Re: Thinking Blog

A weekly blog featuring perspectives from a variety of contributors on topics relating to the emerging digital environment, research, and higher education.

Re:Thinking

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    The 2016 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union may forever be remembered for the passionate remarks delivered by California governor Jerry Brown . Governor Brown spoke, in part, about the need for scientific data to be collected and preserved, and its importance in understanding climate change. Later that week at the same meeting, our CLIR-funded digitization project received the International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences . We were happy to be a part of this meeting and contribute to the efforts in preserving valuable scientific data. The study of glaciers, in the field and on film, gives us valuable information about their behavior and how they respond to climate change. Photographs of a glacier taken over the course of time can help us piece together the glaciers story ...

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    Ten hamsters pile on top of each other. As one hamster on the third row of this unusual pyramid smiles out at us, another boosts the topmost hamster up. It starts to peek up and out of their cage The Collective conference bag. Authors photograph . This whimsical image appeared on each of the bags piled behind the registration desk of The Collective , a conference held March 2-3, 2017 in Knoxville, TN. A little absurd and absolutely unexpected, the hamsters were the sole feature on the conference swag-bag and instantly set the tone of the conference. This initial impression suggested that The Collective would not offer a typical conference experience and was quickly confirmed when I sat at a table topped with crayons and paper ready for the keynote activity. According to ...

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    Collaborative partnerships between large and small institutions create a platform for organizations with shared goals to work on a project beneficial to both institutions over a specified length of time. When deciding whether a collaborative partnership might work for your organization, it is important to identify common goals, potential benefits, organizational weaknesses, and best practices. Institutional partnerships can create new opportunities for funding, access to technological resources, and staffing; they can also lead to improved community relations and more prospects for collaborative partnerships through increased visibility. The most significant benefit of collaborative partnerships, however, lies in the ability of large and small institutions to attain goals that they could not ...

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    If you have been anywhere near digital image repositories in the past five years, you might have heard of IIIF (pronounced triple-EYE-eff), or the International Image Interoperability Framework. There are several different ways to describe what IIIF is, but a current favorite is that IIIF is a community working together to create, test, refine, implement and promote shared application programming interface (API) specifications for interoperable functionality for digital image repositories. So what exactly is interoperability, and why should anyone care? Imagine a row of silos, all containing different types of grain. Now, imagine the silos as digital image repositories, containing digital images of important cultural artifacts like manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, sheet music, newspapers, ...

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    Audio and audiovisual materials of significant value often fall under the stewardship of archivists who lack specialized training regarding their description, storage, and maintenance needs. For this reason, the thought of writing a competitive grant proposal for a digital reformatting project might seem a tall order. What are the most archivally-sound digital formats in which to transfer these open-reel tapes? How many hours do I assume it takes to digitize all the content off of formats X, Y, and/or Z? How do I tell which of my recordings are the most, well, at risk? Through the new Recordings at Risk (RaR) grant competition, CLIR aims to help professionals in a variety of contexts identify institutional priorities for digital reformatting, build relationships with partners, raise ...

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    This summer, CLIR announced funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the initial planning phase of the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME). This projects impetus is the tragic violence and loss of life currently afflicting the Middle East and North Africa regions, accompanied by rampant looting and destruction of priceless objects of plastic art, rare books and manuscripts, and architecture. In planning to construct a virtual library populated by digital surrogates of the cultural legacy of the Middle East, we aspire to provide greater security for those artifacts at most risk by creating electronic records with appropriate metadata and high resolution imagery that can be easily traced by provenance and history and, if stolen, tracked across borders. While the immediate ...