Tag Archives: Harvard

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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Robert Darnton closes the book

“Early this summer, Robert Choate Darnton, Harvard’s Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian, will pack up his book-lined office on the second floor of Wadsworth House. As of June 30, the celebrated historian, digital library pioneer, and champion of books will leave the University he first saw as an undergraduate in 1957. A scholar of Enlightenment France and of the history of the book, he returned to Harvard in 1965 to join the Society of Fellows, decamped to Princeton University in 1968 for 39 years, and came back to Harvard in 2007.” (via Harvard Gazette)

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Saving the digital record

“When digital becomes dinosaur, most people simply get inconvenienced. But librarians and archivists get seriously concerned. Ensuring that digital content — whether it’s a short story by John Updike or a very rare audio recording of a vanished Native American language — lives on past its initial platform is one of the most pressing issues in preservation science. Harvard is one of a handful of cultural institutions in the first wave of adopting a technology and process to preserve its digital content.” (via Harvard Gazette)

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Harvard Library Innovation Lab wins a 2015 Webby

“Perma.cc, a project that takes on the problem of “link rot” or broken or defunct links in scholarship, has won the prestigious Webby Award for best law site of 2015. Developed by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, Perma.cc is a web archiving service that helps authors and publishers create permanent links to their online sources, which are preserved by participating libraries. “Libraries are in the forever business,” said Kim Dulin, director of the lab and associate director for collection development and digital initiatives. “We developed Perma.cc to allow our users to protect and preserve their sources, no matter where they originate.” (via Harvard Law Today)

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