At the end of April, arXiv posted an update on their sustainability initiative. This and all arXiv sustainability work should be mandatory reading for all who are working on large, collaborative digital initiatives. Recent updates include the 2011 projected budget and the full support documentation are also available.Read More →

Now that the UF Digital Collections have worked through a bit more of the backlog–and gotten 2 million pages online!–I’ve started catching up on reading. Many great new (or maybe new-ish) ideas are being realized with sites like Foodsville, which repurposes digitized historical cookbooks to create a cookbook community and herald in innovations in printing, Interactive Relighting technologies that bring new information to life (which is amazing for so many historical documents!), Mscape keeps getting better, IBM and Linden Labs are moving toward virtual world interoperability (which is especially great with Google’s new 3D chat), and Google’s Map Maker has been out for awhile nowRead More →

The complete works of Charles Darwin are now online in one place, appropriately named “Charles Darwin: the Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online.” This one place includes: Darwin’s complete publications, thousands of handwritten manuscripts and the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue ever published; also hundreds of supplementary works: biographies, obituaries, reviews, reference works and more. This work is related to the “Darwin Correspondence Project,” which includes over has over 5,000 letters online and is working to locate as many letters as possible and to make them all available, and they’ve found around 14,500 already. Locating, collecting, and digitizing all of this material is wonderfulRead More →

In August, the Digital Library Center proudly announced breaking the one million page mark, with over a million pages online for more than “20 collections, representing more than 44,000 titles in more than 52,000 volumes.” Now, just 7 months later we’ve added slightly over another 60% of that to the collections for a total of 1,621,841 pages, over 5,1746 titles (up from 44,000) and 67,487 volumes (up from 52,000). That means we’ve been producing almost 10% of our total holdings each month for the past 7 at nearly 100,000 pages a month! The incredible production rate is far more incredible when the types of pagesRead More →

Librarian subject specialists build guides based on subject area to help students and researchers quickly find all of the most relevant resources available at a particular library easily. Given the cost of commercial databases, different libraries will necessarily have different databases, and some of the most popular resources are in multiple databases. Thus, researchers going to a new school may find their key journals in a different database, in different databases, or in the same database but one with such an updated interface that it’s basically a new database. Finding the right resources in the right way becomes a complicated act of mapping needs toRead More →

Like the Library of Congress, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has also been exploring using Flickr to share images. The images are great and include historical photos and documents. Some, like the Malaria Joe comic are humorous images from their eras, but some of the photos are strikingly beautiful, painful, haunting, and inspiring snapshots of life, offering glimpses into their time and into people’s lives. Everyone should be able to wander through these images, and it’s an amazing gift to have them online for us to see: More →

The Library of Congress is now using Flickr, and Flickr’s new commons area, to load images for collaborative tagging. This is wonderful because the Library of Congress has built so much core infrastructure using hierarchical definitions and adding Web 2.0-style folksonomy information to that is exactly what the Semantic Web (sometimes called Web 3.0) is all about. The Library of Congress has a Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (with more than 1 million images and growing) that have been available online for over 10 years and now they are also selling some of their materials via print-on-demand. Because the Library of Congress is so importantRead More →

The Harvard Law School Library just announced a new digital collection highlighting crime broadsides. The collection is online here and the collection description is: “Just as programs are sold at sporting events today, broadsides–styled at the time as “Last Dying Speeches” or “Bloody Murders”–were sold to the audience that gathered to witness public executions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain.” The broadsides span 1707 to 1891 and include accounts of executions for various common and uncommon crimes. Now, researchers can see both the cultural reception of sentences as well as the court documents from London’s central criminal court, the Old Bailey (the proceedings of which areRead More →

While it’s a bit late, January 1 is normally the magical day when new items pass into the public domain. It doesn’t mean too much for the United States–and in fact it won’t mean much until 2019 because of the way our copyright laws are designed–but it’s still something to celebrate. Everybody’s Libraries has a nice overview of January 1’s significance and new gifts to the public domain. For anyone holding copyright, Creative Commons has ready-made licenses available for easy use to ensure that new works are available before 2019. UF’s Digital Library Center also has handy forms for granting Internet Distribution permissions to UF.Read More →

The technology and popular culture criticism blog Boing Boing had a recent post on search rankings. It mentions that five years ago, a bet was made that blogs would rank higher than the New York Times website. This indeed came true, largely because the New York Times chose to restrict their content through a signup and paid subscriptions rather than to make the information free. Now, the New York Times has changed their methods and made their site open, but they’ve already lost out on the advertising revenue and on the reputation value for being a free information source. In an online environment, information thatRead More →