“The following is a guest post by Matthew Braun, Senior Legal Research Specialist at the Law Library of Congress. Matt has posted to the blog previously: most recently Taking the Reference Desk on the Road and Orphan Works and Fair Use in a Digital Age. For more than six years, the Law Library of Congress has been collecting images of select legal blogs on a monthly basis. The Legal Blawg Archive was created so that the legal events detailed and analyzed in the blogs of today can be studied for years to come. Now this archive is available in an updated user interface making the collection more attractive and engaging.” (via In Custodia Legis)
“Confusion and anger over a major, secretly brokered deal between Library and Archives Canada and a private high-tech consortium heightened Wednesday amid damage-control efforts by archive officials who say the deal is a good one. Details of the project, revealed late Tuesday by the Ottawa Citizen, would see Library and Archives hand over millions of publicly-owned books and documents to Canadiana.com which, in exchange, will get a 10-year exclusive licence to sell it in sophisticated digital format.” (via Ottawa Citizen.
“April 15 can be a taxing day for all of us living in modern times, but our ancestors didn’t have it much easier. Although our federal income tax only dates back to the Civil War era, Tennesseans have been paying state and local taxes since long before then. Now Tennessee tax records dating back to 1783 are available free online to Tennesseans, thanks to a partnership between the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Ancestry.com. The online database contains records from 71 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Famous notables like Andrew Jackson (who paid $66 in taxes to Davidson County in 1829) appear side by side with ordinary farmers, millers and laborers.” (via Tennessee Department of State)
“Careful not to tear the pages, Barbara Costello slowly opened one of the first books that came into Stetson Universitys federal depository collection: a volume containing condolences from throughout the world following the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Detailed artwork is still visible on the outside while the writing inside reveals the “flowery language” of the time.” (via News-JournalOnline.com)
“Archive libraries, such as the Hoole Special Collections on campus, are increasingly converting their content into digital copies. But what may be a convenience for students can be problematic for archivists. As archives are digitized, there is concern that the technology which records are stored on will become out of date – just look at the floppy disk. “That’s where our difficulty lies more than anything else is that, how do you keep a permanent or long-term record in a digital format when you can’t guarantee its lifespan?” Tom Land, the institutional records analyst at Hoole, said. “We know what paper will do and we know what microfilm will do, but the digital stuff is different; our technology is changing about every year and a half.” (via Crimson White)
“The Vatican has been going high-tech lately, and its next step is digitizing the entire Apostolic Library — all 40 million pages of it. The project will take nine years and be made possible by a 2.8 petabyte storage donation from EMC, a company that specializes in information security and data storage. The library holds nearly 90,000 documents, including rare pieces like the Gutenberg Bible, one of the first Western books printed on moveable type.”
via The Verge
“In an unassuming low-rise building on a side street in Naples, Florida sits the Revs Institute. The Institute, which is open to invited scholars and guests, houses a collection of fully restored historically significant automobiles, as well as a library containing images, books and ephemera. Since the images are carefully stored, many as negatives, a large number of them may not have been seen since they were taken. Up until now, this entire collection was housed under one roof, one large hurricane away from being damaged or lost.”
“ProQuest is significantly expanding its rich selection of historical news content as the global distributor to libraries and other institutions for NewspaperARCHIVE.com, a 130 million-page database that captures coverage from valuable local newspapers throughout North America, the U.K., and select countries from 1607 to the present. ProQuest will offer libraries the option to purchase a perpetual archive rather than just subscriptions. Further, there will be Academic and Public library versions that break NewspaperARCHIVE.com’s massive content into state level products and individual titles.”
“The challenge of the internet means these are uncertain times for anyone who loves newspapers. But industries in flux can be more open to innovation. On both sides of the Atlantic, papers are placing their faith in ebooks. The New York Times recently teamed up with startups Vook, to publish archive material (sample titles include reports on the Rwandan genocide and a book of asparagus recipes), and Byliner, to publish original “long-form” journalism (sample title: Here’s the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth by columnist David Leonhardt). Byliner sold more than 1m singles last year, so the New York Times is tapping into a growing market.”
via The Observer
“Sheet music on music stands provide the road map for an orchestra’s performance, but scribbled annotations by the players impose a conductor’s ideas and serve as simple reminders to make an entrance or count correctly. Now, with more than half-million new digitized pages poured into the New York Philharmonic’s electronic archives, that world is open to inspection. It may prove interesting to concertgoers, and fascinating to musicians who may have to play those parts themselves. The Philharmonic on Thursday said it had completed the first phase of an effort to put its vast archive on the Internet. Lasting three years so far, the project has made available public programs, scores and internal documents from 1943, when Leonard Bernstein made his debut with the orchestra, to 1970, the year after he left as music director.