UF’s Special Collections Library includes a popular culture collection with loads of comics. I’m currently working on a small grant to fund the digitization of some of these rich materials. In order to help support the grant, I made the collection page and digitized one sample issue of Will Eisner’s PS* Preventive Maintenance. Hopefully I’ll be adding a great deal more in the near future, and I’ll hopefully be doing it with support for a much larger project later on. In the meantime, UF’s Libraries will be presenting at the Jewish Museum in Miami, Florida on October 21, and I’ll post details on it asRead More →

The Times Select is now free, which is great even if it is a little late. What’s better than this material being free is the reasoning behind it, which recognizes that having the material freely accessible is more valuable than requiring people to pay for the material. As more businesses realized that creating and sharing information openly can be profitable–as with Open Source Software where the software is free, but industries are built on top of them selling optimal support documentation, support services, and more–then hopefully, hopefully, businesses could soon function with more awareness of gift economies and their model for operation. This in turnRead More →

I won’t be able to attend this, but it looks wonderful and I wish I could! The program for the Second Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science has now been set, and you can see it here. The Colloquium will take place on Sunday and Monday, October 21-22, 2007 at the Hotel Orrington in Evanston, Illinois. This event jointly sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Technology, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. Registration is free, and you are cordially invited to attend. Information about logistics is available on the web site. The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Exploring the scholarly queryRead More →

The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature (which is within UF’s Special Collections Department) is preparing an Alice in Wonderland exhibit based on the many versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and their cultural influence and afterlife. I’m helping with the digitization of materials for the collection and they’ll be housed here. This collection and exhibit will be really exciting for the beautiful illustrations and the textual variety among the many versions (we have well over 150, but many are still in copyright).Read More →

LibraryThing just announced that they’ve teamed with publishers to provide advance copies of books in exchange for reviews. After so many publications cut back or cut book reviews, it’s nice to see that some publishers are making sure their books are reviewed and that those reviews are shared. This is also part of what we may see more of as companies and mental models move from print-oriented thinking to web-thinking.  Book reviews are great, but it makes more sense from a distributor point of view to include them online where they can be slurped into other systems, shared, and distributed. Since book reviews imply literacyRead More →

One of the projects in UF’s Digital Collections is Ephemeral Cities. The project is like Google Earth in that it spatially and contextually situates data and allows that data to be searched by term and category. The really neat part is that Ephemeral Cities does so using maps from around the turn of the last century (1890-1920). The old maps contain a great deal of information, and a lot of it relates to the local environment, culture, politics, and even the constraints of the time (like the way Key West developed in relation to water travel and then the overseas railroad). Eventually, it will beRead More →

UF Libraries now has a Library 2.0 Working Group and we’re investigating what Web 2.0 apps/concepts best map to libraries. Our wiki will hold our notes and progress, so it may be helpful to others. Of course, our use of any technology is directly in relation to our current systems – how we work, what we have, what we most need – so it also may not be useful as other than a case study. At any rate, it’s very interesting and useful for us.  Plus I get to chair the committee, so I’m sure I’ll be thinking and asking about all sorts of randomRead More →

There’s a new article in First Monday that surveys Google Books by looking at multiple versions of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.* The intent of the article is that the oddities of the book form make it difficult to digitize; however, this good and useful point gets a bit lost in the details. The article argues that many of the books in Google Books have issues with quality control and it argues that “quality assurance on the Web is provided either through innovation or through “inheritance” and that the inheritance for Google Books comes from the quality of the libraries.Read More →

I posted on this on the main Gameology blog, but MIT Technology Review has a video of a multi-touch interface design. This is like the user-end next step in the same way that Photosynth, which maps pictures and then allows users to see and explore them spatially, is a next step for visual displays. For libraries, and almost everyone else, this won’t mean much in the near future, but it’s really important to the trajectory of where the massive data stores we’re building can go. Digital initiatives have largely (and rightly) focused on making materials digital. This is a foundational step in creating access, butRead More →

I remember hearing a whole lot about Picasa when it first came out, but most of the interest seemed to be from people using Picasa for personal photos or from photographers. Now that I’m working with it, I’m astounded with how useful it is for academics. The ability to have local and web albums that can be shared with everyone, and that generate slideshows, and that can do embedded slideshows on websites is really wonderful for what many academics do. I’ve always saved my images to my website and just worked with webpages in general, but many people feel like they’re not good at technologyRead More →