National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

2011-11-24

Library and Archives Canada launches blog as pilot project

Not only has the Library and Archives Canada launched a "corporate" Web site (en francais http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/fra/Pages/default.aspx), 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 http://thediscoverblog.com/feed/

2011-11-07

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 Qu├ębec 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.

2011-11-02

Google eBookstore launches in Canada

Google has launched its competitive Google eBooks in Canada. They're going head to head against the likes of Amazon.ca and Indigo.ca (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?