Tag Archives: Harvard

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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