Friday, March 4, 2011

Digital Humanities Roundup

David H. Rothman, "It's Time for a National Digital-Library System:
But it can't serve only elites,"
Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2011
President Obama did not use the word "library" in his State of the Union Address, but wittingly or not, he helped the cause by citing digital textbooks as one justification for American business to expand high-speed broadband coverage. The topic is finally gaining attention in the national news media as well. Peter Svensson, an Associated Press writer, recently delved into the problems of e-books in public libraries today and complained that they are divided among thousands of libraries. "Some branch out there might have a spare copy of The Black Swan," he wrote, "yet I'm stuck in the long line of the local library. One national e-book library would be better." The New York Times ran a feature in January headlined "Playing Catch-Up in a Digital Library Race," describing how other countries have already begun: The National Library of Norway is digitizing its entire collection. The National Library of the Netherlands has started an ambitious digitizing project.>>>

Richard J. Alley, "Digital history: New online archive displays vast collections of library's Memphis Room," Commercial Appeal (Memphis), March 3, 2011
If you are interested in a sepia-toned photo of the 1932 graduating class of Central High School or an 1836 letter from William Andusentte of New Orleans to Britton Duke of Germantown regarding cotton prices, you can put on your shoes and button up your coat before heading to the fourth floor of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library to see them.>>>

"National Digital Newspaper Program: A partnership between the Library & the National Endowment for the Humanities," Library of Congress
The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.>>>

Josh Hadro, "TRLN Digitization Strategy Advocates Flexible Approach to Intellectual Property Rights of Large Collections," Library Journal, February 24, 2011
Go forth and digitize: so says a recent report from the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), which urges libraries to make large-scale special collections available online, even if some question about the copyright status of certain elements remains. The TRLN group—which includes Duke University, North Carolina Central University (NCCU), North Carolina State University (NCSU), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)—described this strategy in a recently released document, "The Triangle Research Libraries Network's Intellectual Property Rights Strategy for Digitization of Modern Manuscript Collections and Archival Records Groups" [PDF]. The title may be unwieldy, but the underlying idea is simple and appealing: don't let potentially legitimate but vague copyright concerns overwhelm digitization projects of significant scholarly value.>>>

Olivia Parker, "Print books hold their own over digital media," Telegraph, March 3, 2011
. . . . Print books still look unlikely to go out of fashion in the immediate future however, with both adults and teenagers ranking them ahead of news, comics, e-books and magazines as their preferred media.>>>


LD said...

I am old-fashioned about wanting to make sure that we do our best to preserve hard-copy printed texts of every pickin' thing we digitize. Don't know if that's the historian in me or just the fetishistic bibliophile.

That said, I am awed and thrilled by the incredibly vast array of archival information which is available via the internet. This is a good time to be a historian. But of course, I suppose that's always true.

Randall said...

I agree, LD. My heart sinks when I hear about libraries throwing bound copies of journals into dumpsters. I think that sort of thing will be regretted later.

LD said...

Okay, Randall, I've been mulling over your post and your comment here, and I have my own two cents to add to the conversation. Well, it's a long post -- more like 10 cents' worth. :)

Digital Humanities

Would be interested to know what you think. (Would be interested to know what I think -- still trying to figure that out.)