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Editors’ Choice: Robots.txt

Creative Commons image by Patrick Hoesly via Flickr

The Internet Archive does some amazing work in the Sisyphean task of archiving the web. Of course the web is just too big and changes too often for them to archive it all. But Internet Archive’s crawling of the web and serving it up out of their Wayback Machine, plus their collaboration with librarians and archivists around the world make it a truly public service if there ever was one. Recently they announced that they are making (or thinking of making) a significant change to the way they archive the web…

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Editors’ Choice: Books as Medicine

Have you ever read a book and felt healed by it? Most readers can think of a novel that offered some comfort, a poem that presented direction, or even a biography that provided inspiration. The notion that books can heal is as old as reading itself but, during World War I, doctors and librarians joined together to apply reading as a form of therapy… This online exhibit is part of an exhibit on World War I and bibliotherapy on display at the Homer D. Babbidge Library at the University of Connecticut.

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Job: Digital Processing Archivist

The University of Texas Libraries is recruiting a Digital Processing Archivist.

From the ad:

Manage, preserve and provide access to archival collections from post-custodial partnerships. Build and maintain relationships with post-custodial partners in Latin America. Support the implementation of post-custodial projects at partner sites in Latin America, including the development of digitization and metadata workflows. Create and conduct training in best practices for digital object description and preservation in support of post-custodial initiatives. Promote capacity building in support of local digital infrastructure for partner institutions. Review archival material received from partners and oversee quality control.

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Job: Molloy College – Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and New Media

From the ad:

The Department of Digital Humanities and New Media at Molloy College invites applications for an Assistant Professor rank faculty member in game studies to begin January 1, 2018. Applicants’ expertise in teaching and research may include interactive narrative, digital games studies, game theory and development, educational games, and digital media literacy in secondary ELA or education. Applicants’ interests should also emphasize social good, particularly how digital technology interfaces with and disrupts structural inequalities along axes of identity and subjective formation (race, class, gender).

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Editors’ Choice: The Story of the Stuff

It smelled like popcorn on April 16, 2007. I had just begun projecting a movie at the Lyric Theatre in sleepy downtown Blacksburg, Virginia. It was an early morning show geared towards moms with small children and special needs patrons. I can no longer remember the title of the film. Just the smell of popcorn and getting a phone call. “There’s been a shooting on campus. Lock the doors.” Everyone knows what happened next. In the weeks that followed, all the world over learned of the shooting that left 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech dead, plus the shooter himself. The satellite trucks came and didn’t stop coming until the university’s enormous conference center parking lot was full. Our private grief became public. Like so many people in Blacksburg—a town of only 40,000—I knew a few of the victims. The footage you see above is my sole document of those days. I used my Super-8 camera to film the town’s movie theater marquee, the stone memorials for the victims. Something about the silent film made it more permanent and also less real. And it certainly looked different from the footage I saw on television: this wasn’t an outsider’s “pornography of the real.

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Announcement: Mapping Early American Elections

From the announcement:

The Mapping Early American Elections team is pleased to launch the project website. During this three-year project, funded by the Division of Preservation and Access at the National Endowment for the Humanities, we plan to blog about our process and progress. Our project is building on the New Nation Votes (NNV) collection of electoral returns, a project that was also funded by the NEH. Mapping Early American Elections is turning those election returns into a dataset which has a spatial component. Our dataset will offer researchers new opportunities to visualize and map the changing character of early American democracy as revealed through the country’s earliest elections, 1787 to 1825.

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CFP: Current Research in Digital History

From the CFP:

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media invites submissions for the first annual Current Research in Digital History conference. Submissions should offer historical arguments and interpretations rather than showcase digital projects. We anticipate that the format of short presentations will provide an opportunity to make arguments on the basis of ongoing research in larger projects. Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals. Some travel funding is available. Presentations will be peer-reviewed and published in an online publication that accommodates dynamic visualizations and narrative.

Read full CFP here.

Editors’ Choice: How Google Book Search Got Lost

Creative Commons Image by Paul Lowry via Flickr

When it started almost 15 years ago, it also seemed impossibly ambitious: An upstart tech company that had just tamed and organized the vast informational jungle of the web would now extend the reach of its search box into the offline world. By scanning millions of printed books from the libraries with which it partnered, it would import the entire body of pre-internet writing into its database…Today, Google is known for its moonshot culture, its willingness to take on gigantic challenges at global scale. Books was, by general agreement of veteran Googlers, the company’s first lunar mission. Scan All The Books!

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Announcement: Mellon Grant Supports Open Access to Humanities Texts

From the announcemnt:

For the second year in a row, Cornell University Press has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant worth nearly $100,000 to fund the open access initiative, Cornell Open. “This is exciting news for the press and for the university,” said Laura Spitz, Cornell’s vice provost for international affairs. “Open access to humanities scholarship aligns with the mission of a global and engaged Cornell.” Cornell is one of four presses to receive a second NEH/Mellon grant. The new grant will allow Cornell Open to expand its selection from 20 to 77 titles, providing a much wider range of subject areas. “We’ve been so pleased to have Cornell Open as a shining example of what the program might help support,” said Perry Collins, senior NEH program officer.The initial grant brought back 20 classic out-of-print titles from the Cornell University Press archive; in seven months these open access titles have generated 25,000 downloads at 832 institutions in 152 countries.

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Editors’ Choice: Exploring the Local Impact of the NEH

Recent budget proposals by the Trump administration have allocated zero funding to a number of independent federal agencies concerned with education, democracy, cultural preservation, and public-facing scholarship. Among them are the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which supports NPR and PBS. As a child, I grew up watching shows such as Sesame Street and Shining Time Station on PBS, and as an adult I regularly listen to public radio podcasts such as NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour and WBEZ Chicago’s This American Life. In my career as a graduate student at the GC, I’ve also had the privilege of working on an NEH-funded project, DH Box, and have consulted on two others, Social Paper and Beyond Citation. These programs and projects were, and are, non-partisan, and collectively their goal has been to make culture and scholarship—and necessarily American culture and American scholarship—more rich, more open, and more accessible to the public.

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