Posts Tagged: archives
Preserving information and data archives in the digital age presents a new kind of challenge. Physical books may degrade over time, but even a book in poor condition can be taken down off a shelf and read. Digital storage devices, however, require functional systems to access any of the data....more
One of the great challenges of libraries and archives is preserving the collections. Not all materials decay at the same rate and while some items can last thousands of years, other items are much more fragile. Now, scientists studying hundreds of European archival documents have developed a formula to predict the end of library materials....more
Gothamist was recently given permission to share some of Sylvia Plath’s earliest manuscripts in a video on their website. The manuscripts, which include drawings, some of her favorite poems, and her own original poetry, are held in a private collection at the New York Public Library and are only accessible by researchers who make an appointment to see them:
The “juvenilia” items range from lighthearted (a drawing of a cat!) to heavy, and you never get a carefree vibe while looking at it.
The New York Public Library holds more than 16 million volumes, making it the 4th largest library in the United States. Many of those volumes are stored in the Milstein stacks, two levels of the library directly under Bryant Park. To maximize the storage capacity of these facilities and allow for patrons in the main library above ground to request volumes on site, the NYPL turns to some interesting technology....more
After all, a toy boat is hardly its former self after a lifetime at the bottom of the sea. No matter how intact an archive, it can never fully reconstruct the texture and completeness of the original memory.
For Aeon, Alana Massey writes about the long memory of the Internet and the inherent imperfections in archiving every piece of data....more
A new interactive documentary called Cold Storage invites viewers to peer beyond Harvard’s flagship Widener Library—the tip of the iceberg in terms of the university’s massive collection—and into the vault where more than 9 million books and artifacts are stored. Gizmodo reports on the viewing experience, describing a world designed for the convenience of the machines in charge of storing and retrieving items, and oddly removed from the typical culture of reverence for books as a category of uniquely valuable objects....more
The British Library says it has a window of 15 years to preserve an invaluable cache of sound recordings, but unless fundraising can help pick up the pace, the archives could take as many as 48 to complete. The artifacts represent a range of obsolete formats, some of them long dead; from wax cylinders of Florence Nightingale to open reel recordings of children’s songs, and of course countless classic author interviews and readings....more
Salman Rushdie donated his personal archive to Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) in 2006. Much of Rushdie’s personal archive was digital, a form that creates new problems for modern librarians to contend with. Consider, for example, Rushdie’s PowerMac from the mid-90s....more
The Partisan Review, printed from 1934 to 2004, marked 69 years of cultural history in the US, with notable contributors such as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Allen Ginsberg, Franz Kafka, Doris Lessing, George Orwell, Marge Piercy, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Shattuck, Susan Sontag, William Styron, Lionel Trilling, and Robert Penn Warren....more