Tag Archives: Preservation

Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

If you’re a fan of documentary films, you’ll want to check out The Best Documentaries of 2012 in this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup. And with all the severe weather experienced in many regions of  North America, be sure to take a look at Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery. You’ll find excellent advice from the Library of Congress on saving precious family collections.

  • Speak, Memory by  Oliver Sacks. [The New York Review of Books] “We, as human beings, are landed with memory systems that have fallibilities, frailties, and imperfections—but also great flexibility and creativity. Confusion over sources or indifference to them can be a paradoxical strength: if we could tag the sources of all our knowledge, we would be overwhelmed with often irrelevant information.”
  • The clues to a great story. [TED talk] “Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.”
  • Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery. “Mitigating the impact of emergencies and disasters is essential to preserving collections and family heirlooms. Whatever the disaster or emergency may be, water exposure is one of the most common problems and though not necessarily catastrophic, can result in total loss. Sound emergency planning, response, and recovery reduces this risk.”
  • Robert B Silvers. “As the New York Review of Books celebrates its 50th anniversary, its editor for all those years explains why a world without long, serious reviews is ‘unthinkable’.”
  • How To Stay Sane: The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling. “How To Stay Sane (public library; UK), [is] part of The School of Life’s wonderful series reclaiming the traditional self-help genre as intelligent, non-self-helpy, yet immensely helpful guides to modern living. At the heart of Perry’s argument — in line with neurologist Oliver Sacks’s recent meditation on memory and how “narrative truth,” rather than “historical truth,” shapes our impression of the world — is the recognition that stories make us human and learning to reframe our interpretations of reality is key to our experience of life.”
  • The Best Documentaries of 2012. [PBS] “From Sundance to the Oscars — and every festival, critics list and industry awards show we can find in between — we’re continually updating our list of lists of the “best” documentaries.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

In today’s Monday’s Link Roundup, if you look at nothing else, I highly recommend Noah St. John’s ‘The Last Mile’ [Video]. It’s tour-de-force storytelling by a 15-year-old boy. And for some excellent scanning advice from the Library of Congress make sure to read Scanning: DIY or Outsource.

  • Protecting Your Digital Assets in the Afterlife. “Many consumers have gone down the virtual path, accumulating online store credits and using PayPal to buy goods and services. But digital assets, which include anything from social networking profiles to email accounts to websites, can have value far beyond money. So the question remains: What happens when you pass away?”
  • Rare color photos of World War I. “Photographer Anton Orlov recently discovered over 600 color images from World War I on “Magic Lantern” slides in a house in Northern California. The images depict snow-covered villages, train tracks, bullet-riddled buildings, and soldiers in trenches, by houses and on trains. The slides were hand-colored and are still in good condition.”
  • Scanning: DIY or Outsource. “At our personal digital archiving events, we get various questions about scanning family photos, slides, negatives and film. Questions like:  What type of scanner should I use? What resolution should I use? How can I scan negatives? While we’ve focused on developing tips and resources for saving personal digital materials created with software and hardware, we recognize that individuals have the both analog and digital materials and are looking for guidance on how to deal with both.”
  • Virginia Woolf on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary. “A fairly late journaling bloomer, she began writing in 1915, at the age of 33, and continued until her last entry in 1941, four days before her death, leaving behind 26 volumes written in her own hand. More than a mere tool of self-exploration, however, Woolf approached the diary as a kind of R&D lab for her craft.”
  • My sons and I were linked in by Lincoln. “I was disappointed not long ago when my 21-year-old son, John, turned down my invitation to see the movie Lincoln. “I am not into politics, Dad,” he said over the phone. “Forget politics – think history,” I responded.”
  • Noah St. John’s ‘The Last Mile’ [Video] “This is the first of series of stories from a new partnership between The Huffington Post and NPR’s new hit storytelling program, “Snap Judgment,” hosted by Glynn Washington. And it’s a good one.” [Thanks to Sally Goldin of  Tell Me A Story for alerting me to this item.]

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup, don’t miss I Will always be there with you. If you teach Ethical Will writing or are thinking of composing your own, this letter from an American soldier is a must read.  Given the recent destruction brought on by Hurricane Sandy, you’ll find some timely advice in Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers. Finally, someone has touched on what is missing for me with an e-reader. If you feel the same, take a moment to read Out of Touch: E-reading isn’t reading.

  • Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook. “As a lover — and keeper — of diaries and notebooks, I find myself returning again and again to the question of what compels us — what propels us — to record our impressions of the present moment in all their fragile subjectivity. From Joan Didion’s 1968 anthology Slouching Towards Bethlehem (public library — the same volume that gave us her timeless meditation on self-respect — comes a wonderful essay titled “On Keeping a Notebook,” in which Didion considers precisely that.”
  • Social Media Isn’t Dead: It’s Boring. “Social media are a set of tools. They’re not all that interesting to talk about in and of themselves. The “gee whiz” has left the station. We want to talk about action– or if you’ll pardon the self-reference, impact. There are details and technologies you must master if you want to succeed. But that’s the keyboard-level and tactical part of what you’ll do. We wanted to give you something more encompassing.The strategies around and behind The Impact Equation boil down to 5 Cs.”
  • Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers. [National Archives] “During the mid-west floods of 1993, the staff of the National Archives developed some technical tips to guide individuals in emergency stabilization and salvage of damaged documents, photographs, books, and other personal papers. It is important to note that flood damage to some items may be irreversible. The treatment of objects of high monetary, historic, or sentimental value should only be performed in consultation with a conservator.”
  • New eBook: Bring Your Ancestors to Life Using Newspapers. “EasyFamilyHistory.com has announced a new e-book by Paul Larsen called Bring Your Ancestors to Life Using Newspapers. The announcement for the new book states, “Archived newspapers allow you to tap into a reliable source of hundreds of years of history, and give you the remarkable ability to see it through eyewitness accounts. You can easily explore your family tree and bring your family history to life for free using historical newspapers… if you know where to look.”
  • Out of Touch: E-reading isn’t reading. “Amid the seemingly endless debates today about the future of reading, there remains one salient, yet often overlooked fact: Reading isn’t only a matter of our brains; it’s something that we do with our bodies.”
  • Google engineer builds $1,500 page-turning scanner out of sheet metal and a vacuum. “For the past eight years, Google has been working on digitizing the world’s 130 million or so unique books. While the pace of new additions to the Google Books initiative has been slowing down, members of the team have come up with a new automated scanner design that could both make the project much more cost efficient and give everyone with $1,500 and a little know-how access to a page-turning scanner of their very own. In the video below, Google Books engineer Dany Qumsiyeh presents the prototype design that he and other teammates created during the “20 percent time” that Google (and now Apple, among others) allocates for personal projects, showing the design challenges he overcame along the way.”
  • I Will always be there with you. On May 1st of 2003, just weeks after being deployed to Iraq, Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, of Springfield, Missouri was killed when his tank fell into the Euphrates river. He was 34-years-old. Shortly after his death, the following farewell letter was delivered to his bereaved wife, Melissa, and his 6-year-old stepson, Dakota (“Toad”).

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The Best of Monday’s Links Roundup.

These are some of my favorite articles  from last year. If you missed them the first time around, now’s your chance to catch up.

  • A Brief History of Film Title Sequence Design in 2 Minutes. “In his graduation project, an absolutely brilliant motion graphics gem, Dutch designer and animator Jurjen Versteeg examines the history of the title sequence through an imagined documentary about the designers who revolutionized this creative medium.”
  • A Crash Course in Marketing With Stories. “If you want your marketing to really sizzle, if you want people to remember it, you need to turn your marketing messages into stories. I’ve broken down the classical elements of story below so you can begin to think like a storyteller, and make your marketing messages stick.”
  • 10 Essential Books on Typography. “Whether you’re a professional designer, recreational type-nerd, or casual lover of the fine letterform, typography is one of design’s most delightful frontiers, an odd medley of timeless traditions and timely evolution in the face of technological progress. Today, we turn to 10 essential books on typography, ranging from the practical to the philosophical to the plain pretty.”
  • When Data Disappears. “…if we’re going to save even a fraction of the trillions of bits of data churned out every year, we can’t think of digital preservation in the same way we do paper preservation. We have to stop thinking about how to save data only after it’s no longer needed, as when an author donates her papers to an archive. Instead, we must look for ways to continuously maintain and improve it. In other words, we must stop preserving digital material and start curating it.”
  • Selling My Mother’s Dresses. “Some of my favorite things — including the sundress I’m wearing today and the Winnie the Pooh car that Jay is pushing our daughter in — are from someone else’s life. I find no joy in shopping at regular stores anymore…I love trying to sniff out a memory from a bud vase or a favorite song from a case of L.P.’s. The stains and broken switches, the bend in the knee of an old pair of jeans. Sometimes I just want to look at how many Mason jars one person can collect and imagine what they might’ve held. It’s comforting to know that someone has breathed and laughed inside a sweater before me. That I am part of a continuum.” [Thanks to Mary M. Harrison of Morning Glory Memoirs for alerting me to this item.]
  • Tracking Personal Histories Across Time. “Sander Koot’s series Back from the Future is a pairing of new portraits of the individual with an older picture of that person from years past.. he only photographs individuals after interviewing them. “In this project, I ask people to find old portraits of themselves, of which they have good memories,” says Koot. “When talking to them about the picture, you see them reliving the happy moment. Only after I know all the details about the past of that picture, (do) we start the shoot.”

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Encore! How to Salvage a Damaged Audio Cassette.

audio tape brokenThis article was inspired by a personal history colleague of mine  in Victoria.  She wondered if I knew anyone who could fix an audio cassette that no longer seemed to work in her recorder. I confessed that I didn’t have any recommendations. So I got to thinking, “How difficult is it to repair an audio cassette?” I did some research.  Then I took apart a cassette  and amazingly put it back together again!  It requires patience and a steady hand but it’s not an impossible job… Read more.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

I’m a sucker for clever animation. In this Monday’s Link Roundup you won’t want to miss a real charmer, Spike Jonze’s Stop-Motion Bookstore Love Story. And if you’re concerned about digital preservation, take a look at this Library of Congress article Digital Preservation-Friendly File Formats for Scanned Images.

  • PBS Off Book: Type. “In episode 2 of Off Book, typeface designers Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones outline the importance of selecting the right font to convey a particular feeling. Graphic designer Paula Scher talks about building identity in messaging, while Eddie Opara uses texture to create reaction. Infographic designers Julia Vakser and Deroy Peraza map complicated data sets into digestible imagery, mixing color, graphics and type.”
  • The 20 Most Iconic Book Covers Ever. “We recently read an article over at We Made This in which Nick Hornby writes that ”the days of the iconic jacket illustration, the image that forever becomes associated with a much-loved novel, are nearly gone. The stakes are too high now.” If this is true, it’s just another way that advertising is ruining our lives, since one of the things we love best about the book as art object and experience is the way well-designed covers complement and enhance your reading, and the way they figure in your mind when you remember a book.”
  • The Memoir and Children’s Privacy. “An article published in The Times on Monday [August 30, 2009] discussed the controversy over “The Lost Child,” a memoir by a British writer, Julie Myerson, who chronicled her son’s drug addiction. After Ms. Myerson’s son, now 20, condemned the book, which was published in the United States this week, debate flared in Britain over whether it was proper for the author to expose her son’s troubles and over what the boundaries should be in memoir writing. Is it inappropriate and even harmful to expose the private lives of minor children, in particular? What privacy lines should be observed, if any, in writing about family members and others?”
  • Spike Jonze’s Stop-Motion Bookstore Love Story. “…[this] lovely short film … was created by Spike Jonze—director of Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, and so on—and the handbag designer Olympia Le-Tan. Among Le-Tan’s creations are limited-edition, felt book-clutches based on the famous covers of literary classics. Le-Tan met Jonze in Paris, and he asked for a Catcher in the Rye embroidery to put on his wall, … Le-Tan asked for a film in return.”
  • Old San Francisco Pictures Online. “If you or your ancestors ever lived in San Francisco, don’t visit this site! It is addictive. You’ll spend hours looking at the pictures! Dan Vanderkam moved to San Francisco in 2007 to work at Google. He became fascinated with his new city’s history and soon found the San Francisco Public Library’s online repository of old pictures. However, he quickly became frustrated by the site’s awkward user interface. He thought, “there must be a better way.”
  • Digital Preservation-Friendly File Formats for Scanned Images. “From a preservation standpoint, some digital file formats are better than others.  The basic issue is how readable a format remains over the course of time and successive waves of technological change.  The ideal format will convey its content accurately regardless of advances in hardware, software and other aspects of information technology.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Happy Monday! And welcome to Monday’s Link Roundup. As always there’s  a tasty mix of sites to sample. My favorite this week is The Future of the Book. There are some innovative and exciting ideas here and a glimpse of what some  personal histories could look like in the near future.

  • If you have lofty ambitions for your legacy, head for the attic. “As we cheerfully embarked on communicating our thoughts via evanescent media such as SMS and Twitter, storing our photographs on Flickr and Facebook, keeping our email messages on Gmail and Hotmail, did we ever give a thought to how much of this will endure beyond our lifetimes?” [Thanks to APH member Valerie A. Metzler for alerting me to this item.]
  • On covers. “I’ve been thinking about covers for a while now. One of the many great debates around the ephemeralisation of music has been the lamentations for the loss of cover art: now, we are reaching the same point with books.”
  • The Future of the Book. “Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?”
  • TypArchive. “Over the last 10 years I’ve been visually inspired by hand painted lettering. I began shooting while living in Brooklyn, New York 2001-2008. This obsession lead me to travel and shoot in other locations including, France, Mexico, Los Angeles, Oklahoma, Austin, New Orleans, Miami and Memphis.”
  • Retrofuturism Revisited: The Past Imagines the Future. “Last year, we looked at the 2020 Project, which invited some of today’s sharpest thinkers to imagine tomorrow. But how will their visions look to future generations? To get a taste for it, we looked to the past: Here are 6 charming visions for the future, from the past — a delightful exercise in retrofuturism that embodies humanity’s chronic blend of boundless imagination, solipsistic foolishness and hopeless optimism.”
  • Library and Archives goes digital. “Within the next seven years, Library and Archives Canada will put most of its services online, transforming the country’s leading memory institution into a fully engaged digital organization, just in time to celebrate Confederation’s 150th anniversary in 2017.”
  • What the census can teach us about ourselves. “… as family historians know, it’s the personal fragments garnered from census documents that tell the most dramatic stories of American life. These historical gems often provide clues that, knitted together, can weave a story as cherished as any family tapestry or ancestral tartan.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Hello. And welcome to Monday’s Link Roundup. For book designers don’t miss Inside Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Unmakeable” Interactive Book. It’s remarkable. For all of us who struggle with PowerPoint there’s useful advice in Five Ways to Not Suck at PowerPoint. For a thoughtful look at the future of publishing check out Apple-Esquire dust-up bodes ill for the publishing utopia we pictured.

  • Language May Help Create, Not Just Convey, Thoughts and Feelings. “The language we speak may influence not only our thoughts, but our implicit preferences as well. That’s the finding of a study by psychologists at Harvard University, who found that bilingual individuals’ opinions of different ethnic groups were affected by the language in which they took a test examining their biases and predilections.”
  • Inside Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Unmakeable” Interactive Book. “The book is actually a kind of interactive paper-sculpture: Foer and his collaborators at Die Keure in Belgium took the pages of another book, Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles, and literally carved a brand new story out of them using a die-cut technique.”
  • 45 Great Cultural Icons Revisited. “Below, you will find 45+ video & audio clips that record the words and actions of major figures from a bygone era. Artists, architects, filmmakers, actors, poets, novelists, composers, musicians, world-changing leaders, and those not easily categorized – they’re all here.”
  • Taking Care of Your Personal Archives. “…as a part of the Smithsonian’s October Archives Month celebrations, Smithsonian Institution Archives experts answered your questions about your own personal archives. The Facebook Q&A session we held over at the main Smithsonian Facebook page was a great success, and so we wanted to highlight some of the interesting questions that came out of the session.”
  • Five Ways to Not Suck at PowerPoint. “It’s easy to blame PowerPoint for boring presentations, but designer Jesse Desjardins suggests that more often than not, the speaker’s to blame, not the tool. In Desjardins’ presentation he outlines five common presentation design mistakes that can be easily avoided, along with suggestions on how you might do so.”
  • Grieving in the Facebook Age. “Chances are you’ve thought about what happens to you after you die, but have you ever wondered what happens to your social media?”
  • Apple-Esquire dust-up bodes ill for the publishing utopia we pictured. “…the news that Esquire had to tone down the racy bits to be published at the App Store realizes fears that have been murmured since Apple posited itself as the distributor of the future: Can a company that’s proved infamously fickle about deciding which apps will be sold in its store and which won’t really be hands-off about editorial content? Could a corporation with a messianic leader whose success derives from, among other things, obsessive design control really stand back? The answer is, apparently not.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Happy Monday! In this Monday’s Link Roundup you’ll discover there’s no shame in quitting, how to scan and restore photographs, why asking ” Why?” may not be a good thing,  the recorded voices of slavery, and much, much more.

  • How to Know When to Quit. “Quitting gets a bad rap. We’re often encouraged, from an early age, to stick with our projects at all costs – even when we’re totally fed up…Frankly, that’s nonsense.”
  • My Days. “25 elderly men and women between 79 and 104 years from Norway tell stories from their everyday lives. Filmmakers Hanne Jones and Eli Lea from the Norwegian film production company Flimmer Film went from door to door in old people’s homes in Bergen collecting stories from the residents lives. The stories were recorded, edited and vizualised with photographs from the storytellers personal photo albums. The films have been screened at Bergen Cinema and on the national public broadcaster channel NRK in Norway.”
  • Scanning and Restoring Photos. “I am a fan of Janine Smith, owner of Landailyn Research & Restoration, a Texas-based company whose services include family history research and photo restoration. Janine is a professional digital restorationist and is poised to increase her fan base by thousands having become one of the excellent instructors at Lynda.com.”
  • Interviewing Family: Why not Why? “Asking a question using the word “Why?” might sound judgemental. Especially if you’re family.When a family member asks another family member a question that begins with Why?, it might put the second person on the defensive in the same way as “Why didn’t you take out the trash?” You want to elicit information and stories, not put the person on the spot.”
  • Thirteen Overused and Abused Expressions I’d Like to Outlaw. “I recently came across an article about 115 forbidden words and expressions compiled by Randy Michaels, CEO of the Tribune Co.  The company owns the Chicago radio station WGN, and Michaels forbid radio anchors and reporters from using these words.”
  • Videos Preserve Memories, Messages of Terminally Ill. “One hospice in Florida that is making a difference by taping video documentaries to keep those family histories alive.Dawn Woodward is a director at the HPH Hospice Center in Spring Hill, Florida. There, she and a team of volunteers record legacy videos for patients like Anna Marie Dorcas.”
  • Voices from the Days of Slavery.“The almost seven hours of recorded interviews presented here took place between 1932 and 1975 in nine Southern states. Twenty-three interviewees, born between 1823 and the early 1860s, discuss how they felt about slavery, slaveholders, coercion of slaves, their families, and freedom. Several individuals sing songs, many of which were learned during the time of their enslavement.”

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From The Archives: Don’t Pass Up This Keepsake.

Don't Pass Up This Keepsake. Keepsake by Marilyn Koop is a must-have for your library.  A friend  gave me a copy the other day and I’ve been totally captivated by it. Each page contains a photograph of time-worn hands cradling a loved keepsake. On the page opposite is a cameo history of the person, a brief story behind the keepsake, and words of advice. There are twenty portraits in the collection. All save two were of people living at the Wellington Terrace, an assisted car … Read More