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The Big Idea Festival was a big deal to the students enrolled in "Computers and Interfaces: Psychological and Societal Perspectives", an undergraduate course (Communications 169) taught by Cliff Nass in Winter 2013. The event, which took place at Stanford on March 11, was a showcase of projects produced by teams of students with the assignment to imagine and design innovative interactions between automobiles and the people who drive them.

There is the Intuition rental car, a semi-autonomous vehicle marketed to vacationers, and there is the car that never forgets. With Xpress, you can more easily share your emotions with drivers around you and rate better with insurance companies for the number of “thumbs-up” messages you receive from fellow drivers. Looking for a personalized driving experience? Try FollowMe: “Sync your phone with any new car and automatically have all of your personal preferences (ranging from auto-tinted to glass settings to your favorite radio stations) follow you!”

Clearly this is new and fertile ground for the automotive and technology industries, and you can better believe carmakers in attendance at the Festival were interested in the fresh ideas coming from the minds of today’s Stanford students. Wired magazine was there to report on it.

The Big Idea Festival is also the newest collection in the Stanford Digital Repository. Professor Nass gathered the students’ final project files and provided them, along with the event program containing some basic descriptive metadata, to SUL as a real use case for a pilot with the new SDR Self-Deposit application. A small team of DLSSers threw a “deposit party” with Regina Roberts, subject specialist for Communications, where we shared some lunch while uploading the narratives and storyboards as submitted by the students. It was a fun and quick way to get the collection’s 75 items into the repository. As a bonus, now more SUL staff have some hands-on experience with the SDR Self-Deposit software.

We will see more collections of student works coming to the SDR. This spring, students enrolled in ME310 will deposit their team projects directly in the SDR for long-term preservation and access, adding to the existing collection of digitized reports like this one in the ME310 archival collection.

The four fundamental phase transitions for compressed sensing with Gaussian matrices

When thinking about how researchers at Stanford might want to use the Stanford Digital Repository to support their work, probably the first scenario we envisioned was for publication support. And apparently we weren't the only ones.

Even before we started advertising the availability of the SDR for research data, Hatef Monajemi, a graduate student in the statistics department, came to us with just the problem we had envisioned.

Betty Grover Eisner audiotape

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab recently completed reformatting the audio tapes contained in the Betty Grover Eisner papers, held by University Archives. Eisner was at the vanguard of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs in her psychotherapy research during the 1950s and 60s. The majority of the tapes document long, multi-hour therapy sessions, with patients on mind alterting substances. Because of the content, which is often sexually explicit, these tapes are restricted; those interested patrons who want to listen to these tapes should contact the University Archivist for more information. A handful of tapes do have worldwide access however, including this cassette of a talk Eisner gave at a UCLA psychology seminar exactly 42 years ago. 

This month marks the start of Stanford Media Preservation Lab's effort to reformat the audiovisual materials from the Benoit Mandelbrot collection. Over the course of the next month, SMPL will complete the project, making the materials available to researchers and patrons through SUL's Department of Special Collections.

Image of the earth from space

An.thro.po.cene: /ˈanTHrəpəˌsēn/ noun  The current geologic age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. -- Oxford Dictionaries

Great things are going on at the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR), and when great things are going on, word is sure to get around. Earth Sciences PhD student Mike Osborne is the creator and co-producer of Stanford's "Generation Anthropocene" podcast. Mike learned about the SDR's digital preservation services from our colleagues over at HighWire Press and is now working with us to preserve audio and transcripts of the more than 50 "Generation Anthropocene" episodes that have been produced thus far.

Continuing Stanford University Library's collaboration with the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP), four items from University Archives have recently been added to the Internet Archive:

In developing the new deposit interface for the Stanford Digital Repository, first and foremost we had in mind the needs of Stanford students, researchers, faculty and the SUL selectors who build collections for their use. So it was a surprising -- and happy -- moment when it became apparent that Stanford library staff have their very own content to archive, too. A collection for gathering SUL staff publications and research has been established for this purpose and is already populated with two exemplars of the leaderful work and innovative ideas produced by our colleagues. 

Phil Schreur's award-winning article, "The Academy Unbound: Linked Data as Revolution", published in Library Resources & Technical Services in October 2012, is now hosted here at home: http://purl.stanford.edu/bd701dh8028. This fine specimen will serve as good fodder for linked data work happening in our very own digital library. 

James R. Jacobs has deposited "The Digital-Surrogate Seal of Approval: a Consumer-oriented Standard", a work co-authored with UC San Diego librarian James A. Jacobs (no, that is not a typo, just an interesting coincidence). First appearing in the most recent issue of D-Lib magazine, the article is now available from our own servers at: http://purl.stanford.edu/dy870cw5618. As a "born-digital" publication, it will never qualify for the DSSOA seal, but it most certainly is worthy of archiving in the SDR. 

Congratulations to James and Phil for their contributions to the profession. If other SUL staff have publications or other professional work on topics relevant to academic and research libraries and are interested in depositing into the SUL collection, please let the SDR staff knowIf you follow James @freegovinfo, you already know that the deposit experience "feels so good!"

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab has recently finished reformatting the 440 audiocassettes in the Fred Ross papers, an immense body of audio documenting the training meetings held by labor organizer Fred Ross Sr. Housed in Special Collections, the digitized audio focuses extensively on house meetings in the 1970s and 80s, an organizing technique Ross developed and taught. A small portion of the tapes include Cesar Chavez, who Ross hired and trained in the early 50s. Chavez later went on to form the National Farm Workers Association, but Ross always remained a mentor and strong influence. "As time went on, Fred became sort of my hero," Chavez said. "I saw him organize and I wanted to learn." 

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