Cryogenically freezing the DNA of livestock animals might sound like a science fiction twist to Noah’s Ark, yet it’s the mission of a newly forged partnership called The Smithsonian and Swiss Village Farm (SVF) Foundation Biodiversity Project. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the SVF Foundation announced in late July that they have joined forces to preserve rare and endangered heritage breeds of livestock, animals that our American forefathers raised for agriculture. Over the next several years, the SVF Foundation’s collection of frozen genetic materials will be incorporated into the Smithsonian’s vast genetic library of endangered animal species.
The American Museum of Natural History’s (AMNH) research library last month hosted the official launch of its new online image database for Digital Special Collections. Begun as a project to digitize 1,000 of the museum’s photos and rare book illustrations, the Digital Special Collections program has evolved into a long-term project that will offer the public free online access to the museum’s research library collection. The new database includes more than 7,000 archival images, including photographs from 19th century scientific expeditions and illustrations from rare books dating back to the 16th century.
With the help of Operation Photo Rescue, a non-profit, volunteer network of photographers, image restoration artists, and graphic designers, Fondulac District Library (FDL), IL, recently launched “Saving Memories,” a program to help community members digitize and restore photographs that were damaged when 24 tornadoes touched down in Illinois on the night of November 17.
All of the Big Six publishers are now working with libraries on ebook lending in some capacity, but pricing and licensing terms remain unfavorable in many cases, Saturday’s “ALA, Ebooks, and Digital Content: What’s Next?” panel at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago concluded. Meanwhile, concerns about long-term preservation of ebooks and [...]
Collaboration among libraries has been a grand tradition, but the need to collaborate has, perhaps, never been more pressing than now.
The lack of available space, budget cuts, uneven usage, and availability of electronic resources and new technologies help give impetus to large-scale efforts, but there is a layer of collaboration that is less provocative and does not always receive the spotlight but which, nevertheless, is driven even more so by these factors and is just as integral to the future of libraries.
This country’s fascinating and invaluable patrimony of recorded sound and culture is at risk. Libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies have approximately 46 million recordings in their collections and more than six million are “in need” or “in urgent need” of preservation, according to the National Recording Preservation Plan released by the Library of Congress (LC) in December. The condition of another 20 million of the recordings is unknown, and these numbers do not include important material in private hands.
From a LC Announcement: The Library of Congress today unveiled “The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan,” a blueprint for saving America’s recorded sound heritage for future generations. The congressionally mandated plan spells out 32 short- and long-term recommendations involving both the public and private sectors and covering infrastructure, preservation, access, education and policy [...]
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Europeana today announced the official launch of Leaving Europe: A new life in America, a jointly curated virtual exhibition that tells the story of European emigration to the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition includes digitized photographs, manuscripts, broadsheets, paintings, letters, audio, government documents, and other materials from U.S. and European libraries, museums, and archives, curated to describe the experiences faced by different groups emigrating from Europe to the United States.
The eMOP project led by Texas A&M will use page images from ProQuest’s Early English Books Online and Early European Books, Gale Cengage’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and other sources to create a database of early typefaces used in English books and documents, and then train optical character recognition (OCR) software to read these documents.