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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.

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford

"As Dr. Srinivas watched the charred fragments of his lifetime's work crumble in a fireman's hands and fall to the ground, the scholar wept."

Forty-three years later, the details of the story may be different, but a similar fate could be awaiting any researcher who lacks good data management practices. 

It was shortly after 5 am on April 24,1970, and the offices of Dr. Srinivas and nine other scholars at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford had just been firebombed. 

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.

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 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.

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! 

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. 

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