Tag Archives | archives

Unlimited Priorities Coordinates with University of Chicago ARTFL Project on Conversion of Historic French Volumes

Cape Coral, FL (June 2, 2015) – The Archival Initiatives Division (AID) of Unlimited Priorities LLC®, a firm specializing in support services to the library and archives communities, has completed its work with the University of Chicago on the ARTFL Project’s latest conversion of French materials.

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was a French philosopher, art critic and writer. This portion of the project involved the imaging and conversion of a selection of his individual works that the university did not have from the Lewinter edition, utilizing a TEI x Lite XML format. All pages within each volume were imaged, and the text was OCRed and then subjected to data entry, resulting in a 99.95% quality level.

The Encyclopédie méthodique par ordre des matières (“Methodical Encyclopedia by Order of Subject Matter”) was published between 1782 and 1832. This project consisted of text conversion via enhanced OCR processing, and the creation of images from plates contained on negative microfiche. The resultant images then underwent a cleanup process in order to achieve viable OCR.

Mark Olsen, Assistant Director of the ARTFL Project, commented on their ongoing relationship with Unlimited Priorities: “The ARTFL Project has worked with Unlimited Priorities for well over a decade on a variety of scholarly projects with widely divergent technical requirements and work processes. For one project, we required careful TEI compliant transcriptions of complex legal documentation from page images generated by a collaborating institution, while in another, we are working from microfiche materials to scan page images and generate automatically corrected OCR output.One of the great strengths of UP is their expertise which allows them adapt to our wide ranging requirements and to deliver cost effective solutions which directly benefit both our collaborators and our user community.”

Iris L. Hanney, Unlimited Priorities president, responded: “We relied on our extensive knowledge of data conversion as we faced the challenges presented by the ARTFL Project. Our experience with the vendor community allows us to ensure reliable outcomes, and we are pleased to have been able to apply this expertise to these ARTFL projects. We look forward to participating in additional projects as we continue to retain our position on the cutting edge of this technology.” Continue Reading →

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Notes from Digital Preservation 2014

The 330 digital archivists who met in Washington, D.C., for the third annual Digital Preservation conference were treated to 2 days of presentations on July 22–23. Prior to 2012, this gathering was called the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) Partners Meeting.

Digitisation of a Dunhuang manuscript

Digitisation of a Dunhuang manuscript

While technology plays an important role in digital archiving, the overarching theme of Digital Preservation 2014 was that cooperation and collaboration are the keys to success for libraries working on aspects of a single project together, as well as among libraries, scholars in other disciplines, and technologists.

As Micah Altman, chair of NDSA’s coordination committee, stated in his opening remarks, no single institution can counter all the risks. The best approach is to distribute risk through collaboration and coordination with colleagues. In response to questions from the floor, Altman admitted that coordination is difficult; he indicated that the greatest challenge NDSA has faced so far has been communicating the value of preservation within organizations.

Learn more at Cooperation and
Collaboration: Digital Preservation 2014

Photo: This photo has been provided to Wikimedia Commons by the International Dunhuang Project from its digital collection.

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Project Gutenberg Opens Self-Published Works Respository

The generous souls at Project Gutenberg opened a new venue supplementing their traditional collection of public domain classics. (And, by the way, that collection of usually all the works, even minor ones, of major authors and the major works of minor authors now runs more than 40,000.) But what about contemporary works, particularly by people who have not found or perhaps do not want to go with traditional publishers?

Now Project Gutenberg has opened a separate collection and discovery area for such works referred to as a Self-Publishing Portal. Anyone can access and search the site to view and/or download documents. If the reader chooses to register with Project Gutenberg, as all the authors have, they can participate in the Authors Community Cloud Library and post comments, feedback, ratings, and reviews. A book details page and Wall will attach this social network style input for other readers to see.

Learn more from Barbara Quint’s full article at Project Gutenberg Launches Repository for Self-Published Works.

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Developing Opportunities with Archival Collections

Internet Librarian International 2011 took place on October 27 and 28th in London.

Unlimited Priorities’ Howard Stanbury presented in the B204Driving Collaboration with Repositories session and explained how information repositories of all kinds are being challenged to adapt to a changing paradigm in facilities, resources and services.

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London Calling: Internet Librarian International 2011

Internet Librarian International 2011 will be on October 27 and 28th at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in London.

Internet Librarian International 2011This year’s theme is Navigating the New Normal – Strategies for Success. The reality of the current economic climate means that it’s imperative to provide pertinent services, utilise the most appropriate tools, and explore alternative approaches, regardless of your information environment. Even if you’re managing information outside a traditional library setting – as web designer, content evaluator, portal creator, systems professional or independent researcher – you must continue to offer services that are relevant and cost-efficient.

If you will be at the conference on Friday be sure to swing by session B204Driving Collaboration with Repositories where Unlimited Priorities’ Howard Stanbury explains how information repositories of all kinds are being challenged to adapt to a changing paradigm in facilities, resources and services.  This session will begin at 2:45pm and is the last session in the New Users, New Audiences, New Behaviours track.

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Conference Buzz: Personal Digital Archiving

Written for Unlimited Priorities and DCLnews Blog.

I used to think that personal digital archiving meant scanning and storing family documents and photos. The Personal Digital Archiving conference in San Francisco on February 24-25 proved that although that is certainly included, the concept extends into many other areas as well. The conference venue was the fascinating headquarters of the Internet Archive (the building was once a church and has many interesting architectural features), and one would be hard put to suggest a more suitable organization to host it. The conference was very successful, and one measure of that is that there were 150 attendees—twice as many as last year.

Cathy Marshall of Microsoft Research opened the conference with a brief history and said that we are now in the third era of personal archiving. The first era, 2005-7, was a time of benign neglect, when many people were ambivalent about the value of their data. The next era began in 2007, when personal data achieved a life of its own. The present era began in 2009, when social media raised many other issues. Marshall’s main points were:

  • Someone else should be doing the archiving.
  • We won’t know why we have saved all those pictures after a couple of decades have passed.
  • Benign neglect becomes online neglect.
  • Digital information will survive only as long as someone takes care of it.

What is everyone doing with all those cheap digital cameras? The photos they take will become the digital archives of our times. And what about home movies? They have largely been supplanted by videos, but there are lots of them still in consumers’ hands. The Center for Home Movies was established to “collect, preserve, provide access to, and promote understanding of home movies and amateur motion pictures.” It even organized a Home Movie Digitization and Access Summit that drew 46 attendees: film makers, film transfer companies, and stock footage vendors.

Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information keynoted the second day of the conference. He said that we are moving into a second generation of understanding personal digital archives, where the complex of ownership and control is not clearly understood. We do not understand shared spaces for personal archiving very well, and we need “Archive Me” buttons on many more Web sites. Although we have built up many systems to record our “public lives” (notable dates, public offices held, residences, etc.), we need to think about how these spaces interconnect to the general infrastructure of society.

Three interesting projects were described in a “fast talks” session:

  • AboutOne, a subscription service, was developed to help busy people control all aspects of their records. Cloud computing and business software allows businesses to eliminate mundane tasks and gain new levels of efficiency; AboutOne brings these benefits to families.
  • Personal Archiving Day, an open house for the public on saving digital information and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be held on April 22.
  • The Rosetta Project is a global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers working to build a publicly accessible digital library of human languages.

Personal health information has many unique issues, especially involving privacy. MedHelp, an online health community with 12 million unique visits per month, has found that providing tools for users to track and share their health data has become a successful business. Privacy was seen as an option, not a restriction. Some healthcare providers are even using the data generated by trackers to help them in caring for their patients.

Finally, the personal data of many scientists and researchers may have historical value. Computer industry pioneers shared their thoughts about digitizing their archives. Edward Feigenbaum, often called the “father of expert systems” has an archive of 15,000 documents which has been digitized using the Self-Archiving Legacy Toolkit (SALT) system that he has developed in conjunction with the Stanford University library. Christina Engelbart spoke on behalf of her father Douglas Engelbart, who invented the mouse and made one of the first transmissions over the Internet. The Stanford Mouse Site tells the history of his invention of the mouse and contains many of his original materials.

In developing a scholar’s archive, context is everything. What is their story, and what were they thinking? A major lesson for archivists is to work with scholars throughout their career so that content, metadata, and extra materials can be archived along the way. It is much harder to compile robust archives when the creator of the original content is retired or deceased; and the archives will not be as rewarding for the scholars and students of the future.

The PDA conference was fascinating and revealed that personal archiving has many implications and applications. Personal archives are relevant to information professionals and are an entirely new genre with its own characteristics. They raise issues of ownership, copyright, preservation, privacy, and historical interest.

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