This summer I will mostly be writing. I'm working on a NEW edition of the Special Collections Handbook: deadline July. I was delighted when Facet Publishing invited me to create a new edition. It's been five years since the first edition was published: in a fast-changing world there are many new developments to share with readers, … Continue reading Handbook redux
Struggling with copyright? You're not alone. Archives in the UK contain millions of "orphans". These works are in copyright but the rights holder(s) are unknown or untraceable so we cannot get permission to use the works. This means the works are in legal limbo and hidden from audiences who might benefit from using them. At … Continue reading Free your Orphans!
Well hello, Digital.Bodleian! What a lovely, clean and appealing interface, love the big friendly search box. I met Digital.Bodleian at the DCDC conference, where Lucie Burgess gave a compelling keynote explaining the Bod's plans for its new digital library. Digital.Bodleian will allow people to use all the Bodleian's digitised material. "But of course it will! … Continue reading Spooky! The Bod Squad take on the Digital Ghosts
The first of several quick posts from this year's excellent DCDC conference in Salford. Digital impact expert Simon Tanner asked an interesting question in his Keynote talk. If we compare archives services to wine, the wine equals the collections, the glass the infrastructure of building and staff, and the drinking is access to the collections … Continue reading Wine? Glass? DRINK?
Let me take you back to a baking hot day earlier this year - yes, we had a summer and it was on June 8th. I made the epic trip down to Kew for Collecting in Tough Times, a National Archives event which aimed "to explore how archive services can address the challenges of collecting … Continue reading Beware of the Swans, or, Collecting in Tough Times
In 1994, librarians were learning how to do gopher searches (younger readers, this was a way to search the internet, just before the World Wide Web came along). Acronym-laden databases on CD-ROM were delighting/scaring our users. I became a Chartered Member of the Library Association (now CILIP). The information world has changed a bit since … Continue reading Why I Revalidated
Librarians have known for years that giving items individual unique identifiers makes it much easier to manage them. Accessions stamps have been used for centuries, automatically rolling on to give each item a number of its very own. Making those identifiers machine-readable took things to a new level. We're talking barcodes! Barcodes allowed libraries to … Continue reading Beep! Beep! Why barcode your archive?
Making Archival and Special Collections More Accessible is a new publication whose name says it all. The good folk at OCLC Research have pulled together seven years of research and summarised it in this handy document. Some of the content will already be familiar to readers of this blog and the Handbook - but it … Continue reading The ILLiad, and other stories
I've taken on a challenging/fun writing project for 2016: summing up social media in libraries 2010-2015, for the next edition of British Librarianship and Information Work. Crumbs! The deadline is autumn 2016, but I've started work already as the piece will need a great deal of planning, research and reflection. Finding information and evidence so … Continue reading Why do librarians tweet about cake?
The National Archives have produced two really useful bits of guidance recently: Deaccessioning and disposal: guidance for archive services will help safeguard vulnerable collections by outlining legal issues and professional principles and practices. Guide to collaboration between the archive and higher education sectors has been produced jointly by TNA and Research Libraries UK. It offers … Continue reading Weeding and Working Together