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The Spirit and Intent of Digitizing Hidden Collections •

The Spirit and Intent of Digitizing Hidden Collections • | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
Two press releases this month relating to CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives (DHC) initiative have invited wider interest in the program and prompted important questions that pertain to its provision of service to the community. The announcement of a generous, $13.2 million three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is an opportunity to reflect on the goals and rationale for DHC; the release of the 2017 grants awarded to individual and collaborating educational and cultural institutions has also generated observations about the program’s scope and diversity. Rationale Like its predecessor program Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives, DHC supports projects that make digitized resources easily discoverable and accessible alongside related materials held within the home institution as well as by other collecting institutions. The program’s core values include collaboration, by promoting strategic partnerships rather than duplication of capacity and effort; sustainability, by promoting best practices for ensuring the long-term availability and discoverability of digital files created through digitization; and openness, by ensuring that digitized content will be made available to the public as easily and completely as possible, given ethical and legal constraints. Committing to these values requires technological, cultural, and behavioral strategies to encourage collaboration, sustainability of effort, and content preservation and reusability over time. At its core, DHC attempts to create a lasting community of practice wherein all contributors come to see themselves as part of a larger whole: an interdependent system of activity in service to scholarship and teaching which we define as connectedness. The background informing these values is instructive. During the 1990s and early 2000s there was a flurry of digitizing library content. “Just digitize” was a common mantra of the era. Unfortunately, the proliferation of digital projects was reflected by the proliferation of different standards and competing platforms: there was little interinstitutional coordination. Many of those projects are difficult to access or even find today. The state of our academic digital environment was further affected by increasingly restrictive budgets over the last ten years, which caused a steep decline in larger-scale digitization. In response, CLIR, working with the Mellon Foundation, devised a new approach that insists as much as possible on a collaborative, communicative, and coordinated methodology. The funding for, initially, cataloging hidden collections and presently for digitizing them was always tied to a systemic structure and purpose. In light of this, the three-year funding grant is especially welcome: compared to our more routine annual allocations, it assures a longer-term window of activity that encourages the community building at the heart of the program. Building community requires attention to issues of social justice. All too frequently, staff who work on digitizing projects are not adequately compensated or given opportunities to expand their skills. CLIR’s review panel is aware of this and considers budgeted compensation levels for staff, as well as the project’s contribution to building local institutional capacity and professional development, in its final decision. Scope and Diversity The recent announcement of 2017 grant awardees is exemplary of the DHC program. The geographic scope of the project is bounded by North America and we are working with our Canadian colleagues to encourage more cross-border collaboration. The diversity of the DHC is reflected by the kinds of institutions funded and the spectrum of topical content that becomes digitized. This year’s awards are typical: institutions funded include Ilisavik College; the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library; Indiana University; and the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pa. The array of resources is equally diverse: Cuban American radionovelas; Inupiaq audio recordings; archives of women’s activism, 1820-1920; and documents of Philadelphia’s historic congregations. Vital to the integrity of any national grant competition is the issue of fairness: in the DHC program, how are the awards decided in ways that assure impartial and equitable results? All awarded proposals comply with the core values of the program. The value of the hidden collections’ contribution to scholarship and the comprehensive nature of the resources proposed for funding are usually the foremost criteria in the initial evaluation of each proposal. Grant writers have to persuasively argue that the digitized product will have genuine import for new scholarly discovery, providing a rich, accessible trove of materials currently difficult or impossible to access and use. The DHC core values thus provide a level playing field of rules and expectations common to all proposals, regardless of institutional size, location, or type. Yet the issue of fairness is complex, especially when it involves the perception of an institution’s wealth. Intuitively, no one complains when a small historical society or rural college receives funding. When a university or college that publicly lauds its considerable endowment is funded, questions can arise. Having served on the DHC and Cataloging Hidden Collections review panels for a decade, I can say we take this issue seriously. It comes up nearly every year, and our response is keyed to several factors. While a university’s endowment can be famously large, this does not guarantee an equitable distribution of funds across the institution. Libraries and archives are almost always underfunded in relation to past practice and aspirations: it falls to the panel to confirm that the request for DHC support is honest and reflects a dearth of available capital. Patterns of cultural philanthropy are also in play. The gift of a famous author’s papers and other special donations almost never comes with adequate funds to curate and maintain the gift; funding for digitization of the papers or artifacts is rarer still. The review panel does weigh the potential opportunity for other, external sources to fund digitization, and in some cases has turned down a proposal when the archives or collections appeared to us to be of such broad appeal that our support is not essential. Nonetheless, this is quite unusual. The contemporary budgets of educational and cultural institutions require, urgently, a program like the DHC to compensate for a paucity of local funding and the bewildering stew uncoordinated digitization can cause. Providing the fiscal resources at a national scale is Read More
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The Philosophy of GHOST IN THE SHELL – Wisecrack Edition

Join Wisecrack! Subscribe! ►► http://bit.ly/1y8Veir Play the Officially Licensed RPG by Bandai Namco! Play Here ► http://wscrk.com/NrtoRPG Free Gift Pac
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Brooklyn Academy of Music Puts 70,000 Archive Materials Online

Brooklyn Academy of Music Puts 70,000 Archive Materials Online | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
Playbills, posters and ephemera from the performing arts center’s history is now available through the Leon Levy BAM Digital Archive.
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The Best Password Managers of 2017

The Best Password Managers of 2017 | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
A password like "123456" or "monkey" is easy to remember, but it's also easy to crack. With the help of a password manager, you can have a unique and strong password for every secure website. We've evaluated two dozen to help you choose.
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Libraries of the Future Focus on Digital Collaboration and Scholarship

Libraries of the Future Focus on Digital Collaboration and Scholarship | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
The New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report: 2017 Library Edition indicates technology will expand the role of the library.
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TILT – text to image linking tool: TILT is born again

TILT – text to image linking tool: TILT is born again | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it

Via Saskia van Bergen
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LIS Trends: Piloting a national programme for the digitization of Medieval manuscripts in Germany

LIS Trends: Piloting a national programme for the digitization of Medieval manuscripts in Germany | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it

Via Saskia van Bergen
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Ancient parchment's secrets revealed through DNA - CNET

Ancient parchment's secrets revealed through DNA - CNET | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
“ A history of agriculture is locked away in centuries worth of documents from the British Isles -- if you know how to find it.”
Via Saskia van Bergen
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ClayXYZ: Desktop 3D Clay Printer, Create Your Own Artwork!

ClayXYZ is raising funds for ClayXYZ: Desktop 3D Clay Printer, Create Your Own Artwork! on Kickstarter!

ClayXYZ combines 3D Printing with Reusable Natural Material to create intricately textured ceramic artwork. Affordable and easy to use.
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Ripl - Create Animated Posts for Social Media

Ripl - Create Animated Posts for Social Media | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
Create eye-catching animated posts with the Ripl mobile app that help you and your business stand out on social media.
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Libraries are dying – but it’s not about the books | Simon Jenkins

Libraries are dying – but it’s not about the books | Simon Jenkins | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
The internet stole the monopoly on knowledge but it can’t recreate a sense of place. Revival is possible
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The internet makes people happier: New research

The internet makes people happier: New research | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
Adults, especially seniors and those with health problems, report higher levels of life satisfaction thanks to the internet, according to a study in Computers in Human Behavior.
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The Biggest Secret to Success: Spend at Least 10 Hours a Week Just Thinking

The Biggest Secret to Success: Spend at Least 10 Hours a Week Just Thinking | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
Did you know that Warren Buffett has spent 80% of his career thinking?
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You Chung Hong Family Collection

You Chung Hong Family Collection | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
The You Chung Hong Family Collection contains a selection of digitized items from several distinct archival collections that were created by Y. C. Hong and his family. As an ongoing digitization project curated by staff members of the Manuscripts and Rare Books Departments, the You Chung Hong...
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Preserving digital art: How will it survive?

Get the Google Arts & Culture App - Android: https://goo.gl/CCJ5xu - IOS: https://goo.gl/AvMS0r Google Arts & Culture has partnered with Rhizome to help i
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232 Startup Failure Post-Mortems

232 Startup Failure Post-Mortems | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
A compilation of startup failure post-mortems by founders and investors. No survivorship bias here.
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Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report

Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
Nine-country study finds widespread use of social media for promoting lies, misinformation and propaganda by governments and individuals
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Understand the Blockchain in Two Minutes

Over the past decade, an alternative digital paradigm has slowly been taking shape at the edges of the internet. This new paradigm is the blockchain. Afte
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Online Isaac Newton manuscripts workshop - Boing Boing

Online Isaac Newton manuscripts workshop - Boing Boing | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
“ Online Isaac Newton manuscripts workshop Boing Boing India's Zetatrek citizen science initiative is online workshop starting on 19th July, where science and math hobbyists from all over the world are invited to study the original manuscripts of Sir...”
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Lute manuscripts uploaded to Cambridge Digital Library - BBC News

Lute manuscripts uploaded to Cambridge Digital Library - BBC News | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
“ A "remarkable" collection of lute manuscripts dating back to the 16th Century is put online by the University of Cambridge.”
Via Saskia van Bergen
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`Special´ medieval text printed by William Caxton found buried in box

`Special´ medieval text printed by William Caxton found buried in box | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
The only other surviving fragment of the book is held at the British Library in London.
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Watch the (2nd) biggest book in the world get digitized, all thanks to the British Library

Watch the (2nd) biggest book in the world get digitized, all thanks to the British Library | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
It's not the size of the book that matters, it's how you digitize it.
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Creativity Can Be Challenging

Creativity Can Be Challenging | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it

Creative work can be deeply rewarding, but also physically and emotionally challenging.

The photo is Juliette Binoche in a movie - her character “is an art instructor suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis...”

 

There are also emotional challenges in being creative, as Eric Maisel and Sharon M Barnes explain.


Via Douglas Eby
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Want to Be Mentally Tough? Science Recommends 1 Surprising Daily Habit

Want to Be Mentally Tough? Science Recommends 1 Surprising Daily Habit | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
Harvard research has revealed a counterintuitive way to develop mental toughness--see how to use it daily.
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Don't just appeal to a local searcher's wants or needs, focus on the journey

Don't just appeal to a local searcher's wants or needs, focus on the journey | Pixilating the parchment | Scoop.it
You've probably heard sayings like, "Life's about the journey, not the destination," but have you thought about putting this philosophy to work in local search? Columnist Lydia Jorden explains how to optimize for this trend.
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