As we are continually building the collections of the Archives & Rare Books Library in our areas of strength and making them more accessible for teaching and research, we know there are vital monographs or documents we would always like to acquire. In some cases, our rare book budget will accommodate some special items, but when it comes to archival materials – and many rare books – we depend on the kindness of friends and strangers. Our most current desiderata outlines some of the books and papers we are seeking, everything from documenting everyday lives in our German Americana Collection through cookbooks and organizational archives to rare books that strengthen our Shakespeare collection and our illustrated myth and legend holdings. And of course, we always welcome the records of University of Cincinnati student organizations.
Eira Tansey, digital archivist/records manager in the Archives and Rare Books Library, will deliver a keynote address at the Digital Library Federation’s (DLF) Digital Preservation Forum from 4-5 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 25. DLF keynotes feature speakers doing work around contemporary issues in librarianship and cultural heritage (see 2016’s speakers). Eira’s talk, titled “The Necessary Knowledge,” will focus on the connections between record keeping and environmental protection, using Pittsburgh’s environmental history – where DLF is taking place – as a backdrop.
Wednesday, October 25, 4-5 pm. This is the opening keynote for National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s Digital Preservation 2017: “Preservation is Political,” which is hosted by the Digital Library Federation and taking place in Pittsburgh.
Eira Tansey is the digital archivist and records manager at the University of Cincinnati’s Archives and Rare Books Library. She has previously written about Cincinnati’s public libraries, the visibility and compensation of archivist’s labor and the effects of climate change on archival practice. She is currently collaborating on a Society of American Archivists foundation grant to develop a comprehensive data set of American archives locations in order to aid future spatial analysis of the field, and researching environmental regulatory record keeping.
The National Digital Stewardship Alliance, hosted by the Digital Library Federation, is a consortium of more than 220 partnering organizations, including universities, professional associations, businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, all committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. Members work together to preserve access to our national digital heritage.
Preservation has always been central to the mission of research libraries, which are charged with preserving knowledge, in all its forms, for use. Digital material faces different preservation challenges than analog materials. Rapid changes in file formats, software and hardware mean that digital content created according to today’s best standards risks being unusable or degraded in the future.
At the University of Cincinnati Libraries, we have significant born-digital and digitized content. Much of this can be found in Scholar@UC, UCL Digital Collections, and Luna. Digital preservation refers to the various preservation measures undertaken to ensure long-term use and access of digital materials for enduring sustainable preservation. Archivists and librarians must make many key digital preservation decisions, such as whether to migrate old file formats to new ones, determining how and where to store files, and scheduling file integrity checks. Digital preservation is more than just backups, but storing extra copies of content is a critical component of a digital preservation strategy. To mitigate against complete loss, it is important to store extra copies in different locations. According to the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, increasingly enhanced levels of digital preservation emphasize greater geographic distribution of copies. Continue reading AP Trust Recap
Many of us are looking forward to 2019, when the University celebrates its bicentennial. But another important anniversary is already upon us. On July 1, 1977, the University will mark its 40th anniversary as a state-affiliated institution. Prior to 1977, the University of Cincinnati was overseen by the City of Cincinnati. Continue reading 40th anniversary of University of Cincinnati state affiliation
A constant challenge for digital archivists is identifying potentially sensitive material within born-digital archives. This content may be information that fits a known pattern (for example, a 3-2-4 number that likely indicates the presence of a social security number), or sensitive keywords that indicate the presence of a larger body of sensitive information (for example, the keywords “evaluation” and “candidate” in close proximity to each other may indicate the presence of an evaluation form for a possible job applicant).
When archivists first make contact with a large group of records, they often perform some form of appraisal. You might think of appraisal as being the calling card of the much-loved PBS television show Antiques Roadshow, in which average people realize that Great Aunt Milly’s painting is a valued masterpiece – or a total dud.
~ 1. The process of identifying materials offered to an archives that have sufficient value to be accessioned. – 2. The process of determining the length of time records should be retained, based on legal requirements and on their current and potential usefulness. – 3. The process of determining the market value of an item; monetary appraisal.
So what does a digital archivist do? Every digital archivist’s responsibilities will look slightly different depending on institutional mission, priorities and resources. As the first link indicates, there isn’t even professional consensus whether a digital archivist is one who works with digitization of analog material (like paper documents and manuscripts, rare books, maps, etc), or someone who works with “born-digital” materials. In many institutions, both of those responsibilities may be within the Digital Archivist’s charge. As UC’s Digital Archivist/Records Manager, my responsibilities center on working with born-digital archives, digital preservation, and overseeing UC’s Records Management program. I also work closely with my colleagues in Digital Collections on digitization projects (http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/).
The Archives & Rare Books Library will usher in its 7th year of the “50 Minutes” lunchtime talks this August with “A Skeleton, Some Lions, Pigeons, and Gods! The Seldom-Noticed Art in UC Architecture.”
The talk is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, at 12 noon in 814 Blegen and as always, the “50 Minutes” presentations are very informal and conversational. Bring your lunch, relax, ignore the clock on the wall which is invariably an hour behind (though we may climb on top of the piano beneath it and change the battery this year), and enjoy a look at the history and culture of the “hidden” campus. Not advertised in the title, we will also be looking at semi-naked people in the architecture.
The Archives and Rare Books Library will be closed on Friday August 19 for a library event. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule a research visit, we can be reached by phone at 513-556-1959 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org