Tag Archives: Archive Watch


Archive Watch: Steve Jobs and Apple’s Early Days

In 1997, Apple didn’t look as if it had much of a future. The company was losing money, and its co-founder Steve Jobs had just come back to try to reverse the decline. “It was a low point for the company,” says Henry Lowood, curator of the History of Science and Technology Collections and the Film and Media Collections at Stanford University.

Streamlining operations, Apple decided to donate many of its research-and-development records and advertising materials, some historic machines, and other …


Wanted: Your Ideas on How to Build a Digital Public Library of America

Think you know what the proposed Digital Public Library of America should look like? Now’s your chance to weigh in. The project’s steering committee has just announced a “Beta Sprint,” inviting the public to contribute “ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc.” Anyone who wants to take part must submit a statement of interest by June 15, and final submissions are due September 1.

“We hope geeks and librarians, especially, will join forces to develop beta submissions in s…


Archive Watch: British Library Purchases Poet’s 40,000 E-Mails

E-mails don’t have the inky charisma of handwritten manuscripts, but they’re more and more a part of literary archives. For instance, when the British Library announced this week that it has acquired the poet Wendy Cope‘s archive, it made much of the hybrid nature of the material, which includes thousands of e-mails.

“Retrieved from ‘the cloud’, the collection of approximately 40,000 e-mails dating from 2004 to the present is the most substantial in a literary archive acquired by the Briti…


Archive Watch: Digitizing the Campus Newspaper

Philadelphia—Want to add a set of unique materials to your campus library’s digital collection? Scan the archives of the student newspaper. That’s what Bart Schmidt, a digital-projects librarian at Drake University, decided to do last year with The Times-Delphic.

Most student-newspaper archives “are unindexed and totally underused,” Mr. Schmidt told people who stopped by his poster presentation this afternoon here at the Association of College and Research Libraries conference. But they repres…


Collaboration Seeks to Provide Easier Access to E-Books

The steady growth of e-books has forced libraries to contend with how to curate and distribute materials in a way that makes them easy for increasingly technology-oriented patronage to access.

Some 150 public and academic libraries are trying to respond to that challenge through a new collaboration with the Internet Archive and Open Library. The arrangement will allow library patrons at participating institutions to access e-books owned and stored at libraries other than their home libraries. Br…


Archive Watch: Summer Doldrums Edition

The dog days of summer—it’s been an especially oppressive season here in the nation’s capital—have us thinking about air-conditioned museums and the sunless stacks of libraries. Here are some cool digital archives or archive-related projects we’ve come across lately. If you can’t make it to a museum, library, or archive in real life, cool off with some virtual browsing through one of these. Consider this an overture to the Society of American Archivists’s annual meeting, which will be held here …


Archive Watch: Good Samaritans

The Samaritans of biblical fame still exist, although their numbers are small: The current community, split between Holon, Israel, and Mount Gerizim in the West Bank, numbers just over 700 people. In 1901, a Michigan industrialist named E.K. Warren traveled to the Middle East and was asked to bring home a collection of sacred Samaritan objects for safekeeping. The objects include prayer books and centuries-old versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch, or Torah, which has some significant differences…


Archive Watch: Taking It Philosophically

Billed as “a comprehensive directory of online philosophy articles and books by academic philosophers,” PhilPapers is the brainchild of David Chalmers, a philosopher who directs the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University, and David Bourget, one of Mr. Chalmers’s graduate students. First sustained by ANU, the project now has a two-year grant from Britain’s Joint Information Systems Committee and support from the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London, where Mr…