Holy Shakespeare! A Rare Find Shakes An Industry

Researchers have found a dictionary that may have been owned and annotated by William Shakespeare. If this assertion is true, this book could provide amazing insight into how Shakespeare crafted his plays, poems, and sonnets, all of which feature his highly inventive wordplay and have thus shaped how modern English is used today.

Holy Shakespeare! A Rare Find Shakes An Industry.

via Holy Shakespeare! A Rare Find Shakes An Industry.

Robert E. Lee tintype fetches $23,001 for Goodwill

Robert E. Lee tintype fetches $23,001 for Goodwill.

A Goodwill worker who spotted a photograph of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has helped the charity make $23,001 in an online auction. The tintype photograph was in a bin, about to be shipped out to an outlet store, when a worker grabbed it and sent it to the charity’s local online department. The item was put up for auction. Bidding started at $4.

Internet archivist seeks 1 of every book ever written

The Internet Archive was founded in 1996 and saves a copy of every web page ever posted. Its founder wants to extend that policy to printed books.

Kahle envisions the book archive less like another Library of Congress (33 million books, according to the library’s website) and more like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an underground Arctic cavern built to shelter back-up copies of the world’s food-crop seeds. The books are not meant to be loaned out on a regular basis but protected as authoritative reference copies if the digital version somehow disappears into the cloud or a question ever arises about an e-book’s faithfulness to the original printed edition.

“The thing that I’m worried about is that people will think this is disrespectful to books. They think we’re just burying them all in the basement,” Kahle said. But he says it’s his commitment to the survival of books that drives this project. “These are the objects that are getting to live another day.”

Read more.





Digital Images of Yale’s Vast Cultural Collections Now Available for Free

“Scholars, artists and other individuals around the world will enjoy free access to online images of millions of objects housed in Yale’s museums, archives, and libraries thanks to a new “Open Access” policy that the University announced today. Yale is the first Ivy League university to make its collections accessible in this fashion, and already more than 250,000 images are available through a newly developed collective catalog.”

Read more at Digital Images of Yale’s Vast Cultural Collections Now Available for Free.

The New-York Historical Society wants your photos of Time Square

Me in Times Square in October 2000 (too early for the NYHS project, but you get the idea).

As reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the New-York Historical Society is inviting members of the public—tourists and locals, amateurs and professionals—to send in digital photographs of Times Square taken between Nov. 21, 2010 and March 31, 2011.

You can send in as many as you like. And don’t worry, they don’t have to be works of creative genius. Snapshots are welcome.

“We are not looking for masterpiece photographs,” said curator Marilyn Satin Kushner, who heads the N-YHS’s Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections. “We’re looking to document Times Square at this moment in time.”

The Society’s open call is intended in part to bring its photography collection up to date. Though the institution houses a strong collection of images of Times Square in decades past—the earliest from the 1860s—its holdings of contemporary images needs a boost.

“Today’s pictures are tomorrow’s history,” Ms. Kushner said. “In order to preserve history, we need help from the public.”

Complete submission guidelines are available at www.nyhistory.org

The September 11 Digital Archive

The September 11 Digital Archive was organized by the American Social History Project at the City University of New York Graduate Center and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Containing more that 150,000 digital items (emails, photographs, documents, stories and more), the Archive was accepted by the Library of Congress into its collections in 2003.

From the web site:

Our goal is to create a permanent record of the events of September 11, 2001. In the process, we hope to foster some positive legacies of those terrible events by allowing people to tell their stories, making those stories available to a wide audience, providing historical context for understanding those events and their consequences, and helping historians and archivists improve their practices based on the lessons we learn from this project.

Browse: Explore the collection for stories, images, emails, documents, sounds, and videos of September 11

Research: Search, sort, and examine the entire collection

Contribute: Tell your story, add your email, and upload images, documents, and other digital files to the Archive

Forget me not: the Internet never forgets what you have to say

I’m a bit of a broken record on this topic, so please forgive me but — not a day goes by that I don’t see someone complaining about how their privacy is being violated, by Facebook, by their employer, by Twitter, by Bill Gates, by someone out there, taking information about them found on the Internet and making it public. Lots of angry folks, but every time I see someone rant about this, what I think is: why did you put that information out there in the first place? Yes, breaches in our privacy take place, and those are cause for concern but — no one can wrongly share your information if you never give it to them in the first place.

The thing is, though, most people aren’t aware of what’s out there already. It’s easy to find out: Google yourself. Do it right now. Just plug your own name in. I like to put it in quotes, but sometimes I search it without quotes, or a variation. See what turns up. You might be surprised to see that somewhat snippy post you made to a Twilight message board is front and center, even though you made it three years ago. Or that time you replied to a listserv at three in the morning, after you’d had a few beers. The Internet never forgets, as The New York Times pointed out a few weeks ago:

We’ve known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent — and public — digital files. The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening, at an almost existential level, our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew; to overcome our checkered pasts. But the truth is that for a great many people, the permanent memory bank of the Web increasingly means there are no second chances — no opportunities to escape a scarlet letter in your digital past. Now the worst thing you’ve done is often the first thing everyone knows about you.

And it’s not just about embarrassment, or privacy. Your Internet identity can prevent you from getting jobs or apartments or maybe even dates. (Doesn’t everyone Google their new potential significant others?) I’ve told this story again and again, but I have personally been on search committees where candidates were rejected because of what we found out about them through a simple Google search. And it’s not always anything scandalous. One, for example, we declined to interview further once we found, and rather easily, that she spent all day every day posting on her favorite knitting site — including while she was at her current job. I’m sure she was a lovely woman, but not exactly a stellar employee.

Of course, once you Google your own name and you find something you want removed, is it possible to do so? Sometimes not. The Internet has a long memory. But you can still try, perhaps deleting a forum post or asking a site owner to remove your last name. There are products available that claim to be able to help you with this process, but in my opinion, all you need is the ability to type your own name and diligence. Please believe me, it’s worth the effort.

The National Archives uses social media, why can’t I?

I’ve been trying to use Facebook and Twitter to promote the museum, but it’s tough going. To be frank, sometimes the day-in, day-out of our jobs isn’t worth blogging about. Even when we’re busy; I just can’t imagine anyone’s especially interested in seeing me tweet “Oh god, oh god, there are 150 sugared-up kids running through the exhibits!!!” every day. I see the value in using social media for promotion; I’m not quite as sure how to make it happen.

The National Archives is doing a much better job at taking part in social media, of course. From Tech Insider:

The National Archives and Records Administration is going all-in with social media in hopes of assisting and expanding its audience. And the agency isn’t approaching it haphazardly — look across Facebook, Flickr and Twitter and you’ll find consistent names and information, as well as a centralized “one-stop shop” for social media on the Archives.gov website.

Archives has 15-plus Facebook pages, including one for each region and presidential library. Each is a niche community with targeted news and events, said James. For example, the page geared towards researchers in April launched a Civil War-focused scavenger hunt across the Archives’ social media sites, including Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.

Links to the agency’s six blogs, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube pages and Twitter/RSS feeds all can be found off the website’s homepage.*

But, you know, they’re the National Archives. Of course they’ve got awesome stuff to talk about. Anyone else out there having luck using social media as a promotional tool, whether for archives or anything else?

* For easy access to the National Archives’ social media sites, streams and feeds, go here.

Digitize and sell?

Am I reading this correctly? The Chicago Tribune is slowly digitizing all of their original photographs (all well and good) and then selling off all the prints, via http://tribunephotos.com?

Chicago Tribune Begins Digitizing and Selling Archive Photographs. Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 2, 2010 — The Chicago Tribune, one of the nation’s leading daily newspapers, has begun digitally archiving their extensive photo library, which includes historic photos and negatives dating back to the nineteenth century, and making the original vintage archive photos available to collectors once re-archived in digital form.

I feel two very different ways about this. On one hand, once you’ve scanned and stored and cataloged the digital image, and backed it up to high heaven, you’ve got it, right? On the other hand… really? Just sell all the originals off? I don’t know.