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A wide range of sound recordings come to SMPL for digitization. Recently two disc recordings from the Archive of Recorded Sound’s Non-Commercial disc collection (ARS 0033) appeared in our queue: 6” duo disc blanks likely dating from the late 1940’s into the early 1950’s with recordings on one side. The discs appear to be have been recorded by a service called Santa Gram that sold semi-custom recorded greetings from Santa to children. 

(NOTE: this was first posted on Free Government Information blog as "What makes a "fugitive document" a fugitive?").

First off, I'd like to thank GPO (now the Government Publishing Office!) for posting about this Historic Fugitive Document Available through the CGP. I'd like to give a little context and parse out what makes a fugitive document -- a document that is within scope of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) but for whatever reason is not distributed by GPO to depository libraries -- a fugitive?

Fugitives are a rapidly growing problem as, according to GPO, 97% of all US documents are now born-digital, and most federal agencies are now publishing born-digital documents on their own .gov sites, thus cutting GPO out of the publishing process -- and eroding the national bibliography that is the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP) (BTW, my colleague Jim Jacobs (yes there are two of us!) and I will be giving a "Help! I'm an Accidental Government Information Librarian" webinar on fugitives next month so stay tuned for the announcement!).

In the case of the 1991 "Report on Semiconductors, Fiber Optics, Superconducting Materials, and Advanced Manufacturing”, an emeritus professor gifted this document to my colleague Stella Ota, our physics and astronomy bibliographer, who passed it along to me. I thought for sure we’d have this stand-alone or in the [United States Congressional Serial Set], the long-standing official collection of Congressional reports and documents near and dear to many govt information librarians' hearts -- and if you're particularly nerdy, there's a great book recently published about the Serial Set by Andrea Sevetson and Mary Lou Cumberpatch!

But the more I looked, the less I found. It was announced as transmitted to Congress in the Congressional Record (137 Cong Rec S 4449) and in the Public Papers of the President. But it didn’t show up in the Serial Set or in my wider net of the CGP, FDsys, or Monthly Catalog (another gem, the precursor to the CGP published since 1895). It shows up as a stub in Google Books, but nothing in Hathitrust. No libraries are listed in the WorldCat record. It simply hadn't been published, though it was announced that it had. (pro tip: don't always believe the Congressional Record when they say something has been published, check all the sources to make sure!).

I don't know how this Stanford emeritus professor came to have the document in his possession, but it had clearly fallen through the FDLP cracks. Thanks to Astrid Smith, one of our fine staff that work in the Stanford Library digitization lab in Digital Library Systems and Services (DLSS), it was quickly and expertly digitized, OCR'd, and stored in our Stanford Digital Repository, and also made physically available in the library.

So there you have it, a day in the life of 1 fugitive US publication.

Historic Fugitive Document Available through the CGP Details Last Updated: December 18 2014 Published: December 18 2014 The 1991 report prepared by the Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, “Report of the President to the Congress on Federal Policies, Budgets, and Technical Activities in Semiconductors, Fiber Optics, Superconducting Materials & Advanced Manufacturing,” is now available through GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

OCLC Number: 898189404
CGP System Number: 000938821
SuDoc Class: C 1.202:SE 5
Item Number: 0129-B (EL)
PURL: http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo53991

GPO thanks James Jacobs and the staff at Stanford University for collaborating with GPO to provide the public with access to this historic fugitive document.

Bridget Whearty and Astrid Smith in the digitization lab

As the CLIR postdoctoral fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at Stanford I work primarily with data about large collections of digitized manuscripts and fragments. For example, I have helped to make our teaching collections more easily discoverable in Searchworks. I've also been bringing together partner institutions' descriptive metadata to feed a specialized manuscript search environment. 

In practice, I write code to transform batches of 70, 300, 500, or 1000+ manuscripts at a time: I've gotten very comfortable thinking of medieval manuscripts in the tens, hundreds, and even thousands. But the truth is that these large batches of digital-medieval manuscripts I curate are built of unique, single objects. Single objects that, just like the physical objects they grow from, are made by individual people, in particular environments, under specific institutional, financial, and social pressures. 

In order to better understand the process that leads to the creation of a digital-medieval book, I recently followed the digitization of a fifteenth-century book of hours, Stanford University Libraries, M0379, from the request for digitization, through the slow hard work of taking the images and hours of post-production labor, to its arrival in Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). 

SUL logo

Calling all SUL staff! Have you recently published an article or presented a conference paper or poster that you'd like to archive and share? Perhaps you have some research or a project report relevant to our field that needs a permanent home? Don't forget that as vital members of the Stanford community, the Stanford Digital Repository is available to you, too. In fact, we set up the Stanford University Libraries Staff Publications and Research Collection specifically for this purpose. 

This past August, the journal of the American Institute for Conservation published a paper by Sarah Norris titled "Toward An Ontology Of Audio Preservation" which features the Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) as a case study. SMPL is presented alongside the Guggenheim Museum and IRENE (Image, Reconstruct, Erase, Noise, Etc.), a non-contact digitization technique developed in 2003 by Dr. Carl Haber at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in Norris' philosophical analysis of audio digitization approaches. 

CCRMA Logo

To correspond with the Triple CCRMALite concert and symposium this weekend (Oct 26-27, 2014), the Archive of Recorded Sound and Stanford Media Preservation Lab recently worked to digitized and make available a number of historic performances from Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. These recordings, from the CCRMA Tape Archive (ARS.0037), are now available to stream via the Triple CCRMALite website.    

Ruth Asawa at Tamarind lithography workshop 1965 by an unknown photographer

Walking around campus, one can readily see the impact of Stanford’s Arts Initiative. Joining the existing Cantor Arts Center are several new buildings, including the Bing Concert Hall, which opened in 2013, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, which opened on September 21st, and the growing structure that will be the McMurtry Building, slated to open in 2015.

In parallel with this new focus on the arts, the MSS division in Special Collections has worked over the last year with Peter Blank and Anna Fishaut at the Art & Architecture Library, in identifying and funding the preservation and processing of four recently acquired art collections. Some of the projects will include selected reformatting of audio-visual elements, processing of digital files, additional digitization efforts, and collaboration with the libraries’ Department of Conservation and the Art Library’s Visual Resources Center.

Volvo CE 310X

For the second year in a row, students from ME310 Project Based Engineering Design submitted their final projects to the SDR for preservation. With the submission of these 19 projects, we also preserved the Winter quarter reports for the students’ design projects.   This year’s projects covered a variety of products from construction equipment to designing a better way to chill a drink to creating a better flying experience for passengers with limited mobility.  These projects help inform future classes about design process as well as create a network of contacts for future work. 

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