Last week I spent 3 days at Google for their annual Google Earth Engine Summit, learning about new features and applications of their Google Earth Engine technology. If you haven’t seen Google Earth Engine, I encourage you to go to https://earthengine.google.com and use the signup link to get an account. It’s absolutely free for non-commercial use and it’s capabilities are pretty mind-blowing.
Digital Library Blog
In honor of Father’s Day, it is a pleasure to share a very special object of personal significance that was recently donated to the Stanford Libraries in digital form. The item is a small “promotional brochure for an architecture firm based in Los Angeles in the 1960s with a list of their projects including drawings, maps, and photographs both of buildings and architectural models,” as described by rare book cataloger Ann Myers. The architect—my father—was Bodrell Joer’dan Smith, and this pamphlet both promoted and celebrated the accomplishments of his early career.
We’re lucky in the Digital Production Group to see a wide variety of materials come across our imaging platforms. We get to see and handle the highlights of all the collections as curators and bibliographers bring us the best in their collections to digitize for research, classroom teaching, and online access. But does our every day become humdrum, when you see an original Beethoven score one day, a priceless map the next, and a gorgeous gold leaf medieval manuscript the third?
In celebration of Allen Ginsberg's 91st birthday this June 3, I asked our lead photographer Wayne Vanderkuil a few questions about his experience photographing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl manuscript – an original draft featuring numerous annotations and corrections. It is considered one of the great works of American literature, the symbol for the Beat Generation, and the subject of an infamous obscenity trial.
Many researchers rely on open source software for data analysis, but lack of documentation on how to use the software can sometimes be an issue. In these situations, it's up to someone in the community to step up and create better resources to help people learn how to get the most out of these tools.
Stanford biology undergrad Nathan Cho found himself in just this situation recently while working on his honors thesis. Cho's project involved studying how stem cell development in plants affects the timing of the cell cycle, the process by which cells grow and divide. Analysis of his microscopy images required him to use open source software from the Max Plank Institute called MorphoGraphX.
What do you do when a Google search for an article title only returns one dead link and two advertisements? And yet you have this article in front of you so you know it exists? If you want to cite that article in a research paper but you don't have all the publication information to create the citation, you do the obvious thing.
You contact a librarian.
A student at Berkeley recently contacted Stanford Libraries, hoping that we could provide her with citation information for an article about Johan de Witt (the dashing gentleman in the image above) that she knew had come out of Stanford. The URL where she had accessed the article was at web.stanford.edu, but, sadly, this link no longer worked. She hoped someone at the library could help her identify the publisher of this article.
In Spring 2016 Anthropology Professor Krish Seetah partnered with the Stanford Libraries to develop an interactive, digital repository of 3D osteological objects to serve as the materials for his teaching.
Recently, I worked with Cécile Alduy, Professor of French, and SUL's Nicholas Taylor and Sarah Sussman to use SUL's Web Archiving Service to generate a corpus of French political websites that we text-mine. The results informed Alduy's latest book, Ce qu'ils disent vraiment: Les politiques pris aux mots.