Tag Archives: Harvard

Guarding the dazzle of the past

“Inside the four-story, glass-and-concrete building near Harvard Square, past busy coffee shops and restaurants, Harvard social clubs, and a flower store, women and men in white ministered to rare books and unique materials from Harvard Library to save them from the ravages of time.It was a spring afternoon, and specialists at the Weissman Preservation Center labored with a mix of tenderness and skill at the conservation lab on the fourth floor, where entry is restricted. In one corner, Alan Puglia, senior rare book conservator, was mending tears in a letter book kept by an American diplomat during the years of the American Revolution.” (via Harvard Gazette)

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Harvard’s Perma.cc receives grant to expand its tools for saving sources on the Web

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded a major grant to the Harvard Law School Library Innovation Lab to further develop its Perma.cc tool to combat link rot.The IMLS grant awards over $700,000 to the Harvard Law School Library Innovation Lab, in cooperation with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and more than 130 partner libraries, to sustainably scale Perma.cc to combat link rot in all scholarly fields.” (via Harvard Law Today)

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A playful turn for libraries

“William Brewster was 14 when he started chronicling the habitat of birds and wildlife in Cambridge. He went on to document the changing natural landscape of his hometown for more than 50 years from the late 1800s into the 1900s.Brewster’s work, part of the collection at Harvard’s Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, represents an important resource in the study of the region’s natural history. One big problem, however, comes with transcribing the volumes of handwritten observations into digital text files that can be accessed and mined online.A new initiative is underway to use gaming and crowdsourcing to speed the massive task of transcribing such documents, at Harvard and around the world.” (via Harvard Gazette)

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Outsourcing the Harvard Library

“A recent article in The Crimson reports a largely favorable assessment of the major restructuring of the Harvard library system in 2012 into a single, centralized administration. According to the article, the library has saved $25 million since 2009, most of this attributable to policy changes enacted between 2010 and 2012, in which the University “reshuffled and streamlined administrative positions in the library system to reduce inefficiencies and reallocate resources to better balance the needs of a centralized library.” (via The Crimson)

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Libraries Digitize Thousands of Colonial Documents

“Thousands of essays, journals, and other archival documents from the 17th and 18th centuries are now available online, after a group of Harvard libraries launched the Colonial North American Project website last week. The launch is part of a broader push to digitize the archives in the library system. The Law School library recently announced an effort to digitize its collection of United States case law, and the Harvard-wide library system is conducting a fundraising campaign to support digitization projects among other efforts.” (via Harvard Crimson)

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It’s time for USC to follow Harvard’s lead in digitizing libraries

“Last week, Harvard Law School announced its “Free the Law” project, a program aimed at making one of the world’s largest collections of United States case law entirely free, digitized and publicly accessible. Harvard is partnering with Ravel Law, an online legal search platform, to scan a total of 40,000 books and distribute the documents on the internet by 2017. This is a momentous victory for those in favor of more widely accessible information. Though the information will not be fully publicly available until 2023, the movement to provide free and comprehensive legal documents is cause enough to celebrate. As Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of law at Harvard, put it: “Libraries were founded as an engine for the democratization of knowledge … The materials in the [Harvard] library’s collection tell a story that goes back to the founding of America, and we’re proud to preserve and share that story.” (via Daily Trojan)

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Harvard Library System Has Reached One-Third of Fundraising Goal

“The Harvard-wide library system has a $150 million fundraising goal under the University’s $6.5 billion capital campaign, and has raised $52 million toward that amount, Sarah E. Thomas, the vice president for the Harvard Library, told the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the body’s monthly meeting Tuesday. She said campaign funds would be used to support ongoing initiatives within the library system, including digitization efforts, the preservation of collections, the conversion of library spaces for innovating teaching practices, and recruiting data science and visualization specialists.” (via Harvard Crimson)

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Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age

“Shelves of law books are an august symbol of legal practice, and no place, save the Library of Congress, can match the collection at Harvard’s Law School Library. Its trove includes nearly every state, federal, territorial and tribal judicial decision since colonial times — a priceless potential resource for everyone from legal scholars to defense lawyers trying to challenge a criminal conviction. Now, in a digital-age sacrifice intended to serve grand intentions, the Harvard librarians are slicing off the spines of all but the rarest volumes and feeding some 40 million pages through a high-speed scanner. They are taking this once unthinkable step to create a complete, searchable database of American case law that will be offered free on the Internet, allowing instant retrieval of vital records that usually must be paid for.” (via NYT)

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After Attacks, Harvard Library Archive Charlie Hebdo Materials

“The Harvard College Library and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures are creating an archive to preserve materials related to the January attack on French humor magazine Charlie Hebdo and its aftermath. On the Jan. 7 attack, 11 people were killed when two jihadist gunmen stormed the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris in retribution for the magazine’s publication of cartoons that satirized Prophet Muhammad. Two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack, an additional four people were killed and 15 others held hostage in a kosher supermarket, also in Paris. The tragedy prompted worldwide debate about issues related to free speech and Islamic extremism.” (Via Harvard Crimson)

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New User Research Center Opens Its Doors

“Visitors to the Harvard Library User Research Center open house on August 27 had the opportunity to try out new tools that provide insight into how users interact with online interfaces, physical spaces, and public services. The User Research Center, located in Lamont Library and available for use by all library staff, provides a space for usability testing, interviews, space assessments, and more. The center’s participant room is equipped with software capable of tracking a user’s eye movements as she scans a monitor, assistive technology (a large-type, high-contrast keyboard, for example), and a dedicated station for mobile device testing.” (via Harvard Library)

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