“The library [at Trinity College Dublin] had wanted for some time to scale up its digitisation and do more on the unique pieces in its research collections. “We started out initially with 16 manuscripts that we were going to catalogue, conserve, research, blog about and share,” says Estelle Gittins, who is the manuscripts curator. “Two years later we’ve done about 60 manuscripts and fragments. That’s just over 16,000 individually digitised pages of text, artwork, doodles.” Two of the library’s most significant and highly decorated manuscripts, the 12th-century Winchcombe Psalter and Matthew Paris’s Book of St Albans, have been photographed in their entirety in colour for the first time. All 60 show how vital the library’s collections are to the study of the art, history, culture, language and literature of the medieval period. The different materials used help to fill in the story of the move from parchment (made from sheepskin) and vellum (calfskin) to paper….”
“Ansund aims to use HTR [handwritten text recognition] to build an exhaustive, open-access digital corpus of Old English texts, that transcribes all surviving Old English for the first time, and in an unparalleled level of detail.”
Abstract: For all the glorious past it once had, copyright has been on the defensive for quite some time now. Of late years, the tide has turned the other way. Copyleft, a neologism invented by the computer programmer Don Hopkins, says it all: ‘Copyleft, all rights reversed!’ The shift from inks on paper to pixels on the screen as the dominant media of our time struck a deadening blow on copyright. The technological transition to a globe-spanning network of connected computers was reckoned a revolution, an ‘access revolution’. At least, that was the expression used by the American philosopher and leading voice of the Open Access movement, Peter Suber. The movement seeks to provide academic consumers with access to an online literature that is free of charge and free of most copyright restrictions. But he is not alone in his campaign. Another case in point is the Creative Commons. Following in the footsteps of the Open Source and Free Software movements, two offshoots of the Copyriots phenomenon, Creative Commons was founded in 2001 as an alternative to standard copyrights. Its main goal is to provide opener terms for the online sharing of creative works. The main difference is that Creative Commons licences permit gradations of copyright protection; the authors are allowed to choose which rights they want to retain and which rights they are willing to waive in order to achieve a wider public. It is a legal device that uses technology to protect not the author but the public domain, now an institution in its own right.
“Humanities Guåhan received an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Pacific Islands Cultural Initiative to fund the coestablishment of the Pacific Islands Humanities Network.
This funding will go toward developing a new digital resource center to preserve and enhance accessibility to valuable educational and cultural resources related to Guåhan, Micronesia and the broader Pacific region, according to Humanities Guåhan….”
“The Oklahoma State University Library has partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense to build the “Tribal Treaties Database.” This free public resource is available at treaties.okstate.edu.
“This digital collection has been of great interest to citizens of Native American sovereign nations, researchers, journalists, attorneys, legislators, teachers and the public,” Dean of OSU Libraries Sheila Johnson said.
In 2021, the USDA and DOI approached the OSU Library to expand and enhance the library’s existing collection “Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties,” a digitization of the landmark work of Charles Kappler. As the project progressed, the DoD joined in funding later phases….”
Abstract: This paper introduces a comprehensive dataset on West Nile virus outbreaks that have occurred in Italy from September 2012 to November 2022. We have digitized bulletins published by the Italian National Institute of Health to demonstrate the potential utilization of this data for the research community. Our aim is to establish a centralized open access repository that facilitates analysis and monitoring of the disease. We have collected and curated data on the type of infected host, along with additional information whenever available, including the type of infection, age, and geographic details at different levels of spatial aggregation. By combining our data with other sources of information such as weather data, it becomes possible to assess potential relationships between West Nile virus outbreaks and environmental factors. We strongly believe in supporting public oversight of government epidemic management, and we emphasize that open data play a crucial role in generating reliable results by enabling greater transparency.
Abstract: The free digital distribution of creative works could cannibalize demand for physical versions, but it could also boost physical sales by enabling consumers to discover the original work. We study the impact of the Google Books digitization project on the market for physical books. We find that digitization significantly boosts the demand for physical versions and provide evidence for the discovery channel. Moreover, digitization allows independent publishers to introduce new editions for existing books, further increasing sales. Our results highlight the potential of free digital distribution to strengthen the demand for and supply of physical products.
“Working collaboratively with colleagues in LCCOS and the wider Egyptology community has enabled us to make ‘Wepwawet: Research Papers in Egyptology’ available as open access through UCL Discovery, UCL’s open access repository.
Each year, thousands of academic journals publish innovative and exciting research. Some of these journals endure for decades; others rapidly become obsolete. They languish on library shelves, their contents forgotten. The journal ‘Wepwawet: Research Papers in Egyptology’ (volumes 1-3, 1985-1987), produced and edited by PhD students from the former UCL Department of Egyptology, was one of these publications….
Making a digital copy of the journal open access supports its preservation, makes it discoverable and ensures that scholars – including native Egyptian scholars seeking to interpret their own past – can access, read and cite this research. A Creative Commons licence (CC BY) makes it possible for others to share and build upon this work, while attributing the original creators.”
“An extraordinary collection of priceless manuscripts of naturalist Charles Darwin goes online today, including two rare pages from the original draft of On the Origin of Species….
Darwin’s handwriting is notoriously difficult to read. As such, the documents have been transcribed, and can be viewed side-by-side with the original manuscript. The newly released documents can be viewed at Darwin Online.
“Instead of being locked away out of public view, by adding these documents to Darwin Online they became freely available to anyone in the world”, shared Dr. van Wyhe.”
“From 1619 to beyond, Black craftspeople, both free and enslaved, worked to produce the valued architecture, handcrafts, and decorative arts of the American South. The Black Craftspeople Digital Archive seeks to enhance what we know about Black craftspeople by telling both a spatial story and a historically informed story that highlights the lives of Black craftspeople and the objects they produced. The first and second phases of this project focus on Black craftspeople living and laboring in the eighteenth-century South Carolina Lowcountry and mid-nineteenth century Tennessee.”
“The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have partnered on a pilot project to improve access to LAC’s materials in the Héritage collection through Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR). The pilot project will process a subset of RG 10 collection, “Records relating to Indian Affairs,” with Transkribus ICR software developed by READ-COOP. This project will improve access to a highly used set of records and begin the journey towards our long-term aspiration to make the Héritage collection full-text searchable….”
“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has digitized all historic Congressional Directories on GovInfo, the one-stop site to authentic information published by the Federal Government. The public now has free and easy access to nearly 130 years of additional directories and can explore directories from the 41st Congress (1869–1870) through the 117th Congress (2021-2022). Future Congressional Directories will continue to be released on GovInfo as they are completed.
“GPO is proud to make available these historic Congressional Directories in another step toward cultivating an America Informed,” said GPO Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “We hope the public enjoys exploring these directories which are rich with information on our Nation’s past and present leaders. Congratulations to our team on completing this effort.”
Historically, the Congressional Directory has been one of the most comprehensive and detailed resources for identifying the components of the three branches of the Federal Government. It includes short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, as well as terms of service and contact information for members of Congress. In addition, it provides descriptions of various Executive branch departments and Judiciary information….”
“Too often those in power lump thousands of years of Middle Eastern religion and culture into monolithic entities to be feared or persecuted. But at least one government institution is doing exactly the opposite. For Nowruz, the Persian New Year, the Library of Congress has released a digital collection of its rare Persian-language manuscripts, an archive spanning 700 years. This free resource opens windows on diverse religious, national, linguistic, and cultural traditions, most, but not all, Islamic, yet all different from each other in complex and striking ways….”
“The Digital Library of Georgia has made its 3 millionth digitized and full-text-searchable historic newspaper page available freely online.
The title page of the first edition of the May 22, 1917, issue of the Atlanta Georgian reports on the destruction caused by the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 and the city’s effort to control the damage.
This issue marks the 3 millionth page digitized by the Digital Library of Georgia.
The newspaper circulated daily from 1906 to 1939, was the first Hearst-owned newspaper in the South, and is the most prominent example of sensationalist yellow journalism in Georgia. In its first year of publication, the paper infamously printed stories intended to inflame racial tensions that contributed to the start of the Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906….”
“In February 2023, the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries announced the transition of the Center of Digital Humanities to its portfolio. This transition includes the stewardship of ongoing research projects that contribute to the university’s research profile and scholarly footprint, including the Slave Societies Digital Archive, which, after a long history of support and collaboration, finds a permanent home in the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries.
The Slave Societies Digital Archive (SSDA), formerly known as the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies, is directed by Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt Professor of History Jane Landers and hosted at Vanderbilt University. Launched in 2003, its mission is to identify, catalog and digitally preserve endangered archival materials documenting the history of Africans and their descendants in the Atlantic World. The SSDA’s largest and oldest collections were generated by the Catholic Church, which mandated the baptism of African slaves beginning in the fifteenth century and later extended this requirement to the Iberian New World. The baptismal records preserved in this archive are the oldest and most uniform serial data available for the history of Africans in the Atlantic World and offer the most extensive information regarding their ethnic origins….”