The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Posts tagged with: Web/Tech
- The ever curious story of mailing children by U.S.P.S. [via Smithsonian Magazine]
- The 2016 American Alliance of Museums MUSE tech award winners were announced, and the Smithsonian Transcription Center won! [via Center for the Future of Museums]
- A behind-the-scenes look at Google Cultural Institute. [via Wired UK]
- A super interesting project, Display at Your Own Risk, examining the transparency of image rights statements surrounding museum images. [via Hyperallergic]
- 'Badass Librarians" saving ancient manuscripts from al Qaeda. [via National Geographic]
- The "History of American Slavery", a new multimedia course from Slate Academy. [via Open Culture]
- A homecoming of sort - the Smithsonian will have a permanent exhibit space in London in partnership with the V&A. [via Smithsonian Newsdesk]
- A new online portal to art history publications and rare books with over 100,000 volumes from the Getty!
- Weigh in on the future of a 1964 World's Fair relic, the New York State Pavillion. [via Hyperallergic]
- The Smithsonian's National Zoo's orangutan is pregnant and you can view the ultrasound that confirmed it! [via National Zoo]
Celebrating our 300thLink Love since 2010!
- Macro x-ray fluorescence spectrometry (MA-XRF) reveals ancient manuscripts reused as bookbindings! [via The Guardian]
- A historic moment - refugees form their own squad for this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. [via NPR]
- Get your color on with National Parks! [via National Park Foundation]
- Artist Bill Domonkos' archival remixes.[via This Colossal]
- Summer of Hamilton at the New York Historical Society. #EnoughSaid [via The New York Times]
- The Getty has released over 800 photos by photographer and architect Wim Swaan to their open portal. [via Info Docket]
- 1000 year-old Beowulf manuscript now online at the British Library. [via Open Culture]
- Get to the Smithsonian's Zoo to check out gorgeous, marine sculptures by artist Angela Pozzi created from plastic trash found in oceans. [via Smithsonian Magazine]
- Yikes, who knew bunnies could be so vicious? [via Colossal]
- A previously unpublished story by Langston Hughes was found in the Yale Archives. [via New Yorker]
- Now that's dedication: A WWI soldier finished his PhD dissertation in the trenches. [via Open Culture]
- Bad news for the cultural heritage sector; a UN report showing climate change is putting World Heritage Icons at risk. [via Info Docket]
- A new interactive allows you to explore Miles Davis' legacy. [via Forbes]
- Looking for summer reading? The British Library just released more than 300 works of 20th century fiction for free! [via The Week]
- A 15-part mini series shows the big reveal when King Tut's tomb was opened in the early 1920's. [via Open Culture]
- Palmyra's Arch de Triumph (recreated) stands again in London, brought to you by 3D tech. [via Hyperallergic]
- New digital collection available; Cold War archives. [via InfoDocket]
- A new book of Pablo Neruda poetry found by archivists is about to be published. [via NPR]
- Harriet Tubman is expected to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. [via Hyperallergic]
- Help the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum understand America's news coverage of the Holocaust. [via USA Today]
- A new book, Rise of Rocket Girls, captures the history of women who worked in the the early days of NASA. [via Smithsonian Magazine]
- A 1967 film on family planning featuring Donald Duck, from the Population Council & Disney! [via Open Culture]
What better way to usher in Preservation Week 2016 than to touch on a topic often overlooked when discussing the preservation of our cultural heritage? Preservation surveys have been taking place for decades now and provide preservation and collections managers with important information regarding the overall state of collections. This information can then be used to aid in prioritization for preservation actions, in terms of conservation treatment and digitization; to advocate for the funding of preservation activities; and to assess the current state of a preservation program by identifying strengths and areas requiring improvement. Participation in surveys can be at both an individual organization level, as well as at a national level.
Currently, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, partnering with seven other Smithsonian units, is conducting a comprehensive survey of our audiovisual collections consisting of analog film, video, and audio held across the Institution. This survey focuses primarily on preservation prioritization – determining the current state of our media collections, their future needs, and how those needs will be met by the Smithsonian.
Based on Harvard University’s Mellon-funded Photograph Survey and adapted for the unique requirements of audiovisual materials, the survey is a risk-based preservation assessment that collects data on several different factors – the character and extent of the collection, the physical and intellectual accessibility, current housing, format obsolescence, and physical media condition. Another facet of the survey is an item-level count of the collections, including factors such as format, film length, run time, run speed, and substrate material. This information will provide guidance in determining future staffing, supply needs, and methodologies for potential large-scale projects. In addition, we are conducting testing of cellulose acetate films using acid-detecting (A-D) strips– acid-base indicator papers that turn from blue to green to yellow in the presence of increasing amounts of acetic acid vapors.
The survey will form the basis of a plan of action for multiple units. It will provide data for future pan-institutional audiovisual preservation and reformatting projects, as well as encourage the development of standard in-house guidelines for the preservation of these unique materials within our vast collections.
Additional Surveys to Explore:
- Heritage Preservation’s Heritage Health Index, 2004 and 2014: Heritage Preservation, partnered with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), conducted these surveys to assess the current state of cultural heritage collections in the U.S. and the change in preservation practices over the ten year span between surveys. On June 30, 2015, Heritage Preservation members voted for the dissolution of the organization and several of its programs were transitioned to the Foundation of the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC).
- The American Library Association – Association for Library Collections & Technical Services’ Preservation Statistics Survey: Reintroduced in 2012, the goal of this survey is to document the state of preservation activities, both conservation and digitization, using quantitative data to facilitate peer comparison and understand the changes and trends in the field.
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and FAIC’s relaunch of the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) Program: This program was transitioned to FAIC upon the dissolution of Heritage Preservation and is currently undergoing development to create the infrastructure to run the program. Key components of the new program will include linking museums with training and other resources as needed, improved training for assessors, and aiding in the creation of sustainable collections care and preservation programs. The first call for applications will be in the fall of 2016.
- One Lens for Multiple Archives: A Pan-Institutional Survey of Born Digital Holdings, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- The End of the Beginning: A Born Digital Survey at the Smithsonian Institution, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Disk Diving: A Born Digital Collections Survey at the Smithsonian, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives