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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." 

The Slave Market in Rio de Janeiro

Professor Zephyr Frank and his fellow researchers have created a fascinating (and easy to use!) visualization of the slave market in Rio de Janeiro. This web-based visualization was published as part of an article in the Journal of Latin American Geography, but the data itself was not made available.

Today marks a major milestone in Stanford University LIbraries' ability to provide easy and seamless access to digital collections.  As of today, digital collections will begin appearing in SearchWorks, the Libraries' discovery interface. This means that collections can be discovered in the course of searching and browsing through the totality of Stanford's library collection. For example, a search on the "burning of San Francisco" will not only turn up books, videos and conference proceedings, but also a 1906 lithograph of the city burning, from the Reid Dennis collection.  
 
Because each collection item links to its parent collection object within SearchWorks, researchers can easily discover and browse through entire digital collections, such as this set of 1,402 portraits from the Leon Kolb collection, just by discovering any item from the collection.  This is a signifcant enhancement to scholars' abilities to see "items in context" and for discovering related items.   
 
Prior to this major SearchWorks enhancement our digital collections were available either through special digital collections web sites, such as http://collections.stanford.edu/, or through PURL (persistent URL) pages for individual objects, such as this 18th century map of California as an Island: http://purl.stanford.edu/hm809qj3660
 
A big part of the work leading up to these additions is creating the pipeline to add future collections automatically to SearchWorks. Next month we expect the advent of more new collections for manuscripts, maps and data sets, and then an ever increasing flow of records. 

It should come as no surprise that University Archives is brimming with a diverse body of digital content gathered from all corners of Stanford, files documenting student life, campus affairs, and the administration of the University. Since his introduction to SDR Self-Deposit, University Archivist Daniel Hartwig has made frequent use of the system to preserve and provide access to these historic materials. Here are some deposits of particular interest:

  • Project MKULTRA collection - Documents related to Stanford’s involvement in covert research projects on mind control conducted by the CIA during the Cold War.
  • Stanford Commencement Collection - Transcripts of commencement speeches delivered on The Farm, including the speech by George Elliot Howard at the second commencement in 1893.
  • The Stanford Flipside - A complete set of the Flipside’s weekly newspaper edition. Readers in Canada can now access the back issues for free!

Many more interesting items from University Archives are available and preserved in the SDR. In fact, Daniel's enthusiastic engagement with the SDR has won him the honor of depositing the 100th item using the online deposit system.  Kudos, Daniel, and thanks for helping us to reach this milestone! 

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