What We’re Reading: January 24, 2008 Edition

A new project between the Library of Congress and the photo-sharing site Flickr has created quite a buzz online, and therefore begins this week’s “What We’re Reading.” Also noted are two articles from the Washington Post, news from the Chronicle on disputed Iraqi archives, and an “unconference” announcement. And finally, just for fun, read about how Stephen Colbert has badgered the Smithsonian into displaying his portrait.

  • My Friend Flickr: A Match Made in Photo Heaven
    The Library of Congress is embracing Web 2.0 by collaborating with the photo sharing site Flickr to post 3,000 copyright-free images “from two of [their] most popular collections” online.  The project was announced on both the LOC’s blog and the Flickr blog, which is of course fitting in the world of Web 2.0. They’ve also posted a number of follow-up articles: Flickr Followup and Wow. Also, check out the LOC’s “The Commons” page and photos on Flickr for yourself.
  • A New, and Vast, Frame of Reference
    This article from the Washington Post, “A New, and Vast, Frame of Reference", on the African American National Biography project, touches on interesting issues, like the relationship between print and electronic publication and the process of completing a collaborative scholarly project.
  • Disputed Iraqi Archives Find a Home at the Hoover Institution
    The Chronicle reports that the Hoover Institution, of Stanford University, will receive “about seven million pages of records and other artifacts from Saddam Hussein’s tenure as Iraqi president.” But Iraqi officials are unhappy with the arrangement.
  • The Battle to Remold the Mall
    Michael E. Ruane of the Washington Post describes National Park Service efforts to balance a number of competing interests, including the rights of protestors, in preservation plans for the National Mall. The park service is soliciting public comments on the plan; the deadline is February 15. The article includes a link to details about the plan and information on how to submit comments at http://www.nps.gov/nationalmallplan/
  • THATCamp
    In this post, Dan Cohen describes the upcoming THATCamp “unconference” hosted by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason. CHNM draws from the Wikipedia description of an unconference, which is “a conference where the content of the sessions is created and managed by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by one or more organizers in advance of the event.” Also check out the CHNM’s THAT Podcast.
  • Stephen Colbert Portrait in the National Portrait Gallery
    Stephen Colbert, comedian and fake pundit, recently ran a three part series on his Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report” where he traipsed around Washington attempting to get the Smithsonian to display his portrait in one of its museums. After a failed attempt at the National Museum of American History, Colbert finally succeeded in his quest and his portrait will be hung at the National Portrait Gallery (albeit above a water fountain, between too bathrooms) for six weeks. While the series was unquestionably silly, it did offer Colbert’s audience a peek into the holdings of these two Smithsonian museums.

Contributors: Debbie Ann Doyle and Elisabeth Grant

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