The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Link Love: 9/9/2011
by Catherine Shteynberg on September 9, 2011
- Among the many photos in the Archives' collections are images from the Panamanian island, Coiba, where former Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore, conducted ornithological research. We've featured some of these images on the blog before, and I always wondered about their captions, which mentioned that Coiba was a penal colony. The history is now revealed: over at the Field Book Project blog is a history of Coiba, its penal colony, and some of Wetmore's scientific research there.
- The things that were lost... The AP talks about the records and art that were lost as a result of 9/11 [via Timothy Winkle, National Museum of American History].
- Cheers to making archives more accessible and usable: the UK's National Archives has made details of 11 million records available through an API, which allows anyone to search for and retrieve the metadata that describes records in the archive in XML format.
- From the Internet Archive, the archaeology of a hard drive, and their adventures in attempting to remove data from a Cray-1 computer--a very old machine (I've definitely never heard of it!), and one of the most difficult computers to find still functioning today.
- And speaking of old, obsolete stuff: the very interesting Museum of Obsolete Objects [via Swissmiss]. So useful to help explain mix tapes, for example, to future children!
- The Library of Congress answers the question, what is digital preservation (an oft-asked question at the Archives as well!) in a helpful blog post, as well as this handy-dandy video:
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Connecting you to America’s past with a behind-the-scenes exploration of the Smithsonian’s history, treasures, and the challenges that Archives face preserving collections. More details...