In the News

Life happened the past few weeks, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here on Cultural Heritage and Information. Today I thought I’d post some interesting stories from around the web that relate to topics here on the blog.

HathiTrust Digital Library Wins Latest Round in Battle With Authors

With new publishing technologies and research practices, the copyright debates will continue to evolve in legal and other settings. The Chronicle of Higher Education posted a summary (by Jennifer Howard) on June 10th about the latest developments in the HathiTrust Digital Library vs. Authors Guild case. Ultimately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (in New York) decided for the library. Its decision will allow a searchable, full-text database of the Library’s works under the “fair use” clause, and will also allow dissemination of works in different formats for vision-impaired users.

What happens When Preservation and Innovation Collide?

The National Trust for Historic Preservation reflects on two years of innovation strategy development with EmcArts’ Innovation Lab for Museums. In the post (by Estevan Rael-Galvez), they share their ideas, challenges, and successes. Most interesting, in my opinion, is their idea to transition traditional historic house museums (which I adore), from static contrived experiences to more integrated, immersive experiences that stimulate all the senses of visitors.

Bit Rot: The Limits of Conservation discussed (in a post by Martha Buskirk on June 9) how time affects access and preservation of electronic media. The article supports “lots of copies keep stuff safe” as a general strategy to work toward in preservation and conservation of cultural and art artifacts. It also describes common obstacles, such as getting artists’ input on migration to new technologies, obsolescence of older technologies, copyright issues, determining in what aspects of the works the value lies, and the consequences of benign neglect. Best practice? Awareness and vigilance about what we want to save, and what has value to us.

How difficult can your manuscripts be?

The National Conservation Service in the UK blogged about some challenges that crop up when digitizing manuscripts. Some issues they faced during the digitization process for Khojki manuscripts from the Institute of Ismaili Studies include illegible text located in awkward places (e.g., the gutters), curved and warped pages, and ink degradation.

World Cups

Just for fun, I’m sharing the Horniman Museum and Gardens‘ World Cup tie-in, about a digital exhibit they created on cups from around the world (“world cups”… get it?). Cups from locations such as Burma, China, Japan, Indonesia, and Colombia feature in the exhibit.


Deepening my knowledge of Dublin Core, part 2

One of the things that strikes me about Dublin Core is its flexibility. There are formatting rules, and guidelines, but there are often multiple ways to enter the same data. For this session, I’ve been using the Creating Metadata User Guide from the Dublin Core wiki (henceforth: “user guide”).

Firstly, each field is divided into a property and a value – the value describing the property of the resource (e.g., the value “A Christmas Carol” corresponds to the property “title”). Sometimes properties have what look like sub-properties to me, but are described as “creating a relationship between the described resource and a more detailed title description”. In effect (and using the example given in the user guide), “title” is the main property, and sub-properties (more detailed descriptions) are “in greek” and “in latin” for transliterations of a title. The values then correspond to the sub-titles, so “in greek” equals the title written out in Greek, and “in latin” equals the title written out in Latin, as you see below.

Property Detailed Property Value
in greek (title in Greek characters)
in latin Oidipous Tyrannous

If I understand the table above correctly, it formulates a relationship (of parent to child, perhaps) between the general “title” property and the more detailed properties that describe the transliterations.

Continue reading

Book blogging and HTML: Linking Images

I’ve recently started a book blog (check it out), in which one of the features is a set of “read-alikes” placed at the end of each post. They take the form of cover images. I really like the idea of linking those images to lead readers to more information about these books (from Goodreads, at the moment). With a link to a description and social media/community reviews, they “don’t have to take my word for it!”

Although I haven’t memorized the HTML code yet, I have re-figured out how to do this a few times (precisely because I haven’t been able to memorize it). So in this post, I’m going to go through the steps I use to link a cover image to a Goodreads book description page. Continue reading

The challenges of personal digital archiving

Personal digital archiving is a topic  everyone is talking about everywhere lately, it seems. How do you preserve your (worth saving) financial, personal, and business documents, your emails and messages, pictures, videos, movies, social media interactions/posts, blogs and internet files?

Today’s infographic is from Doghouse Diaries, and discovered via the Library of Congress’ Digital Preservation blog, The Signal. (By the way, if you’re interested in what’s happening in the world of digital preservation, follow The Signal.)


To help you resolve your personal digital archiving woes, the Library of Congress has a great set of guidelines.


My day job right now involves creating a LibGuide called “Online Reference Shelf.” It provides basic reference resources to library patrons, including dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, search engines, news, biographies, thesauri, travel, and weather information.

One of my tasks is to research the resources, to determine if they are the best, unique, or most relevant to library patrons.

Today I worked on thesauri. To find out what kind of resource provides in its Roget’s Thesaurus, I staged a trial search. I asked my coworker to tell me a word, any word. When he started thinking about it, I asked him to pick the first one that comes to mind. He chose “infatuation.”

The following are Roget’s results.


Together, I think they do a decent job of defining infatuation. What do you think? 😉