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[preserve] Lightning Talks

A series of 5-min lightning talks.

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

Christie Moffatt of the National Library of Medicine talks about a project collecting blogs talking about health. It began in 2011. The aim is to understand Web archiving processes and how this could be expanded. Three examples: Wheelchair Kamikaze. Butter Compartment. Doctor David’s Blog. They were able to capture them pretty well, but with links to outside, outside of scope content, and content protected by passwords, there’s a question about what it means to “capture” a blog. The project has shown the importance of test crawls, and attending to the scope, crawling frequency and duration. The big question is which blogs they capture. Doctors who cook? Surgeons who quilt? Other issues: Permissions. Monitoring when the blogs end, change focus, or move to a new url. E.g., a doctor retired and his blog changed focus to about fishing.

Terry Plum from Simmons GSLIS talks about a digital curriculum lab. It was set up to pull in students and faculty around a few different areas. They maintain a collection of open source applications for archives, museums, and digital libraries. There are a variety of teaching aids. The DCL is built into a Cultural Heritage Informatics track at Simmons.

Daniel Krech of Library of Congress works at the Repository Development Center. The RDC works with people managing collections. The RDC works on human-machine interfaces. One project involves “sets” (collections). “We’ve come up with some new and interesting ways to think about data.” They use knot, set, and hyper theory, but they also sometimes use a physical instantiation of a set — it looks like knotted yarn — to help understand some very abstract ideas.

Kelsey [Keley?]Shepherd of Amherst represents the Five College Digital Task Force. (She begins by denying that the Scooby Gang was based on the five colleges.) They don’t share a digital library but want to collaborate on digital preservation. They are creating shared guidelines for preservation-ready digital objects. They are exploring models for funding and organizational structure. And they are collaborating on implementing a trusted digital perservation repository. But each develops its own digital preservation policy.

Jefferson Baily talks about Personal Digital Archiving at the Library of Congress. He talks about the source diary for The Widwife’s Tale. That diary sat on a shelf for 200 years before being discovered as an invaluable window on the past. Often these archives are the responsibility of the record creators. The LoC therefore wants to support community archives, enthusiasts, and citizen archivists. They are out and about, promoting this. See

Carol Minton Morris with DuraSpace and the NDSA (National Digital Stewardship Alliance) talks about funding archiving through “hip pocket resources.” They’re looking into Technology and publishing projects at Kickstarter have only raised $9M out of the $100M raised there; most of it goes to the arts. She points to some other microfinance sites, including IndieGoGo and She encourages the audience to look into microfinancing.

Kristopher Nelson from LoC Office of Strategic Initiatives talks about the National Digitial Stewardship Residency, which aims at building a community of professionals who will advance digital archiving. It wants to bridge classroom education and professional experience, and some real world experience. It will start in June 2013 with 10 residents participating in the 9 month program.

Moryma Aydelott, program specialist at LoC talks about Tackling Tangible Metadata. The LoC’s digital data is on lots of media: 300T on everything from DVDs to DAT tapes and Zip disks. Her group provides a generic workflow for dealing with this stuff — any division, any medium. They have a wheeling cart for getting at this data. They make the data available “as is.” It can be hard to figure out what type of file it is, and what application is needed to read it. Right now, it’s about getting it on the server. They’ve done about 6.5T of material, 700-800 titles, so far. But the big step forward is in training and in documenting processes.

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