The leaves are the remains of a severely scorched early book, or codex, written in southern Egypt some time between AD 400 and 600. In a basement laboratory of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, an X-ray scanner is pumping invisible beams into a clump of charred parchment leaves that looks as delicate as a long dead flower…READ MORE: Scientists are X-ray scanning an ancient biblical text that’s so old, they’re afraid to open it | National Post
It has come to this…
The Internet Archive, a digital library nonprofit that preserves billions of webpages for the historical record, is building a backup archive in Canada after the election of Donald Trump. Today, it began collecting donations for the Internet Archive of Canada, intended to create a copy of the archive outside the United States. READ MORE: The Internet Archive is building a Canadian copy to protect itself from Trump – The Verge
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) today announced a $1.9 million grant to the Internet Archive, the world’s largest public digital library, to develop a search engine that will provide unprecedented access to its extensive collection of webpages, also known as the Wayback Machine. The search engine will allow researchers, historians, and others to retrieve data and information from the billions of webpages and websites stored in the Wayback Machine and will ensure that there is a comprehensive, open record of the Internet that is accessible to all. READ MORE: Laura and John Arnold Foundation Announces $1.9 Million Grant to Develop Internet Archive Search Engine | Laura and John Arnold Foundation
Tracking the lightning quick development of modern cities is easy with Google Street View, but the [Venice Time Machine] project aims to provide context for the past 1,000 years of urban evolution in Venice, Italy. The Venice Time Machine will digitize and catalog a staggering amount of historical documents—a combined 50 miles worth of shelves!—then turn the data into an internet archive and adaptable 3D model. READ MORE: How To Scan 50 Miles of Historical Documents Into an Online Archive | Gizmodo
If the internet is at its core is a system of record, then it is failing to complete that mission. Sometime in 2014, the internet surpassed a billion websites, while it has since fallen back a bit, it’s quite obviously an enormous repository. When websites disappear, all of the content is just gone as though it never existed, and that can have a much bigger impact than you imagine on researchers, scholars or any Joe or Josephine Schmo simply trying to follow a link.
Granted, some decent percentage of those pages probably aren’t worth preserving (and some are simply bad information), but that really shouldn’t be our call. It should all be automatically archived, a digital Library of Congress to preserve and protect all of the content on the internet.
As my experience shows, you can’t rely on publishers to keep a record. When it no longer serves a website owner’s commercial purposes, the content can disappear forever. The trouble with that approach is it leaves massive holes in the online record.
Cheryl McKinnon, an analyst with Forrester Research, who covers content management, has been following this issue for many years. She says the implications of lost content on the internet could be quite profound. READ MORE: The Internet Is Failing The Website Preservation Test | TechCrunch
(Edmonton) When you live 400 kilometres from the nearest library, getting information can be a real challenge. Professor Ali Shiri of the University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies is leading a project to address this issue. Together with co-investigator Dinesh Rathi, Shiri and a team of collaborators have begun to bridge the information gap for some of Canada’s most isolated people with a project called Digital Library North.
Currently, people in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region—an area that spans 90,650 square kilometres—must travel to the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre to access hard-copy information. The challenges with distance and winter above the treeline limit the access. The SSHRC-funded project will create a digital library infrastructure to address the unique information needs in Canada’s northern regions over the next three years. READ MORE: Creating the first cultural digital library in Canada’s North | University of Alberta.
Circling Birdies by Cheko, Granada Spain
Since last we wrote, Google Street Art has doubled its online archive by adding some 5,000 images, bringing the tally to 10,000, with coordinates pinpointing exact locations on all five continents (though as of this writing, things are a bit thin on the ground in Africa). Given the temporal realities of outdoor, guerrilla art, pilgrims may arrive to find a blank canvas where graffiti once flourished.
A major aim of the project is virtual preservation. As with performance art, documentation is key. Not all of the work can be attributed, but click on an image to see what is known. Guided tours to neighborhoods rich with street art allow armchair travelers to experience the work, and interviews with the artists dispel any number of stereotypes. READ MORE: Google Puts Online 10,000 Works of Street Art from Across the Globe | Open Culture.
Rejoice, ’90s kids: More than 2,400 of your favorite MS-DOS games are now available to play online via the Internet Archive. READ MORE: Over 2,400 MS-DOS Games — Like Oregon Trail — Can Now Be Played Online | BuzzFeed News.
The Internet Arcade collects a wide selection of titles, both well-known and obscure, ranging from “bronze age” black-and-white classics like 1976s Sprint 2 up through the dawn of the early 90s fighting game boom in Street Fighter II. In the middle are a few historical oddities, such as foreign Donkey Kong bootleg Crazy Kong and the hacked “Pauline Edition” of Donkey Kong that was created by a doting father just last year.
The challenge: You have two minutes to educate a Stupid Robot by describing the picture below as precisely as possible. The catch: you can only list one word of any given length from 4-10 letters, and the robot will reject words it already knows. Therefore, you must be accurate, creative, and specific all at once.
An image from the British Library’s collections on http://www.metadatagames.org
If, like me, you found this challenge oddly entertaining, you might enjoy Metadata Games, a set of interactive tagging games designed to help libraries and museums crowdsource useful metadata for their collections.