M?noa: Rare 200-year-old Japanese scrolls made accessible worldwide | University of Hawaii News

“Students and scholars at the University of Hawai?i at Manoa (and worldwide) can now easily access and view the fine details of rare, hand-painted Japanese scrolls, made possible by UH M?noa Library’s new state-of-the-art digitization lab. The scrolls titled ????? (Geigyo ransh?roku), or “A simple overview of whaling” were created in 1819 and gifted to UH in 2020 by Deborah Rudolph to honor the memory of her late husband, John Harvard Hawley. They depict the entire process of whale hunting during Japan’s Edo period (1600–1868). 

Previously only viewable in-person and by appointment in the library’s Asia Collection, the scrolls are now available online in high resolution, beyond what a user would see in person. 

The digitization project was the library’s largest and most challenging to date, with the two scrolls measuring 39 feet and 35 feet, respectively….”

radical online collections and archives – New Historical Express

“I am very interested in the growing amount of radical literature from around the world that is being scanned and digitised. As there are so many and from many different places, I thought it would be useful to make a list. All of those that are included are free to access (there are others that require some form of subscription). If there are any that I have missed or if any links are broken, do let me know, either by commenting below or sending me an email.”

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Sound Recordings of the Supreme Court of the United States Now Fully Digitized – The Unwritten Record

“The Moving Image and Sound Branch is pleased to announce that the sound recordings of RG 267: Records of the Supreme Court of the United States have been fully digitized and are available for listening and download through the National Archives Catalog….”

OU Researchers Win Prestigious NEH Grant to Develop Indigenous Media Portal | University of Oklahoma Libraries

“Researchers working with the University of Oklahoma Libraries and the Native Nations Center won a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop an Indigenous Media Portal at OU.  

The award is one of only three from NEH given to Oklahoma researchers this year. All three grants were given to OU researchers….

Tribal partners and project leaders will choose materials appropriate for sharing in a publicly accessible platform and present them in ways that support community interests and broader public understanding. The Indigenous Media Portal will prioritize the self-representation of Oklahoma Tribal communities through their own voices, music, and audiovisual media.  …”

Celebrating UC San Diego’s Mass Contributions to HathiTrust

“This month, the University of California San Diego will send its final shipment of carts filled with library books to be digitized by Google as part of the Google Books Library Project. In total, well over half a million UC San Diego Library volumes have been sent to Google to be digitized and deposited in HathiTrust. This will be the third time the university has taken part in the project. 

UC San Diego joined as an early Google Books partner in 2008. From 2008 to 2011 the campus sent over 470,000 volumes to be digitized. Since rejoining the project in 2017, UC San Diego Library has sent over 111,000 books. The project paused in March 2020 due pandemic shutdowns, but the campus resumed sending shipments to be digitized in November 2021.

Tens of thousands of volumes from UC San Diego’s International Relations, Pacific Studies, and East Asian Language collections were digitized in the first three years of the project. When UC San Diego rejoined the Google Library Project in 2017, the campus included large numbers of US federal government documents, dissertations, and special collections volumes in its shipments. But throughout all phases of participation in the project, hundreds of thousands of books from the general library collection were digitized….”

Library associations across Europe joint call for action on eBooks – Knowledge Rights 21

“National and other library associations from across Europe have signed a letter underlining the urgency to find ways to ensure that library users continue to be able to benefit from services in a digital world.

The letter highlights the traditional and essential support that libraries play in supporting education, research and access to culture while highlighting that current eBook models and licensing are undermining this….

It is essential to ensure that eBook markets work in ways that allow libraries to do their job and to fulfil their public interest responsibilities, within a clear legal framework. Working alternatives that currently exist rely on voluntary action by publishers, and do not provide full access.Government action is therefore necessary on all three of the following fronts:

Guarantees in law that libraries shall be able to acquire, preserve and electronically lend digitised analogue and born-digital works, such as eBooks, on the same basis as they lend physical works. This will enable more constructive negotiations between libraries and rightholders.

Work to ensure that eLending platforms operate in ways that work best for libraries, their users and authors. 

Aside from copyright reform and market regulation, support further investigation into the dynamics of eBook markets and their impacts on the achievement of public interest goals. This will also serve to inform wider cultural, education and research policies….”

David Roskies’ Yiddish literature archive now online – The Forward

“This week marked the official unveiling of a new, freely accessible Yiddish archive composed of previously unpublished teaching materials, scholarship, literature, notes and ephemera from the collections of Yiddish literature scholar David G. Roskies.

All Things Yiddish: The Lerer Roskes Archive is named after the affectionate Yiddish title given to Roskies by his students, Lerer Roskes, or “Teacher” Roskies. Sponsored by the Naomi Foundation, the online launch event was a chance for Roskies, alongside a panel of his peers, to introduce the archive and offer a digital tour of some of its contents. The event was moderated by the executive director of the Naomi Foundation, Lindsey Bodner….”

NEH grant to transform UChicago’s creation and delivery of digital collections and research data – The University of Chicago Library News – The University of Chicago Library

“The National Endowment for the Humanities is awarding the University of Chicago nearly $1 million to transform UChicago’s creation, stewardship, and delivery of digital collections and research data. Working together, the University of Chicago Library and Division of the Humanities will use the grant to build a new digital structure, UChicagoNode—the core of what will eventually be a network extending and enhancing the practice of digital research at UChicago and around the world. The University is committed to raising an additional $4 million to fulfill the vision for this project.

Treasure troves of more than 200 digital collections exist across the University, but they are found in a wide range of unconnected systems, including several hundred terabytes of digital content held at the Library. UChicagoNode will give researchers a single place to go to discover available digital collections through a unified, open access platform. It will provide a long-term home for content created as part of research and teaching at UChicago, contributed by partners from outside the University, and digitized by the Library. Future scholars will also benefit from UChicagoNode because it will provide an established infrastructure for a diverse range of digital collections and will break down barriers between traditionally siloed datasets. The collections will exist as datasets that can be used with machine analysis, natural language processing, spatial mapping, and other AI-based explorations….”

A Checklist to Publish Collections as Data in GLAM Institutions

Abstract:  Large-scale digitization in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) created the conditions for providing access to collections as data. It opened new opportunities to explore, use and reuse digital collections. Strong proponents of collections as data are the Innovation Labs which provided numerous examples of publishing datasets under open licenses in order to reuse digital content in novel and creative ways. Within the current transition to the emerging data spaces, clouds for cultural heritage and open science, the need to identify practices which support more GLAM institutions to offer datasets becomes a priority, especially within the smaller and medium-sized institutions.

This paper answers the need to support GLAM institutions in facilitating the transition into publishing their digital content and to introduce collections as data services; this will also help their future efficient contribution to data spaces and cultural heritage clouds. It offers a checklist that can be used for both creating and evaluating digital collections suitable for computational use. The main contributions of this paper are i) a methodology for devising a checklist to create and assess digital collections for computational use; ii) a checklist to create and assess digital collections suitable for use with computational methods; iii) the assessment of the checklist against the practice of institutions innovating in the Collections as data field; and iv) the results obtained after the application and recommendations for the use of the checklist in GLAM institutions.

The Internet Archive has lost its first fight to scan and lend e-books like a library – The Verge

“A federal judge has ruled against the Internet Archive in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a lawsuit brought against it by four book publishers, deciding that the website does not have the right to scan books and lend them out like a library.

Judge John G. Koeltl decided that the Internet Archive had done nothing more than create “derivative works,” and so would have needed authorization from the books’ copyright holders — the publishers — before lending them out through its National Emergency Library program….

The Internet Archive says it will appeal. “Today’s lower court decision in Hachette v. Internet Archive is a blow to all libraries and the communities we serve,” Chris Freeland, the director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive, writes in a blog post. “This decision impacts libraries across the US who rely on controlled digital lending to connect their patrons with books online. It hurts authors by saying that unfair licensing models are the only way their books can be read online. And it holds back access to information in the digital age, harming all readers, everywhere.”

The two sides went to court on Monday, with HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House joining Hachette as plaintiffs….”

A global approach for natural history museum collections | Science

Abstract:  Over the past three centuries, people have collected objects and specimens and placed them in natural history museums throughout the world. Taken as a whole, this global collection is the physical basis for our understanding of the natural world and our place in it, an unparalleled source of information that is directly relevant to issues as diverse as wildlife conservation, climate change, pandemic preparedness, food security, invasive species, rare minerals, and the bioeconomy (1). Strategic coordination and use of the global collection has the potential to focus future collecting and guide decisions that are relevant to the future of humanity and biodiversity. To begin to map the aggregate holdings of the global collection, we describe here a simple and fast method to assess the contents of any natural history museum, and report results based on our assessment of 73 of the world’s largest natural history museums and herbaria from 28 countries.

From the body of the article:

“Natural history museums have generally operated independently, and no interoperable data structure exists to provide open access to their collective holdings. Because most natural history museum data are not digitally discoverable, the networks of data aggregators have not been able to access these “dark data” …”


Press conference statement: Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive – Internet Archive Blogs

“The Internet Archive is a library I founded 26 years ago. This library has brought hundreds of years of books to the wikipedia generation, and now 4 massive publishers are suing to stop us….

Here’s what’s at stake in this case: hundreds of libraries contributed millions of books to the Internet Archive for preservation in addition to those books we have purchased. Thousands of donors provided the funds to digitize them.   

The publishers are now demanding that those millions of digitized books, not only be made inaccessible, but be destroyed.

This is horrendous.   Let me say it again– the publishers are demanding that millions of digitized books be destroyed.

And if they succeed in destroying our books or even making many of them inaccessible, there will be a chilling effect on the hundreds of other libraries that lend digitized books as we do….”

HBCU Library Alliance Partners with Harvard Library to Expand Access to African American History Collections | Harvard Library

“The HBCU Library Alliance and Harvard Library are embarking on this project with the shared goal of advancing open, public access to archives and special collections pertaining to African American history. Funds are provided by the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery initiative, which has designated $6 million for this project….”

Saving 4 Million Books From Landfill – Internet Archive Blogs

“Since forming a global literacy partnership in 2019, Better World Books (BWB) and the Internet Archive have offered a unique pathway for libraries to ensure that the books they no longer need in their collections can be preserved and made accessible for generations to come. 

The service that BWB provides is an important one for libraries. BWB collects used books from libraries, booksellers, colleges, and universities in six countries, which are then either resold online, donated or recycled. To date, Better World Books has donated over 35 million books worldwide, has raised close to $34 million for libraries and literacy, and has saved more than 450 million books from landfills. Through the partnership with the Internet Archive, BWB has donated more than one million books each year for preservation and digitization, totaling 4 million books to date….”

Yale University Art Gallery digitizes its publications – Yale Daily News

“A digitization effort of more than 50 years of the Yale University Art Gallery’s scholarly publications is gradually nearing completion.

The Online Access project was conceived during the start of the pandemic in an effort to increase the accessibility of the art gallery’s publications even while its doors were closed. This has involved two years of electronically uploading each of the gallery’s prior exhibit catalogs and accompanying them with alt text to ensure an immersive experience for all its potential users….”