30 March 2006

Perchance to Dream

Carole McCallum with miniature bed Here are a couple of photos that were included in an early draft of April's Collections of the Month. Max Mog yawning Photo top copyright © Glasgow Caledonian University Archives, The Christina W Bell Collection. This shows Carole McCallum, University Archivist, with a miniature bed and bedding created by Christina W Bell (1897-1981). The other photo shows my cat Max yawning. By coincidence I followed Blogger's random blog link just now, and it went to Sleepycat, who are Berkeley DB software developers (we use Berkeley DB as well as one of the components of the Hub's software). What are the odds?


29 March 2006

Philip Pullman on libraries

There was a good promotional article on libraries and librarians in The Times on Saturday. Though I don't think Philip realises quite how much librarians are involved in bringing information online and improving the quality of online information (not to mention providing online access within libraries).

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24 March 2006

Still in Washington...

Interior of National Building Museum, Washington Got a chance to go beyond the hotel and meeting rooms today and paid a visit to the National Building Museum, which is housed in an amazing building, once the Pension Bureau (paying pensions to men who fought in the American Civil War). The museum's exhibits used a good mixture of archives and artifacts. There was a hands-on part where you could try to build a brick wall using various different brick bonding patterns. Noticed the sign below on my way round the building, which made me think of EAD. Controlled Access Area


Greetings from Washington

I just had to share this snippet from USA Today, talking about British bands:
Now a new rock incursion is rolling, led by the Arctic Monkeys, a frenetic foursome from the grim industrial town of Yorkshire in the North of England.

17 March 2006

Spokes software now available

Town Crier ringing handbell We are delighted to announce that the Spokes software is now ready to download for testing. You can preview the software on our test Spoke here in Manchester (which has a random selection of various repositories' records at the moment). We'll post URLs of other Spokes as repositories make them available to the public. You can download the software from http://sca.lib.liv.ac.uk/downloads/ead/3.0/. Full instructions are available from the Hub site, whether you are installing for the first time or updating an existing Spokes 3.0 installation. We took this photograph from our office, by the way.


15 March 2006

Paying for publicly funded data

An interesting story in last week's Guardian about the cost to the economy of buying back data which has been created using public money (OS maps, Highways Agency video feeds and so on). It contrasts the situation in the UK with that of the US, where this kind of data is available free of charge and has resulted in the creation of innovative services like Google Maps.


09 March 2006

Archives Hub Contributors' Training Day

On the 10 April 2006 we'll be holding a training day for people who would like to contribute information about their archives to the Archives Hub. The Hub's scope is archives held in UK universities and colleges, so the training is aimed at people working in such institutions. The training day covers the process of creating EAD descriptions of archives using the Hub's online template. It also includes a very nice free lunch at Manchester Business School.


Metadata marketing

We spend a lot of time promoting the ideals of interoperability and sharing of metadata. Malcolm Moffat of the PerX project at Heriot-Watt University has written a very accessible article on 'Marketing' with Metadata - How Metadata Can Increase Exposure and Visibility of Online Content which summarises the benefits of sharing.


Romani Project

I had a chat today with Professor Yaron Matras of the University's new Romani Project. I remember Yaron as a regular visitor to the University of Liverpool's Special Collections and Archives when I was working on the Gypsy Lore Society Collections there years ago. The Romani Project is doing some innovative and important stuff for linguistic research - not to mention a helping preserve a language that is under threat - and it's about time there was a Collections of the Month feature on the Roma, but so far I've only come with up June as a possible slot, because of the Appleby Horse Fair. Any suggestions or contributions would be gratefully received!

And Romani slavery didn't end in 1807 either.

03 March 2006

Paws for thought

Concerned by Google's kow-towing to China? Why not try the Dogs Trust Websearch instead?

Subject to debate

I was reading in March's Museums Journal about plans for next year's bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. We do have material on the Hub about the Atlantic slave trade, plantation owners, and abolitionists.

However, 1807 marked the end of a specific historical instance of slavery, not the end of slavery itself. We shouldn't forget that slavery is still alive and well all over the world - and still big business in this country. Remember the Morecambe Bay cockling deaths? Or heard about forced prostitution?

I'd be glad if a Hub contributor could put together a Collections of the Month feature on slavery in all its forms. I just think it's a bit premature for celebrations.


02 March 2006

Food for thought

I received the following response to my posting on the American archives listserv about this month's Collections of the Month feature on Insects and Entomologists:

Interesting--but you left out "people who eat insects"! For example, you might link to http://grubco.com/Nutritional_Information.cfm which has nutritional breakdowns of various insects.

Or not. ;-)


Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer
Information Services Librarian
Conrad N. Hilton Library:
The Culinary Institute of America
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538
(845) 451-1322
fax (845) 451-1092

Learn more about The World's Premier Culinary College at www.ciachef.edu


The Big Picture

Elephants - the Big Picture is at the Pavilion, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Exhibition Road, London SW7, Monday 13th March - Saturday 18th March 2006.