Since our collaboration with political science researchers using web archives to understand the 2014 U.S. congressional elections, we've seen (and, hopefully, helped foster) growing interest in web archives as primary source material. This trend parallels a similar refocusing by other web archiving programs toward enhancing access services and facilitating research use. The maturity and the variety of these efforts, as well as the accumulating body of resulting research, provide an expanding list of references with which to orient and entice prospective researchers to the potential of working with web archives.
Digital Library Blog
The producers of Riverwalk Jazz, the popular public radio program dedicated to presenting, preserving and promoting classic jazz, recently issued their acclaimed live production of “Porgy and Bess: A Jazz Transcription” on CD. The original program masters, recorded in 1992 on analog quarter-inch tape, were paged from the Riverwalk Jazz collection held by the Archive of Recorded Sound and digitized at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab for the release.
From January 25th to 29th, we hosted Geo4LibCamp 2016 at the Hartley Conference Center and Branner Library. Inspired by the success of LDCX 2015, this inaugural event was planned as a hands-on meeting to bring together those building digital repository and associated services for geospatial data. We wanted to focus on sharing best practices, solving common problems, and addressing technical issues.
By Regina L. Roberts & Kris Kasianovitz
Did you know that Stanford University Libraries (SUL) librarians and staff are able to deposit articles, presentations, posters and other content they produce in the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR)? The Stanford University Libraries Staff Publications and Research Collection contains “publications and research produced and contributed by staff of Stanford University Libraries on a broad range of topics relevant to academic and research libraries”.
A welcome complement to the lately growing number of web archiving-specific events, the inaugural Web Archives: Capture, Curate, Analyze conference (tweet stream) brought together an eclectic crowd of researchers, instructors, students, archivists, librarians, developers, and others interested in web archiving. A novel mixture of institutions was also represented - some active principally through IIPC, many more associated with the SAA Web Archiving Roundtable and/or Archive-It Partner communities, and still others who I'd not yet encountered in these more established, practitioner-centric fora.
Echoing the sentiments of other participants, I was impressed and inspired both by the diversity of perspectives and the excitement for moving web archiving forward. As befitting such a group, the schedule and hallway conversations crossed a wide array of topics. Running through it all, though, questions of ethics seemed to be a persistent subject. I'll highlight three areas of ethical concern that stood out for me.
You may have noticed some changes in SearchWorks over the past several weeks. We've been working on a list of features prioritized by the SearchWorks Steering Committee and user feedback: new Requests forms, a Government Documents access point, better discovery and display of digital content, new items feed, and more email options.
Here's an end-of-year wrap-up and a look at what's still to come in 2016.
The world's first websites were built for very different rendering and navigation interfaces than the comparatively advanced browsers available today. Thanks to the work of web archivists (e.g., CERN, SLAC), we can celebrate the incongruity of accessing some of these ancient websites using modern browsers. While a traditional goal of web archiving has been to preserve the "canonical" user experience of a website, this has been persistently impaired by (among other challenges) accessing web archives using software other than would've been available at the time content was archived.
On September 2nd, 2015, I had the great privilege of conducting an oral history interview with John Chowning, Professor Emeritus at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Chowning, a pioneer in the world of computer music, is perhaps best known as the inventor of Frequency Modulation (FM) synthesis. His discovery was eventually licensed to Yamaha who integrated it into a number of instruments, most importantly, the DX7, the world’s first mass-produced digital synthesizer, released in 1983. The DX7 is generally regarded as one of the most important musical instrument inventions of the past 50 years, and was widely adopted by artists across multiple genres in the 1980s. My interview with Chowning is now available via the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). Chowning and I principally sat down to discuss Leon Theremin’s visit to Stanford in 1991, which Chowning organized and oversaw. Stanford University Libraries recently digitize video footage of this visit which included a day long symposium at CCRMA and an evening concert in Frost Amphiteatre at which Theremin, Max Mathews, and many other notable figures from the world of electronic and computer music at the time performed. However, Professor Chowning and I also discussed additional topics including Chowning's background in computer music, his history at Stanford and the inception of CCRMA, and his close personal and professional relationship with Max Mathews.