MLA 2021 Session on “Towards Sustainability for Digital Archives and Projects” | SHARP

[This is the abstract for just one of seven presentations.]

Abstract:  Over the last decade, the digital humanities community has become increasingly concerned with the ongoing sustainability of digital projects. This anxiety stems in part from the realization that not all digital humanities projects have identical expectations of longevity. Several prominent works in the literature, such as Bethany Nowviskie and Dot Porter’s “Graceful Degradation Survey Findings: How Do We Manage Digital Humanities Projects through Times of Transition and Decline?” (2010) and Geoffrey Rockwell et al.’s “Burying Dead Projects: Depositing the Globalization Compendium” (2014), have been central to this intellectual exchange about the benefits of creating sustainability plans for projects that do not necessarily assume a default permanence, but that instead proactively consider each project’s most suitable longevity strategy.

 

With this realization has come a concomitant expectation: each digital humanities project must create its own customized sustainability plan, designed with its particular requirements in mind. And yet, few digital humanists have access to direct training on the process of creating and implementing professional-grade digital preservation and sustainability practices for their own work. To support the process of designing and implementing digital sustainability plans for this work, a team of scholars housed in the Visual Media Workshop at the University of Pittsburgh has created the Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap (STSR; http://sustainingdh.net). The STSR is a structured, process-oriented workshop, inspired by design thinking and collaborative learning approaches. This workshop, which may be implemented in a variety of institutional contexts, guides project stakeholders through the practice of creating effective, iterative, ongoing digital sustainability strategies that address the needs of both social and technological infrastructures. It is founded on the fundamental assumption that, for sustainability practices to be successful, project leaders must keep the changing, socially-contingent nature of both their project and their working environment(s) consistently in mind as they initiate, maintain, and support their own work. For this panel, we contextualize and describe the STSR, and provide reflections based on our experiences facilitating Sustaining DH: An NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities.

FOSS wins again: Free and Open Source Communities comes through on 19th Century Newspapers (and Books and Periodicals…) – Internet Archive Blogs

“I have never been more encouraged and thankful to Free and Open Source communities. Three months ago I posted a request for help with OCR’ing and processing 19th Century Newspapers and we got soooo many offers to help.  Thank you, that was heart warming and concretely helpful– already based on these suggestions we are changing over our OCR and PDF software completely to FOSS, making big improvements, and building partnerships with FOSS developers in companies, universities, and as individuals that will propel the Internet Archive to have much better digitized texts.  I am so grateful, thank you.   So encouraging.

I posted a plea for help on the Internet Archive blog: Can You Help us Make the 19th Century Searchable? and we got many social media offers and over 50 comments the post– maybe a record response rate.   

We are already changing over our OCR to Tesseract/OCRopus and leveraging many PDF libraries to create compressed, accessible, and archival PDFs….”

Ideas for a Extending Open Review to the Use of Scientific Literature in News Media | Generation Research

“The authors of the following preprint ‘Open Science Saves Lives’ will hold a ‘Ask me anything’ #AMA session on Reddit next week – 08:00 am Eastern Time (GMT-4:00) on the 11th November.

Open pad for asking questions on the topic of extending review to news media to help use of science in news.

The paper raises the question that preprints are misused by the news media. In response to this question this document is to collect questions around the idea of extending open peer review to the use of science in news media in general….”

Humtank Prize 2020 to the Royal Library – Humtank

From Google’s English:  “Society needs humanistic knowledge. The humanities need to reach out to society. Therefore, for the sixth year in a row, the think tank Humtank awards the Humtank Prize to academics or institutions that have made a meritorious contribution to important humanities perspectives in society. This year’s winner is the Royal Library, and this is the motivation:

 

The Royal Library (KB) has, by opening up its entire digitized newspaper archive on the internet during the corona pandemic, paved the way into the future. In a time marked by copyright and commercial tunnel events, KB gave everyone the opportunity to explore almost 400 years of Swedish news reporting and history – regardless of where they are in the country. A temporary copyright agreement meant that the entire archive could only be accessed freely for a few months, but through the initiative, the library has opened a wide window, which no researcher or good citizen wants to see closed anymore. In a far-sighted and meritorious way, KB has thus shown a genuinely digitized future, where history is free and accessible for everyone to explore.”

Isle of Man online newspaper archive to remain free permanently – BBC News

“A subscription service to view the items, which date from 1792 to 1960, was temporarily suspended by Manx National Heritage (MNH) during the Covid-19 lockdown in April.

More than 30,000 pages were viewed that month.

A recent survey showed strong support for access to remain free.

The collection, which can be accessed through the iMuseum, contains more than 400,000 pages of newsprint….

Gaynor Haxby of MNH, said the digital collection had been “exceptionally popular” with people from “across the world”, including America, South Africa and Australia.

There were more than 10,600 visits to the website in April, up from 766 in March, she added.

There are now plans to digitise more contemporary newspapers, subject to fundraising for the £270,000 project….”

 

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free ? Current Affairs

“But let us also notice something: the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the New Republic, New York, Harper’s, the New York Review of Books, the Financial Times, and the London Times all have paywalls. Breitbart, Fox News, the Daily Wire, the Federalist, the Washington Examiner, InfoWars: free! …”

CRL and East View Release Third Open Access Collection | CRL

“CRL and East View Information Services have released the Independent and Revolutionary Mexican Newspapers

(link is external), the third Open Access collection of titles digitized under the Global Press Archive (GPA) CRL Charter Alliance. This collection adds to the growing collection of Open Access material(link is external) available through East View’s Global Press Archive program.

The Independent and Revolutionary Mexican Newspapers collection, with a preliminary release of 135,000 pages from 477 titles, will ultimately include approximately 1,000 titles from Mexico’s pre-independence, independence and revolutionary periods (1807-1929). The collection traces the evolution of Mexico during this pivotal period and provides rare documentation of the dramatic events of this era, including coverage of Mexican partisan politics, yellow press, political and social satire, as well as local, regional, national and international news….”

We’re Sharing Coronavirus Case Data for Every U.S. County – The New York Times

“No single agency has provided the public with an accurate, up-to-date record of coronavirus cases, tracked to the county level. To fill the gap, The New York Times has launched a round-the-clock effort to tally every known coronavirus case in the United States. The data, which The Times will continue to track, is being made available to the public on Friday….”

Coronavirus: The Herald to make all coverage of the outbreak open access | HeraldScotland

“With almost a dozen confirmed cases of the Covid-19 strain of Coronavirus confirmed in Scotland, we believe it is more important than ever that our readers have access to as much information as possible on the worldwide outbreak….

In a bid to keep readers informed on the latest Coronavirus news, The Herald has committed to lowering our paywall for all articles on the outbreak of the condition.

We see it as our duty to allow anyone, not just our subscribers, to stay up to date with the impact of the disease on Scottish life, as well as the wider global issues caused by the outbreak….”

Coronavirus: The Herald to make all coverage of the outbreak open access | HeraldScotland

“With almost a dozen confirmed cases of the Covid-19 strain of Coronavirus confirmed in Scotland, we believe it is more important than ever that our readers have access to as much information as possible on the worldwide outbreak….

In a bid to keep readers informed on the latest Coronavirus news, The Herald has committed to lowering our paywall for all articles on the outbreak of the condition.

We see it as our duty to allow anyone, not just our subscribers, to stay up to date with the impact of the disease on Scottish life, as well as the wider global issues caused by the outbreak….”

CRL Opens African News Content | CRL

“CRL has released more than 400,000 pages of African newspapers as Open Access content via CRL’s Digital Delivery System (DDS). These new resources add to CRL’s growing body of newspapers digitized in response to interest from area specialists and researchers at member libraries.

Over 60 titles across 20 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa were recently ingested into DDS. Spanning the years 1800–1922, the material features a rich diversity of content including such key publications as the East African Standard, Mombasa Times & Uganda Argus (Kenya), Leselinyana la Lesutho (Lesotho), Lagos Standard (Nigeria), and Umteteli Wa Bantu (South Africa). Issues are openly available as image-only files, browseable by date, allowing researchers worldwide to consult the material….”

The Atlas – Mapping the Histories and Metadata of Digitised Newspapers Collections Around the World

“Between 2017 and 2019, Oceanic Exchanges, funded through the Transatlantic Partnership for Social Sciences and Humanities 2016 Digging into Data Challenge, brought together leading efforts in computational periodicals research from six countries—Finland, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States—to examine patterns of information flow across national and linguistic boundaries. Over the past thirty years, national libraries, universities and commercial publishers around the world have made available hundreds of millions of pages of historical newspapers through mass digitisation and currently release over one million new pages per month worldwide. These have become vital resources not only for academics but for journalists, politicians, schools, and the general public. However, these digitisation programmes share a critical weakness: the very creation of national newspapers collections obscures the fact that international news exchange was central to the nineteenth-century press.

The Atlas of Digitised Newspapers and Metadata is an open access guide to digitised newspapers around the world. Its initial selection is limited in scope, being comprised of the ten databases (including the aggregator Europeana) for which we were able to secure access and licensing to the machine-readable data. Nonetheless, it aims to form the foundation of a wider mapping of collections beyond its current North Atlantic and Anglophone-Pacific focus. It brings together their histories and digitisation choices with a deeper look at the language of the digitised newspaper, the evolution of newspaper terminology and the variety of metadata available in these collections. It explores how machine-readable information about an issue, volume, page, and author is stored in the digital file alongside the raw content or text, and provides a controlled vocabulary designed to be used across disciplines, within academia and beyond.

This report draws upon multiple taxonomies: our own open access dataset, which provides a full catalogue of metadata fields across the collections, academic and industry discussions­­ of the newspaper as a journalistic form and historical artefact, digitisation guidelines and strategies, library websites, annual reports, interviews with librarians and digitisation providers and the data files themselves. The maps of this Atlas explore each of our overarching categories in detail, providing a selection of language variants, the technical definition we employed in the categorisation process, and notes on its usage across the collections and in the wider world of press history. This allows a greater understanding of how the term is currently being used in different ways by different groups and allows researchers to navigate to the specific type of information they required and ascertain its availability across these collections. Each entry also includes technical information for obtaining this data across the collections, including data types, which often vary considerably, and XPaths for locating the information within that dataset. With this information, researchers should be able to understand the different structures of these collections and develop computational means for robustly comparing datasets to explore deeper and more meaningful research….”

ALA responds to county commission decision to deny digital access to New York Times in Citrus County public libraries | News and Press Center

“The American Library Association has issued the following statement in response to the decision by the Citrus County (Florida) Board of Commissioners to not allow the Citrus County libraries to buy a digital subscription to the New York Times after one commissioner labeled the Times as “fake news”:…”

Visualizing Chronicling America Data: 15 million pages of digitized historical newspapers | The Signal

“This week we celebrate an exciting milestone. Chronicling America, the online searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers, now includes more than 15 million pages! To mark the occasion, we are throwing a #ChronAmParty on Twitter and unveiling a set of interactive data visualizations that help reveal the variety of content available in a corpus of 15 million digitized newspaper pages….”