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An image of a problematic cassette in original housing.

Compact cassettes, despite their simplicity, often present problems during digitization. This entry will highlight an approach to digitizing compact cassettes that exhibit squealing and speed instability after being rehoused using new hubs, slip sheets and associated components.  Since I have started here the only cassettes, to present this problem are labeled “Stanford Bookstore”, so the actual manufacturer of the cassettes is unknown. Currently there are two common treatments for addressing squealing cassettes: playback in a cold environment or lubrication of the tape during playback. This entry describes tape lubrication and is informed by the work of Richard Hess and Marie O’Connell. I will first introduce the collection currently being digitized then briefly highlight an approach to applying D5 (Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) lubricant to rehoused cassettes. For more information on D5 and soft binder syndrome, visit Richard Hess’s webpage here: http://bit.ly/11SBTVP.

 

Undergraduates are a hard-working group, and nowhere is this truer than here at Stanford. Our undergraduates make frequent contributions to scientific research all over campus, and important contributions are important to preserve. Which is why today's Deposit of the Week comes to us from student Tessaly Jen.

The Forensics / Born-Digital lab recently received a request from the Earth Sciences Library to recover the data off of a Zip disk.  The Zip disk format was created by Iomega corporation in 1994 and was a large floppy disk like format with a capacity of 100 MB.  The drives are no longer commercially available but the Forensics / Born-Digital lab has a Zip disk drive to recover data from this format.

Transformation is a common theme among the eight final student team projects of this year's ME310 cohort. Take, for example, Idéum, which proposes how to transform an old building in a Swedish coastal town into an innovation center for Volvo workers who insist "that they [are] not innovative people." The students ask, and then answer, "How might we build confidence and make a user feel like an innovative genius, with a tool that actually helps develop creative skills?"   

Ochre Sea Stars (Pisaster ochraceus)

Making historical data sets available to the world is one of the many ways the Stanford Digital Repository is promoting data preservation and sharing. This Deposit of the Week from Hopkins Marine Station is a perfect example of that.

Pisaster ochraceus--the ochre sea star--lives along the rocky coast of Central California and the Hopkins Marine Life Refuge. Studies of the ochre sea star population over time help scientists better understand what is happening to the population and how outside forces like the reintroduction of a possible predator or local environmental changes can affect it. 

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) – the unit responsible for digitization and preservation of Stanford University Libraries' (SUL) extensive holdings of sound recordings and moving images -- is busy this summer preparing for our new home at 425 Broadway in Redwood City. SMPL is one of several SUL divisions relocating from our current occupancies at 1450-1454 Page Mill Road at the behest of the University.

Over 50 pieces of film, audio, video playback and treatment equipment -- nearly 1 ton of gear -- plus the desks of SMPL's four staff will be moved over Labor Day weekend (August 31 – September 2, 2013). In preparation for the move, normal lab operations will begin to wind down in early August. The work to reconfigure, cable and re-install the equipment will take 2-4 weeks. We expect to resume regular levels of services and productivity by October 1.

Some of the latest work underway in Digital Library Systems and Services involves adding digital collections to SearchWorks. Last week saw the addition of five new collections to SearchWorks, all created and deposited to the Stanford Digital Repository using the Self-Deposit web application.

Of the five, we’re highlighting Preserving Virtual Worlds, a collection produced by curator Henry Lowood and a team of collaborators in a multi-institution project funded by the Library of Congress. Original software, gameplay samples, technical documentation, web sites, and other contextual information for games like SimCity, DOOM, and Star Raiders are archived for the ages.  Henry’s blog announcement sums up the project and collection nicely.

Stanford University Libraries has partnered with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to preserve one of the world’s largest collections of software. Funded by the National Software Reference Laboratory (NSRL), Stanford and NIST will spend two years digitally preserving the 15,000 software titles in the Stephen M. Cabrinety Collection in the History of Microcomputing held by Stanford University Libraries (SUL).   

The Cabrinety Collection is one of the largest pristine historical collections of microcomputing software in the world, including titles from virtually all of the major microcomputer platforms, including home computer and video game consoles. The collection was assembled by Stephen M. Cabrinety (1966-1995), who began collecting software as a young teenager and maintained an intensive interest in computer history throughout his life. Stanford University acquired the entire collection as a gift from the Cabrinety family in 1998.

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