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.
Many of the unpublished materials in the Musical Acoustics Research Library records have been digitized, except for personal correspondence and other miscellaneous documents. This includes materials from the four collections: the Catgut Acoustical Society, the John W. Coltman Collection, the Arthur H. Benade Collection, and the John Backus Collection. Researchers may access the digital copies through links from the description in the online finding aid.
The collection was processed in 2011 by Andrea Castillo. For more information please see Andrea's previous article.
The beginning of 2013 has seen a number of significant developments at Stanford's Archive of Recorded Sound, especially in the area of patron services, both at the Archive itself and online.
Information relating to these improved services can be found on the Archive's new website. This detailed resource also includes information on the Archive's extensive collections, guidelines for planning a research trip to the Archive, and finally recommendations for notable sound recording research tools, both online and in print.
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."
We’re pleased to share the news of today’s official release of the Bassi Veratti digital collection website. A video highlighting the historical import of the project and resulting site can be viewed on youtube . A version with narration in Italian is also available via youtube.
The digital Bassi Veratti Collection was first conceived in 2010 through discussion between the Stanford University Libraries, the Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio di Bologna (Archiginnasio) and the Istituto per i Beni Artistici, Culturali e Naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna (IBC) along with Stanford Professor of History, Paula Findlen. Its development was truly an international collaboration, with the Archiginnasio providing the archive itself, its inventory and expertise about the collection’s contents, history, and arrangement, and Stanford librarians, digital technology specialists and web application designers and engineers transforming the inventory into a digital finding aid, managing the digitization work from afar, and conceptualizing and creating the bilingual discovery and delivery interface. The IBC provided regular support for the initiative, thanks to considerable experience gained through international projects.
In the eighteenth century, Laura Bassi was a scientist, professor at the University of Bologna, and member of the Bologna Academy of Sciences. Among the very first female professional scholars, her life (1711 - 1778) and work can tell us much about the personal and professional lives of early women scientists, their place in Enlightenment intellectual networks, as well as the spread of Newtonian physics in the Italian peninsula. Stanford history professor Paula Findlen is currently completing a scholarly biography on Laura Bassi.
The Bassi Veratti Collection website features high-resolution digital images of the complete contents of the Bassi e famiglia Veratti Archive presented in a robust discovery and delivery environment. This remarkable project managed by the Digital Library Systems and Services department (DLSS) is notable for the extent of cooperation with colleagues in Bologna. A fully bilingual website, it showcases the fresh approach taken by DLSS engineers to use existing open source technologies in exposing this richly-described archival collection to researchers. 672 letters, diplomas, poems, and other documents have been digitized, while the detailed inventory created by Archiginnasio archivists has been transformed into a fully indexed search interface to the collection. These two components have been seamlessly united in an intuitive and well designed scholarly website. For a full description of the technologies in use throughout the project and on the website, please refer to the technical summary on the site.
To celebrate the culmination of this important collaboration and the launch of the website, and to shine a spotlight on this remarkable woman on her 300th birthday, “The Papers of Laura Bassi and her Family: The Digitization of the Bassi Veratti Collection” will take place in Bologna on 20-21 March 2013. Findlen and University Librarian Michael Keller will be among the dignitaries and speakers participating.
The project was supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Marini Foundation, and Silicon Valley executive Guerrino de Luca (who serves on the Libraries Advisory Council). The contents of the digital Bassi Veratti archive will be permanently preserved in the Stanford Digital Repository.
The Oversized Imaging Lab has recently imaged a 70 x 90 inch rolled Map of Santa Clara County from 1914.
It was shot in 108 tiles and stitched together to create a 600 ppi, 55554 x 42686 or 2.371 gigapixel, 7.11 GB digital surrogate. This is the largest object we have imaged in the Map Scanning Lab thus far - it is an exciting milestone!
There are approximately 40 more oversize rolled maps in the Branner Map Collections that are waiting to be digitized. These maps are challenging from an access standpoint due to their cumbersome size. As the Assistant Map Librarian Jane Ingalls put it "these maps are so large that the patron can't see the center of the Map when it is laid out on a table for viewing and it is hard to get to the center with a magnifying glass." Digitization solves this problem!
In an unassuming low-rise building on a side street in Naples, Florida sits the Revs Institute. The Institute, which is open to invited scholars and guests, houses a collection of fully restored historically significant automobiles, as well as a library containing images, books and ephemera. Since the images are carefully stored, many as negatives, a large number of them may not have been seen since they were taken. Up until now, this entire collection was housed under one roof, one large hurricane away from being damaged or lost.
We haven't yet figured out how to digitally preserve automobiles, but digitization of the large and unique image collection of the Revs Institute is underway. Working with Pixel Acuity and the Revs Institute, over 100,000 images representing over 1 terabyte of data have been digitized and preserved in the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) in just over a year since the project began. The Revs Digital Library website, built on top of SDR by engineers in the Stanford University Libraries, allows users to search and view all the images. The website is currently available only to members of the Stanford University community.
Each image can be viewed at full resolution using the zoom and pan controls familiar to users of Google Maps. Collections can also be browsed or viewed in a slideshow format. Next we plan to engage the automotive community by adding tools to help improve the metadata, thus adding additional value to the collection.
The initial internal launch of the Revs Digital Library is an important milestone - not only does it ensure these images will be preserved for the future, it also makes them readily available to scholars in the Revs Program at Stanford for research purposes.
But the work is only beginning. Over the next three years, along with additional tools and features, another 300,000 images are expected to become available in the digital library. And the history of the automobile will continue to be preserved for future generations.