New England Quaker Records to be Digitized

“The New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Records—rich and voluminous materials of Quakers going back to their mid-17th-century beginnings—will be the focus of a new digitization project by the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (SCUA), in the UMass Amherst Libraries. When the project is completed, the vital records and meeting minutes heavily consulted by historians and genealogists will be available in SCUA’s digital repository, Credo, on the web, and through the collaborative Massachusetts digital portal, Digital Commonwealth, of which SCUA is a member….”

Data Conversion Laboratory and The New York Public Library to Speak at Digital Book World 2023 in New York City | SSP Society for Scholarly Publishing

“Fresh Meadows, NY, January 5, 2023–Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), an industry leader in structured data and content transformations, and The New York Public Library (NYPL), the second largest library in the US—second only to the Library of Congress­—will speak at Digital Book World in New York City on January 17. Greg Cram, Associate General Counsel and Director, Information Policy at NYPL and Mark Gross, President at DCL, will present a case study that details how NYPL with the support of DCL has digitized historical records of the US Copyright Office, making those records searchable, accessible, and useful for new product development and more.

Data extraction combined with well-structured content is being used to enrich the Catalog of Copyright Entries to create an important resource for the world. Each year, millions of people interact with the NYPL’s digital content, including databases, online classes and programs, digitized collections items (including manuscripts and photographs), and more. The new addition of digitized records from the US Copyright Office will add another element, giving the public the ability to discover content, narrow search results, identify relevant records, and view both machine-readable text and an image of the printed record….”

New website compiles ocean data from landmark 19th-century scientific voyage | Illinois

“The HMS Challenger began a four-year voyage 150 years ago to explore the deep sea and the creatures that lived in it. The scientists aboard the ship discovered thousands of new species and recorded massive amounts of data about the oceans. The treasure trove of information they gathered is now available online in the first comprehensive database of the Challenger findings.

A new website devoted to the expedition and the database was launched Dec. 21 – the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Challenger’s voyage. It is part of the Oceans 1876 project by Gillen D’Arcy Wood, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign English professor and a historian of 19th-century environmental history and science. Wood also is the associate director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment, and the director of its environmental writing program….”

Project LEND – UC Libraries

“In January 2023, the University of California libraries launched a landmark research project – Project LEND (Library Expansion of Networked Delivery) – to investigate the potential for expanded lawful use of digitized books held by academic and research libraries. The project seeks to analyze all aspects of a digital access program — including user needs, legal frameworks, technical requirements, and collection scope — in designing an expanded service or set of services for UC faculty, staff, and students.”

UC Libraries-research-expanding-use-digitized-books | UC Davis

“The University of California libraries — which comprise the largest university research library in the world — are launching a landmark research project to investigate the potential for expanded lawful use of digitized books held by academic and research libraries.

The Mellon Foundation is providing $1.1 million support for Project LEND (Library Expansion of Networked Delivery), a two-year project that the UC Davis Library will lead on behalf of the 10-campus UC system….

The project’s broad investigation aims to extend and strengthen the historical role of academic libraries in making information as broadly accessible as possible for use in research and education. Project teams will:

use focus groups and other methods to understand the needs of UC faculty and students for a range of research, education and clinical care scenarios
evaluate the legal frameworks under which libraries could provide expanded access to digitized books, including those still in copyright
review and analyze existing technology platforms and systems for sharing and interacting with digital books, and explore the possibilities for creating new systems and services
determine the optimal composition of a digital book collection to meet user needs; what digitized collections are currently available or where more digitization efforts may be required; and how best to manage both print and digitized collections.”


Over €4.4 million granted to four new projects to enhance the common European data space for cultural heritage | Europeana Pro

“The Europeana Initiative is at the heart of the common European data space for cultural heritage, a flagship initiative of the European Union to support the digital transformation of the cultural heritage sector. Discover the projects funded under the initiative….

We are delighted to announce that the European Commission has funded four projects under their new flagship initiative for deployment of the common European data space for cultural heritage. The call for these projects, launched in spring 2022, aimed at seizing the opportunities of advanced technologies for the digital transformation of the cultural heritage sector. This included a focus on 3D, artificial intelligence or machine learning for increasing the quality, sustainability, use and reuse of data, which we are excited to see the projects explore in the coming months….”

CFP: Digital Heritage: Museum Data, Digitization and Digital Infrastructure ? dh+lib

“Digital Humanities scholar and digital heritage practitioner, Dr. Anne Luther (Digital Benin), is proposing a book project with Routledge and seeks proposals for book chapters that address the following:

History of Digitization in Museum: history of cataloging, history of digitization and computers in museums, today’s practices.

Digital Infrastructure: foundational texts that build an overview on internal and public infrastructure (who is interacting with data in museums [practitioners], what are data in museums [standards, vocabularies, thesaurus, data structures], what are databases [differences, uses, technical possibilities, use] how do museums publish data online [infrastructure, standardization, LOI, Wiki, online catalogues etc.], what are differences between internal data use and online publication [technical, social, monetary].

Ownership: copyright, access, authorship and the digital divide

Practice and Education: case studies in- and outside the museum

Impact and Change: case studies on restitution, accessibility and change in museum policies, practices, authorship and ownership

Short proposals of 500 words can be submitted until 31 January 2023 to contact[at]”

How one digital book led to an important COVID-19 discovery

“In early 2020, many scientists believed that particles containing COVID-19 were too large to be airborne. Medical canon held that only particles sized 5 microns or smaller could stay in the air long enough to be transmitted between people over 6 feet apart. But a team of scientists questioned the 5 micron figure. Katie Randall, then a graduate student at Virginia Tech, went to work investigating the origin of the number. “I was working on my dissertation when the pandemic hit, and I had to pause in-person research,” says Katie. “I was supposed to focus on revising my research plan, but when I got the email about this project, I knew I couldn’t say no — it was too important and too intriguing to ignore.”

In her research, Katie located an out-of-print book, Airborne Contagion and Air Hygiene: An Ecological Study of Droplet Infections, written by William Firth Wells in 1955. While she normally would have borrowed the book through an agreement between libraries to share items in their collection, pandemic closures meant that was not an option. Fortunately, she was able to locate a digital copy of the book in HathiTrust, a Google Books partner.

HathiTrust is a nonprofit collaborative of academic and research libraries which preserves digitized items — most of which come from partnerships with Google Books. “Early on, our partner libraries dedicated themselves to digital preservation,” says Mike Furlough, Executive Director of HathiTrust. “But even when preservation was the goal, our thoughts were always on providing access for research and scholarship.”

With the help of the digitized book, Katie discovered that the 5 micron threshold had no real scientific basis — in fact, the experiments detailed in Wells’ book showed the aerosolization of particles as big as 100 microns….”

Vienna’s Albertina Museum goes open access | Europeana Pro

“In summer 2022, Vienna’s Albertina Museum put thousands of its digitised images into the public domain, many of which are available through the Europeana website. Douglas McCarthy interviews Martina Pichler to learn about the new open access policy and its benefits….”


Scientific integrity: Handling knowledge as a public good

“In September 2021, the special Eurobarometer 516 survey on European citizens’ knowledge and attitudes towards science and technology1 found that 86 % of citizens think that science and technology exert an overall positive influence on society. Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of scientific research as a provider of solutions to global challenges, it has also exemplified the capacity of scientific communities to accelerate scientific research cooperation, including through the uptake of the open science movement, characterised by increased free access to scientific publications and underlying data….”

What is the Democracy’s Library? – Internet Archive Blogs

“Democracies require an educated citizenry to flourish– and because of this, Democratic governments, at all levels, spend billions of dollars publishing reports, manuals, books, videos so that all can read and learn. That is the good news.  The bad news is that in our digital age, much of this is not accessible.   Democracy’s Library aims to change this.   

The aim of the Internet Archive Democracy’s Library is to collect, preserve and make freely available all the published works of all the democracies– the federal, provincial, and municipal government publications– so that we can efficiently learn from each other to solve our biggest challenges in parallel and in concert….

Yes, this will cost a small fortune– but it is within our grasp– to collect and organize billions of documents and datasets, preserve the materials for the ages and make them available for many purposes.  While scoping projects in the United States and Canada have now begun, we estimate this project will cost at least $100 million dollars. The big money has not been committed yet, and we’re still fundraising. But to get things kicked off, Filecoin Foundation (FF) and Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW), are supporting the project. The Internet Archive has ramped up government websites and datasets as well as digitizing print materials with many library partners.

Thankfully, we do not have the rights and paywall problems that have been strangling the Internet’s best feature: an essentially free information distribution system.  …”

The full edition is now online! | Darwin Correspondence Project

“For nearly fifty years successive teams of researchers on both sides of the Atlantic have been working to track down all surviving letters written by or to Charles Darwin, research their content, and publish the complete texts. The thirtieth and final print volume, covering the last four months of Darwin’s life, will be published in early 2023 and all the letter texts – more than 15000 between 1822 and 1882 – are now published online….”

UBC Library digitizes William Shakespeare’s First Folio – About UBC Library

“UBC Library has made its first edition of William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies openly accessible to the public by publishing a digitized version of the volume online through Open Collections. The process to digitize the First Folio took more than a year to facilitate due to the Folio’s age and fragility….”

Ideas of India | The Rediscovery of India

“After 1947, these periodicals underwent mass extinction. Readers, having become citizens, now hungered for the news of the day. This demand was better met by radio and newspapers whose proprietors had the financial and technological means to reach vast audiences daily. That these periodicals passed away should not be regretted, for they were fitted to a particular age. What is lamentable, however, is that they have been all but forgotten. Ramachandra Guha and Pratap Bhanu Mehta aside, practically no public intellectual references them today. The otherwise sophisticated Indian reader does not even know of their existence, much less their contents, which continue to be valuable and relevant.

Browse the gallery below to learn more about these periodicals. To search their indexes, proceed to the following section or click here.”

Book Digitisation, Online Access and Lending: What Infrastructure is Needed for Success? – YouTube

“This webinar brought together practitioners from the California Institute of Technology, Boston Public Library and Project ReShare, focusing on the library workflows, software and infrastructures involved in digitising books and providing access to patrons.

The internet has revolutionised how libraries and their users can access books. Project Gutenberg, started in 1971 is one of the world’s largest online repositories of public domain eBooks. 2019 copyright reforms in Europe now allow for the mass digitisation and access to out-of-commerce and never-in-commerce works including books. Libraries in North America in particular are digitising titles in their collections to create eBooks for lending. While much of the discussion in America is around digital lending currently and the Internet Archive’s Open Library, a more immediate question for many libraries in Europe is the practicality of digitising books and giving access. These may be public domain materials or in-copyright titles, and involve reforms around out of commerce works or lending under national laws in the light of the Court of Justice of the European Union eBook ruling VOB v Stichting Leenrecht. Amongst other things, the webinar included discussion of secure digital lending technologies that ensure no more copies of copyrighted works are provided to library patrons than are owned by the library in physical form….”