What We’re Reading: February 21, 2008 Edition

We start off this week’s post with three articles related to online digitization: a report from the Council on Library and Information Resources, a response to scanning errors from Google Books, and another look at the open-source program Omeka. Also, read about NARA’s extended research room hours, the University of Maryland’s links to slavery, George Washington as a lame duck president, and finally a 1908 campus protest.

  • Preservation in the Age of Large Scale Digitization (PDF)
    A new report (PDF) from the Council on Library and Information Resources takes a detailed and comprehensive look at the so-called Large Scale Digitization Initiatives, such as those undertaken by Google, the Open Content Alliance, or the Million Book Project. The CLIR report examines not only issues like quality control (discussed previously on this blog), but also the impact of digitization on book collections.
  • From the Mailbag: Report scanning errors in a cinch
    Almost two years and a million books into their scanning program (and despite a number of widely publicized concerns about their quality controls), Google Books engineers have only just thought to provide a way of reporting scanning errors.
  • New Tool for Online Collections
    Inside Higher Ed reports on Omeka, an open-source “web platform for publishing collections and exhibitions online,” created by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Tom Scheinfeldt, managing director at CHNM, presented Omeka at one of the digital history sessions at the AHA’s 122nd Annual Meeting.
  • National Archives Announces Extended Research Room Hours
    Earlier this month, Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, announced that weekend and evening hours at the National Archives in DC and College Park, MD will be extended. The AHA protested cutbacks on hours in 2006, and this development is a success for historians and researchers alike.
  • College Park’s Links To Slavery on Syllabus
    A new two-semester class at the University of Maryland, lead by Ira Berlin, a noted historian of U.S. slavery, will investigate the university’s past ties to the slave trade.  Berlin will use the class to teach students historical methods, and then set them to work in the university archives. The students will assemble their findings in a report to university president C.D. Mote Jr., and provide recommendations for addressing the issue.
  • Our Founding Lame Duck
    Historian William Hogeland takes a no-nonsense look at the last year of our first lame duck president, George Washington, and the precedents he established in that arena.
  • February 15, 1908: A Student Uprising at Texas A&M
    The Chronicle blog Footnoted takes readers back to 1908 to a campus protest. This post is one of a number where Footnoted takes “an occasional look at news from academe precisely a century ago, with an assist from the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America project.”

Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Arnita Jones, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert Townsend

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