For the month of September, Peter Chan - our digital archivist - is visiting the Royal Library, the National Library of Denmark and Copenhagen to share tools and processes for managing born-digital materials in collections. While hosted by the Digital Preservation Department, he will also spend time with Digital Humanities team, the Digital Forensics team and finally the Game Preservation team (based on Peter's work with born-digital workflows, ePADD-email archiving software project and the NIST-Cabrinety project at the library as well as the GAMECIP project with UCSC).
We are delighted to share that Special Collections and University Archives has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries through the Institute for Museum & Library Studies (IMLS), to fund additional development of ePADD, open source software that supports archival processes around the appraisal, ingest, processing, discovery, and delivery of email archives.
The initial public release of ePADD was made available on Github on June 30, 2015, following two years of development funded through the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
This second phase of development, beginning November 1, 2015, will specifically focus on building out additional functionality that advances the formation of a National Digital Platform, through expanding the program’s scalability, usability, and feature set. Special Collections & University Archives will undertake this work with partners at University of California, Irvine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University, and the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).
More information about ePADD, including links to the software, documentation, community forums, and the mailing list, can be found on the ePADD project website.
Alert 747: Suspected Nuclear Test - A journey to uncover facts and create dialog through humanistic creative production. This February, Stanford University Libraries (SUL) highlights a special collection, Vela 6911 by Victor Gama, with an exhibit on display in the Green Library South Lobby from February 3- March 9, 2015. Vela 6911 is a multimedia musical piece created by Victor Gama, an Angolan composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. This exhibit offers a glimpse into this vast collection of research, images, video content and musical scores that reside in the SUL Archive of Recorded Sound. It also supports and coincides with the March 6th live performance of VELA 6911 by Gama, the Stanford University New Ensemble and special guests from Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Information about the concert is at the Stanford Events Page.
ePADD, a software package being developed by Stanford University's Special Collections & University Archives that supports archival processes around the ingest, appraisal, processing, discovery, and delivery of email archives, is undergoing significant changes in the ramp up to the first public release scheduled for late April.
While reading Sybil Schaefer's interview "We're All Digital Archivists Now," I was happy to see the following comment "we don’t all need to be digital archivists, but we do need to be archivists who work with digital materials. It’s not scalable to have one person, or one team, focus on the 'digital stuff.'"
I heartily agree with her statement. Since our involvement in the AIMS project, we have required that project archivists process both the analog and digital portions of a collection. And yet, it is apparent that there is a very important role for a digital archivist. Someone who will keep up with new tools and automated processing methods, be on hand to train these project archivists, support acquisition (curators, subject specialists, donors) and explore and assist with our efforts across a wide spectrum of new projects.
If you are interested in some of the details regarding the activities and functions of SUL's digital archivist, please read Peter Chan's recent article - "What Does it Take to Be a Well-rounded Digital Archivist?"
We are happy to announce that Lucy Waldrop will join Special Collections in September as the project archivist on the Helen and Newton Harrison papers project. This is an NEH-funded project and will conclude in February 2016. Lucy comes to us from Wichita State University, where as a project archivist, she processed several large collections including that of photographer and film director Gordon Parks. The Harrison collection is a significant acquisition and this preservation and processing project is one of several art projects being undertaken by Special Collections in collaboration with the Art Library in the coming year.
The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG) was founded by The New York Public Library and Columbia, Harvard, and Yale universities and incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in late 1975. In 1978 RLG moved its offices from Branford, Connecticut, to Stanford University in California; adopted Stanford’s library automation staff and computer system (BALLOTS) as the starting point for its own library system (RLIN), plus a series of complementary services and databases; and opened its membership to research institutions throughout the U.S.
Steven Meretzky is a pioneer in the computer games industry. His decades-long career includes experience working as a quality assurance analyst, game designer, product designer, and writer. Most of his signature contributions to the industry occurred while he was employed at Infocom, Inc., which was a prolific and highly-acclaimed publisher of text adventure games back in the 1980s. His most famous collaboration was with Douglas Adams on the computer game version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – a text adventure game that is notorious for its arcane and difficult puzzles.
Text adventures are also known as interactive fiction and are played completely through simple instructions that the player types into a computer program. The computer translates these instructions (ex. “go north,” “get lamp,” etc.) and responds with prepared text, unfolding a story on screen for the player. Meretzky’s skills for creating these type of narrative games led to his inclusion as one of only two game writers in the Science Fiction Writers of America (the other being Dave Lebling, one of his colleagues at Infocom.)