range (by decades and specific years for starters) and by publishers. How hard is it to figure this stuff out ahead of time Google?


Census of Canada, 1871 available at Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada launched in late August 02011 a full, online version of the Census of Canada, 1871. Previously, the census for that year was only available for the province of Ontario. The full census is searchable by name and several other key access points and provides access to a PDF or JPG digitized image of the microfilmed census schedule for each individual in the database.


The Keepers Registry for e-journals in beta release

From the announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02011 10 04):

EDINA and the ISSN International Centre are pleased to announce the Beta release of the Keepers Registry, the e-journals preservation registry service. The Keepers Registry is available online at
 The Keepers Registry renames and replaces the PEPRS Beta service which was launched in April 2011.  The Keepers Registry is the product of JISC-funded project activity and provides freely available means to discover which e-journals are being preserved by the leading archival organisations.  The metadata from an additional agency, HathiTrust, has been included in this release of the Keepers Registry, as well as new functionality to support browsing by journal title and publisher.
 The PEPRS project was initially funded as a two-year project to scope, design and build a prototype, during which user requirements were gathered from librarians and preservation agencies. The present funding, until July 2012, is geared towards implementation of a service-quality system. Suitable developments from the PEPRS project activity will be implemented into the Keepers Registry.
 The work of the PEPRS project and the launch of the Beta release of the Keepers Registry will be discussed at the annual meeting of the Directors of the ISSN National Centres to be held in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, from 5th - 7th October 2011.
 The idea for the registry was mooted in various reports since 2003 and the findings of a JISC-commissioned report carried out by the University of Loughborough and Rightscom and published in 2008. Further background information on the project and details of relevant reports are available on the PEPRS project website at The six archiving agencies which have been participating in the project and have made metadata available to the PEPRS Beta service include:
 - British Library
- CLOCKSS Archive
- e-Depot at the Konjinklijke Bibliotheek
- Global LOCKSS Network
- HathiTrust
- Portico
 It is planned to extend the scope of the service by including metadata from other archiving agencies. Additional functionality will also be added to the service throughout 2011 and 2012 and details of this are set out in the FAQ section on the service.
 A programme to test new functionality is being developed and the project team would welcome offers from users to assist in the testing process.
 If you would like to get involved please contact us at


African Nova Scotian Diaspora: Selected Government Records of Black Settlement, 1791-1839

The Nova Scotia Archives is pleased to present a significant new online resource features unique documents reflecting the struggles and survival of African Nova Scotians, as the world marks the United Nations' International Year for People of African Descent. It contains over 500 digitized and fully searchable government documents relating to early African Nova Scotian immigration and emigration. Many of the documents are rich in the names and reflect the experiences of Black Refugees who came here at the close of the War of 1812.

You can visit the exhibit at:

Source: ARCAN-L mailing list, 02011 09 23


Canadian Feature Film Database at Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada has a Canadian Feature Film Database. It appears to have been online since at least May 02010. Here is the blurb from the start page for the database:
The Canadian Feature Film Database is based on the printed Index (Canadian Feature Film Index) begun in 1972.

The Database based on the Index:
  • compiles the principal credits of every Canadian feature film from 1913 to 2009
  • establishes a list of Canadian feature films from published information up to 2009
  • features currently over 4,300 films
Future updates:
addition of post-2009 films is planned for a future iteration of the database


Day of Digital Archives, October 6, 02011

From the announcement on various mailing lists (2011 09 06) posted by Gretchen Gueguen, Digital Archivist, Digital Curation Services, University of Virginia Library:

The Day of Digital Archives is an initiative to raise awareness of digital archives among both users and managers. On this day, archivists, digital humanists, programmers, or anyone else creating, using, or managing digital archives are asked to devote some of their social media output (i.e. tweets, blog posts, youtube videos, etc.) to describing their work with digital archives. By collectively documenting what we do, we will be answering questions like: What are digital archives? Who uses them? How are they created and managed? Why are they important? This year’s Day of Digital Archives will be held on October 6 and entries will be gathered at the Day of Digital Archives blog.

What is meant by “digital archives” well, primarily archives, repositories, content management systems and other initiatives that collect or manage born-digital material. These initiatives don’t have to primarily collect born-digital materials…in fact they are more likely to only have some born-digital content as part of their mandate. Or, maybe they don’t really have a “mandate” at all…maybe someone will contribute their thoughts about managing their own personal digital content or social media presence. The thread ties the participants together is that they collect, manage, preserve, develop, use, think about or otherwise love born-digital content.

Do you create, manage, or use digital archives? Would you like to participate? Well then, drop me a line at gretchen[.]gueguen[@]gmail[.]com with your contact info and I’ll keep you up to date!


"Memory failure detected" article, Times Higher Education

The Times Higher Education (THE) published an article online on September 1, 02011 about archiving the Web it called "Memory failure detected". The article is by Zoë Corbyn. The article looks at the various Web archiving research projects and current Web archive systems and facilities.

"Searching for the Stars" (the real ones in the heavens) through Searcher magazine

My most recent article for Searcher magazine, "Searching for the Stars: Cosmic Views and Databases", made the cover of the September 2011 issue as you can see below and is available online (just select the hyperlinked article title in this sentence).
Searcher magazine cover, September 2011


Call for papers for Social Media Conference on December 2, 02011

From the announcement posted to the WEB4LIB mailing list:

The new Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI), located at Tarleton State University, will hold their first annual Social Media Conference at Tarleton State University on Friday, December 2, 2011.

This conference would consist of two tracks: a research presentation track as well as a training and development track. The conference planning committee is actively seeking papers, panels, and training workshops focused on, but not limited to the following topics:

* Facebook, Twitter, Linked In (How to Use the Technologies)
* Social Media in Business (Ideas for Entrepreneurs and Large Organizations)
* Social Media in Education
* Social Media in the Non-Profit Sector
* Social Media in Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
* Practical Solutions for Social Media Problems
* Benefits and Disadvantages of Social Media in K-12 and Higher Education
* Social Media and Generational Communication
* Social Media and Information Sciences/Library Sciences
* Social Media and Mobile Applications and Devices

Additional Information:

Possible forms of submission include: panels (including roundtables and discussions), papers/abstracts, and training workshops.

Complete the conference submission form ( and e-mail papers/panels to Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards ( no later than Friday, October 14, 2011.

If you have any questions, please contact the Texas Social Media Research Institute via e-mail ( via e-mail or telephone (254-307-8211).


DataBC, BC Government Open Data site opens

On July 19, 02011, the British Columbia Government launched its Open Data initiative through its DataBC Web site. The data that's currently available appears to be heavily weighted towards geomatic applications. The government is encouraging the creation of Apps and provides links to various Tools "to mashup BC data."


The Signal: Digital Preservation Blog from Library of Congress

The United States Library of Congress' National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) launched a blog dedicated to digital Preservation called The Signal: Digital Preservation on May 31, 02011.

The RSS feed URL for the blog is


International Archives Day 02011

June 9, 02011 is International Archives Day around the world. This global event was created by the International Council on Archives in 2007 and the date marks the day in 1948 that the ICA was established under UNESCO.

Today archivists are using Twitter to engage their clients through #AskArchivists where you can ask them a question and hopefully get tweeted back with an answer. In the good old days we used a telephone.


European Union's SCAlable Preservation Environments, the SCAPE project

The European Union is funding a project known as SCAPE, for SCAlable Preservation Environments. Here's the blurb from the SCAPE site:

The SCAPE project will develop scalable services for planning and execution of institutional preservation strategies on an open source platform that orchestrates semi-automated workflows for large-scale, heterogeneous collections of complex digital objects. SCAPE will enhance the state of the art of digital preservation in three ways: by developing infrastructure and tools for scalable preservation actions; by providing a framework for automated, quality-assured preservation workflows and by integrating these components with a policy-based preservation planning and watch system. These concrete project results will be validated within three large-scale Testbeds from diverse application areas.


Yale University offers open access to digital images of objects from its collections

Yale University announced on May 10, 02011 that it is offering open access to "digital images of objects in its many collections freely available online. 'In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images, and no limitations will be imposed on their use,' the university said in its statement. 'The result is that scholars, artists, students, and citizens the world over will be able to use these collections for study, publication, teaching, and inspiration.' More than 250,000 images have already been made available in a new online catalog, the university said."

You can access these materials through the university's new search engine with the prosaic name of Cross Collection Discovery, part of its Yale Digital Commons network infrastructure.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, QuickWire,


iPRES 2011, November 1-4, 02011, Singapore

iPRES 2011 - 8th International Conference on Digital Preservation of Digital Objects

November 1-4, 02011, Singapore

iPRES, the main international conference on digital preservation, is calling for proposals for original full and short papers, panels, workshops, posters and demonstrations.

See the Web site for relevant submission dates for your proposals.



"Archiving the Web for Scholars" article, Inside Higher Ed

"Archiving the Web for Scholars" by Steve Kolowich at Inside Higher Ed (May 6, 02011) is a look mainly at Columbia University Library's efforts to help other organizations preserve their Web presence by utilizing the Internet Archives. The article concludes with a frank and "ironic" admission from Stephen Davis, director of the Libraries Digital Program at Columbia, "We’re trusting the Internet Archive to do this for us,” he says, “and that’s a big limb that we’re out on."


Launch of PEPRS e-journals preservation registry service

From the announcement to DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK on April 28, 02011:

EDINA and the ISSN International Centre are pleased to announce the Beta release of PEPRS, the e-journals preservation registry service. This is the product of JISC-funded project activity, and provides freely available means to discover which e-journals are being preserved by the leading archival organisations - highlighting those e-journals for which no arrangement is on record.

The PEPRS Beta service is available at

PEPRS is officially recognized by the ISSN Governing Board and officially launched it in Paris, France, on April 28, 02011.

The five archiving agencies that have been participating in the project and have made metadata available to the PEPRS Beta service include:

- British Library
- CLOCKSS Archive
- e-Depot at the Konjinklijke Bibliotheek
- Global LOCKSS Network
- Portico


Free poster to promote Preservation Week 02011 among libraries & archives

From the announcement on various mailing lists on April 25, 02011:

The National Archives and SAA’s Preservation Section and are pleased to present an e-poster in recognition of Preservation Week 2011. We encourage you to share this poster with staff and the general public. It is sized to 8 1/2" x 11" so that it can be printed on any color printer.
You can download the free poster on the SAA Preservation Section website: and NARA’s Preservation and Archives Professionals page:
SAA has partnered with ALA in Preservation Week 2011. It is an opportunity for libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions to connect to our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.
This is a great tool for outreach.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) freely available

From the April 25, 02011 announcement on various mailing lists comes this exciting news from the digital humanities:

The University of Michigan Library announced the opening to the public of 2,231 searchable keyed-text editions of books from Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). ECCO is an important research database that includes every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom during the 18th century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas. ECCO contains more than 32 million pages of text and over 205,000 individual volumes, all fully searchable. ECCO is published by Gale, part of Cengage Learning.

The Text Creation Partnership (TCP) produced the 2,231 keyed texts in collaboration with Gale, which provided page images for keying and is permitting the release of the keyed texts in support of the Library’s commitment to the creation of open access cultural heritage archives. Gale has been a generous partner, according to Maria Bonn, Associate University Librarian for Publishing. “Gale’s support for the TCP’s ECCO project will enhance the research experience for 18th century scholars and students around the world.”
Note that the plain-text version can only be obtained through 18thConnect while the SGML/XML version has to be requested via the ECCO-TCP office. As of April 25, 02011 there is no link to the ECCO-TCP content on the 18thConnect site.


Archiving 02011 Conference

From the announcement for the Archiving 02011 Conference:

FamilySearch and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology invite you to Archiving 2011, the international digital archiving conference covering the most pressing issues in imaging technology, digital access and preservation.

Archiving 2011 offers a unique opportunity for imaging scientists and those working in the cultural heritage community (curators, archivists, librarians, etc.), as well as in government, industry, and academia, to learn from peers and experts about:

• Developing a digital archive with appropriate processes and flows
• Preserving and providing access to digital artifacts
• Latest trends in imaging science technology

The conference will be held May 16-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown.

The Archiving 2011 Conference Committee has put together a technically rich meeting that balances an exciting papers program with fun and interesting networking events.

The stimulating program includes more than 30 oral presentations and a host of interactive papers. The program also contains behind-the-scenes tours of cultural institutions and the following industry-leading keynote speakers:

• David Ferriero, 10th Archivist of the US National Archives: Creating a Digital Future: The National Archives and Information Technology
• Jay Verkler, President and CEO, FamilySearch International: Preservation in a Digital Age
• Michael Wash, Deputy CIO, US Department of Transportation: Preservation Starts from the Beginning

The Archiving 2011 program and additional information are available at


National Portal To Historic Collections from American Heritage and AASLH

Started in 2007, American Heritage and the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) currently sponsor the National Portal To Historic Collections. According to the About page,

"... the National Portal is a massive, multiyear project to provide information on 4,000 historical sites, including easily searchable online access to digital images and descriptions of millions of artifacts housed in the collections of American museums, historical societies, National Parks, and other institutions across the country.
The objects being added to this national “clearinghouse” include documents, photographs, paintings and artifacts, and run the gamut from military artifacts to artworks to the tools and mementos of everyday life."


AuthentiCity, the City of Vancouver Archives Blog

While they've had a Twitter presence for a while now, I'm very pleased to learn that the City of Vancouver Archives recently launched a blog they call AuthentiCity. It's running on the popular WordPress platform.


Changes and challenges at the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

According to this Information Today Newsbreak story on March 10, 02011 by Barbie E. Keiser, there's been "Upheaval at the National Archives" due to

Suspended development of the Electronic Records Archive (ERA) and closure of the Archives Library and Information Center (ALIC). What happened to set off this furor was the release of two documents: Memorandum 2011-113 issued by the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS), David S. Ferriero, on Feb. 14 and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report to Congressional Committees, Electronic Government: National Archives and Records Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 Expenditure Plan (GAO-11-299) published on March 4.


Digital lessons never learned for FEMA?

In the category of don't put all your digital eggs in one basket comes this digital lesson not learned for FEMA, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency. According to this Information Week article published on February 9, 02011, FEMA lost historical data pertaining to its "lessons learned" database due to a server breakdown and "a poor archiving plan."


Gigapixel art, the Google Art Project

The Google Art Project was started by Google employee Amit Sood. Launched on February 1, 02011 at London's Tate Britain gallery, the Art Project contains content from 17 major galleries and collections around the world and allow a virtual visitor to explore these museums and one art art using "gigapixel" technology. The virtual tours use the same technology as the Street View you experience through Google Maps.


Mind the Cap, stop Canadian Internet usage billing

According to, the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) affirmed the ability of Canadian Internet Service Providers such as Shaw, Rogers and Bell, the Big Three in Canada, to charge customers for usage over their allotted monthly bandwidth quota.

If you want to help Stop the Meter On Your Internet Use, you can do so through an online petition (below) as well as by writing to the Hon. Tony Clement, Canada's Industry Minister who indicated on February 1, 02011 that he will review the CRTC's decision. You can also use Facebook and Twitter to support this campaign.


New version of The Wayback Machine released

A beta edition of a new version of The Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive is now available. According to Gary Price on this Information Today Newsbreak about this release, "Wayback is an essential internet research tool and should be one of the first resources discussed when teaching basic web-based research skills. It offers more than 150 billion archived web pages with some material dating back to 1996."


WebWise 2011 Conference, Baltimore, MD, USA, March 9 to 11, 02011

The WebWise 2011 conference is coming to Baltimore, Maryland, USA and runs between March 9 and 11, 02011. This annual conference is sponsored by the United States government funding agency the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The theme of this year's conference is "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Education, Learning, and Research". This is one of the few conferences in its category for which no fee is required; pre-registration to reserve a spot at the conference, however, is necessary.

Update for April 16, 02011
: Archived Webcasts from the pre-conference and conference sessions are available at


SepiaTown, sharing historic photographs the Web 2.0 way is a new Web site that allows individuals and institutions to share historic photographs the Web 2.0 way, via a Google Maps mashup. According to the site, "The objective of SepiaTown is to map a virtual past by collecting and mapping a vast collection of historical and vintage photographs, prints, film, audio and other media." SepiaTown, Inc. is based in Sunnyside, New York. named SepiaTown one of its Top 100 Web Sites of 2010 in the Undiscovered: Info category.