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jerryking : archives   19

David McCullough’s History Lessons
April 14, 2017 | WSJ | By Alexandra Wolfe.

David McCullough thinks that the country isn’t in such bad shape. It’s all relative, says the 83-year-old historian and author of such books as the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies “Truman” (1992) and “John Adams” (2001). He points to the Civil War, for instance, when the country lost 2% of its population—that would be more than six million people today—or the flu pandemic of 1918, when more than 500,000 Americans died. “Imagine that on the nightly news,” he says.

History gives us a sense of proportion, he says: “It’s an antidote to a lot of unfortunately human trends like self-importance and self-pity.”.....see history “as an aid to navigation in such troubled, uncertain times,”.....[McCullough] thought back to something that the playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder had said while a fellow at Yale during Mr. McCullough’s undergraduate days. When Wilder heard a good story and wished to see it on the stage, he wrote the play himself. When he wanted to read a book about an interesting event, he wrote it himself.....Even today, Mr. McCullough doesn’t use a computer for research or writing. He still goes to libraries and archives to find primary sources and writes on a typewriter. ...History, he adds, is “often boiled down to statistics and dates and quotations that make it extremely boring.” The key to generating interest, he says, is for professors and teachers to frame history as stories about people.
archives  authors  biographies  Civil_War  contextual  David_McCullough  DIY  flu_outbreaks  Harry_Truman  historians  history  John_Adams  libraries  self-importance  self-pity  sense_of_proportion  storytelling  Pulitzer_Prize 
april 2017 by jerryking
Center for the Future of Museums: technology trends
Thursday, October 6, 2016
The Future of Ownership

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs) are already grappling with the migration of content (records, correspondence) from paper to digital, including challenges of scale and readability. Now we face an additional complication: increasingly people don’t even own their digital collections of music, books or video content—they rent, borrow or pay to play.

Content that used to be contained in physical objects (books, records, photos, DVDs) is increasing being leased to us via digital devices. What does that mean for the legacy people can (or can’t) leave to document their life and work? Instead of an historic figures’ beloved book collection, will we be able to preserve her Kindle library? Would that collection even be stable over time? Will it contain (digital) marginalia? Photo collections increasingly live on the cloud, and if a service unexpectedly disappears, years of documentation can simply disappear. The podcast Reply All recently devoted a sobering episode to one such story, about a mom named Rachel who panicked when PictureLife folded, erasing her visual record of her daughters’ childhoods. What if one of those girls grows up to be president?
trends  ownership  sharing_economy  minimalism  end_of_ownership  decluttering  galleries  libraries  archives  museums  content  legacies  preservation  streaming  on-demand  physical_assets  artifacts  digitalization 
december 2016 by jerryking
‘Ebony and Ivy,’ About How Slavery Helped Universities Grow - NYTimes.com
October 18, 2013 | NYT | By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER.


Mr. Wilder, a history professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has a new book, “Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities,” which argues provocatively that the nation’s early colleges, alongside church and state, were “the third pillar of a civilization based on bondage.” ... Mr. Wilder, scholars say, seems to be the first to look beyond particular campuses to take a broader look at the role of slavery in the growth of America’s earliest universities, which, he argues, were more than just “innocent or passive beneficiaries” of wealth derived from the slave trade.

“Craig shows that what happened at one institution wasn’t simply incidental or idiosyncratic,” said James Wright, a former president of Dartmouth College, which is discussed in the book. “Slavery was deeply embedded in all our institutions, which found ways to explain and rationalize slavery, even after the formation of the American republic.”....“There has been a fear that there’s something lurking in the archives that will be devastating to these institutions, and that people doing this work are motivated by hostility,” Mr. Wilder said. “But history is a poor medium for seeking revenge.” ...“Before the Civil War, about half of the student body came from the South,” Ms. Sandweiss said. “What was it about this place that made people feel like it was a good place to send their sons?”
Lurking behind such historical questions, scholars say, is a more contentious contemporary one: What should universities do today to make African-Americans feel as if they fully belong?
antebellum  Ivy_League  elitism  Colleges_&_Universities  African-Americans  slavery  history  historians  archives  books 
october 2013 by jerryking
We are what we keep: Canada's archives are in crisis
April 23, 2005 | Globe & Mail | by Guy Vanderhaeghe.

Expensive environmental controls are necessary to preserve aging, brittle paper, and archival work is extremely labour-intensive: Archivists must pore over volumes of material, organize it and write users’ manuals so researchers can locate information. The federal government provides assistance to the Canadian Council of Archives to fund projects, train staff and co—ordinate programs. In 1992-93, this budget was roughly $2.8million, but by 1998-99 it had fallen to $1 .8-million. (If no cuts had been instituted and funding had kept pace with inflation, the CCA grant would now be $3.5-million.)
In terms of federal expenditure, this is a minuscule amount, and downright paltry when weighed against need. The operating budget of 51 per cent of this country's archives is $50,000 or less, and in a third of the archives 41 per cent of holdings remain unprocessed and therefore inaccessible. More alarming, archives report that annual rates of acquisition have increased 200 to 700 per cent since 1985. In little more than a year, all storage space will be exhausted....
Statistics are a bloodless affair, apt to bewilder rather than enlighten. What do these figures mean? Certainly they suggest that part of our heritage is in danger. Certainly they suggest that the federal government ought to play a larger role in helping archives, and in particular our smaller institutions, to collect, preserve, and make usable the raw stuff from which the narratives of this nation can be constructed. Archivists have a saying: "We are what we keep." What we do not keep now is likely to be forever lost, inducing historical amnesia.
crisis  archives  Canada  heritage  history  cultural_institutions  historical_amnesia  preservation 
august 2012 by jerryking
Culture keepers
September 15, 2002 | Library journal | Andrew Richard Albanese.

An archival challenge

With the conference firmly focused on what lies ahead for African American librarianship, securing a brighter future, librarians said, requires preserving the past. ln that regard, African American librarians face a massive challenge and one that needs action. Over the course of the conference there were a number of sessions that focused on preservation issues, including digital archive initiatives. One session, "Preserving Cultures," summed up the archival issues at hand and detailed new problem-solving efforts. Librarians are particularly concerned about how little is currently known about the wealth of important historical materials pertaining to black history that is moldering in attics or being put on the curb. Brooklyn College's Chantel Bell captured the challenge of black librarians in discussing her effort to archive the records of Brooklyn's large Caribbean population Through her efforts, which include archiving as well as offering archival advice, she is attempting to keep the history of a vibrant community from being "permanently lost."
African-Americans  libraries  marketing  archives  historical_amnesia  preservation  cultural_institutions  history  Caribbean  Brooklyn 
august 2012 by jerryking
Who will preserve the past for future generations? - The Globe and Mail
J.L. Granatstein

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jun. 12 2012,

A national library is by definition national, the repository of the nation’s past and its treasures. It makes available the record of triumphs and failures, of glories and disasters, the sources for literature and history now and forever. But in Canada, for fear that the government be seen as elitist and Ottawa-centric, LAC’s priceless collection is to be broken up and dispersed.
libraries  literature  history  institutions  Canadian  archives  decentralization  heritage  J.L._Granatstein  preservation  digitalization 
june 2012 by jerryking
In History Lies All the Secrets of Statecraft - WSJ.com
October 9, 2009 | WSJ | By CON COUGHLIN.

In History Lies All the Secrets of Statecraft
First Official Account of MI5 Released to Celebrate U.K. Security Service's Centenary
security_&_intelligence  book_reviews  United_Kingdom  statecraft  spycraft  espionage  MI5  organizational_culture  commemoration  archives  history 
may 2012 by jerryking
How crowd-sourcing will spark a data revolution
March 22, 2012 |Globe and Mail Blog | by frances woolley.

Yet all of these initiatives are geared towards government data sets and professional researchers. Important private records – diaries of early settlers, for example – can find a home in Canada’s National Archives. But the Archives do not have sufficient resources to process and document records of snowdrops or goldfinches. Moreover, the Archives keep records, not data sets – it is fascinating to look at census records from 120 years ago, but they aren’t much use for statistical analysis.

There is a solution: crowd-sourcing. Across the country there are students, amateur and professional historians, policy analysts, bloggers and data nerds. I’m one of them. I’ve taken data collected by a notable Ottawa record keeper, Mr. Harry Thomson, and posted it on Worthwhile Canadian Initiative. Mr. Thomson’s records go back to the 1960s, long before Environment Canada began collecting comparable hydrometric data. An analysis of the data shows a significant decline in peak water levels during the spring flood – with this year being no exception.

Yet Worthwhile Canadian Initiative is just one blog in the vast expanse of the World Wide Web, and might not even be there in five or ten year’s time. We need a permanent site for all of this data, through which the collective power of the internet can be unleashed – editing, compiling, analyzing, telling stories and, above all, building understanding.
analog  archives  Canadian  cannabis  census  crowdsourcing  data  data_driven  datasets  massive_data_sets  nerds  open_data  record-keeping  Statistics_Canada  unstructured_data 
march 2012 by jerryking
FT.com / Management - The corporate memory-makers
January 11 2010 | Financial Times | By Alicia Clegg. From a
communications perspective, say enthusiasts, the combination of
technology and storytelling creates all kinds of possibilities for
businesses to bring their brands imaginatively to life as well as to
pass knowledge and skills from one generation of employees to the next.
Through the retelling of veterans’ memories, companies hope to build
stronger, more successful, cultures.
archives  business_archives  business_history  commemoration  corporate  heritage  historians  history  organizational_culture  storytelling 
january 2010 by jerryking
Rare Frontier
Libraries, archives, books, and information on the frontier.
libraries  archives  books 
december 2009 by jerryking
FT.com / Home UK / UK - A rummage in the corporate attic
July 24, 2008, Financial Times, pg. 10, article by Alicia
Clegg details how commemorative research can benefit a company
commercially with image and marketing. References Bruce Weindruch,
founder, of the History Factory, a consultancy offering "heritage
management services".
archives  branding  business_archives  commemoration  historians  history  heritage  organizational_culture  research  storytelling 
march 2009 by jerryking
Fresh Starts - Digital Archivists, Now in Demand - NYTimes.com
February 7, 2009 NYT article by CONRAD DE AENLLE looking at the rise and skill set of digital archivists.
archives  career  technology  jobs  libraries  preservation  FAO  digital_archives 
february 2009 by jerryking

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