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Special Collections receives funds for pilot project regarding email archives

February 8, 2013
by Glynn Edwards

Since its inception in the early 1970s, email has become a durable form of communication – one that presents a massive problem for donors, repositories, and researchers. Over 140 billion email messages are sent every day, and many, if not all have research value as part of an archival collection. Email is used for more than just communication. It is used for collaboration, planning, sharing, conducting transactions, and as an aid to memory – a self-archive. It documents relationships – personal, business, and communal. Our reliance on and daily use of email over the past 40 years has developed rich archival material with a secondary benefit of recording social networks in the header information of senders and recipients.

The Department of Special Collections at SUL proposes to address important facets of stewarding email archives that have not been tackled in previous projects. Characteristics of email such as its relatively stable format standardization as well as the inherent structure itself – header, body, attachments – make email an ideal candidate for automated tools to support archival workflows, such as appraisal and processing, as well as benefitting the user through discovery and delivery. 

Cartoon of a UX person listening to many stories. (Illustration by Calvin C. Chan).

A user-centered approach to developing digital collection websites

February 7, 2013
by Stuart Snydman

Over the past two years, the Digital Library Systems and Services department at SUL has developed a user-centered approach to building websites.  Our methodology involves early and iterative feedback from the primary audience of SUL’s web resources – academic researchers.  The intended result is web applications that help users achieve their research goals while at the same time increasing the efficiency of the software development process (thus, lowering the time to development and the cost).  

High-volume book scanning lab

New Collections Added to Stanford Digital Repository in November and December, 2012

January 22, 2013

During the last two months of 2012, approximately 120,000 images and objects representing nearly 74,000 items were accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). These materials include automobile-related images from the Revs collection, audio recordings from San Francisco's Film Arts Foundation, posters from the STOP AIDS Project collection, additional books from the Stephen J Gould collection and a variety of Stanford-related historical images, including photos from the Stanford Prison Experiment.

EIAJ Refurbishment Project: Installing New Connectors

January 14, 2013
by Michael Angeletti

This is the second blog post from Stanford Media Preservation Lab in our series documenting our progress as we refurbish our ½” reel-to-reel videotape machine. When we left off, we had given our Sony AV-3650 a good cleaning and re-lubricated most of the mechanical workings of the tape transport.

The goal for these next sessions was to remove the old jacks from the machine’s connector panel and replace them with modern jacks that wouldn’t require adapters and could be used with our newer equipment in the video lab. Although the connectors were still functional, they were old and worn from use.

EIAJ Refurbishment Project: Cleaning and Relubricating our Sony AV-3650

January 7, 2013
by Michael Angeletti

Although much of our time at SMPL is spent digitizing and working with library collections, part of our work involves seeking out legacy equipment that can be refurbished and installed in our labs for use in our reformatting work. In 2011, we were fortunate to find a working ½” EIAJ reel-to-reel videotape machine for sale. Knowing that it would need some work before it could be used, it lay tucked away until we received funding late last year to overhaul the machine and get it working in our lab. This is the first in a series of blog posts documenting our progress as we complete work on the restoration of our Sony AV-3650.

Screenshot of Riverwalk Jazz website

A steady stream of Riverwalk Jazz

Did you read the news a few months ago about the Riverwalk Jazz archive coming to Stanford? Now the collection of radio shows is available online, featuring two channels of continuous audio streams: http://riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu/.

As fans of the long-running public radio program know, Riverwalk Jazz tells the story of early jazz and blues as it evolved in the first half of the 20th century. Using rich narrative, oral histories and interviews, clips of historic musical recordings, and live musical performances by the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, each radio show entertains and educates its listeners, promoting classic jazz music and an appreciation for its place in history. With this new web site, the series of programs is presented by the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound as an incomparable research collection for use by jazz scholars and fans alike.

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