Tag Archives: Harvard

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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