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June 30, 2008

RBMS Report

I got back today from last week's RBMS (Rare Books and Manuscripts Section) preconference, and, though I've been busy catching up with things here in the office, I thought I'd take a few minutes to report on RBMS and particularly on the Blog Boot Camp seminar panel that I was a part of. We heard some pretty interesting and thought-provoking plenary talks about digitization of archives and special collections materials, which was the theme of the preconference. I particularly enjoyed hearing Rich Szary (from my alma mater) and Jackie Dooley, both of whom explained why we should "learn from the archivists" in terms of minimal processing and why we should be digitizing "with abandon," a great phrase.

The Blog Boot Camp seminar itself was a smashing success, if I do say so myself. We had an overflow crowd (about 30 people had to be turned away, unfortunately) and got a great discussion going. Over the following couple of days, a number of archivists and special collections librarians came up to me to tell me how inspiring the seminar was and how they plan to start blogs for their own institutions. Jackie Dooley, in the final plenary, mentioned how happy she was to see a blogging seminar here at RBMS. The whole thing was a great experience (and inspiring for me, too).

June 20, 2008

Closed next week

Next Tuesday through Friday (June 24-27), CBI will be closed to researchers, as both Arvid and I will be in Los Angeles at the RBMS preconference. I will be checking email periodically, so if you have any questions, you can get in touch that way.

Blog Boot Camp

Next Thursday (June 26), I will be on a seminar panel at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section preconference, talking about this blog. The seminar is entitled "Blog Boot Camp: A Primer for Special Collections Staff." The chair of the seminar set up a blog about our panel, located here.

Leave a comment if you have any more questions. It should be a great experience. I'll be sure to post about it when I return from Los Angeles.

June 18, 2008

CBI in the News!

CBI is in the news! One of the attendees at our History | Gender | Computing conference in May wrote this story, which was syndicated by the American Institute of Physics Inside Science News Service and published in MinnPost. They also used an image from our Control Data Corporation Records.

June 13, 2008

A Day in the Life

Decided this morning to try something new with the blog. Along with announcements and other information, I will hereby be presenting a series called from now on, very creatively, "A Day in the Life of an Archivist." This is on the off chance that you are interested in what actually goes on behind the scenes at an archives, and because I've heard that one of the code-word professions for CIA operatives is "archivist" because no one knows what it actually means.

Feedback is most welcome.

June 13 (Friday the 13th): We recently got these two donations that I mentioned yesterday, and so this morning I've been going through one of them, seeing what's included and reboxing it for later processing. I'm also doing some preliminary light preservation work, such as dismantling a scrapbook and putting its contents in an acid-free folder. (In case you're interested, I do this because many times, it's not the album itself that has research value, it's the contents, and a folder is much better for preserving the contents than plasticky, sticky pages.)

We have three research appointments for today, and so I'll be doing some work with researchers this afternoon.

June 12, 2008

New Collections

This month, we've received via donation two exciting accruals to a couple important collections. We now have an additional five boxes of ADAPSO documentation (the current finding aid is located here). We also recently received 15 boxes of Data Processing Management Association records to go along with the current collection. Though the accruals aren't processed yet, they're open for research if anyone has an interest.

June 4, 2008

Computing Then

See http://www2.computer.org/portal/web/computingthen for an exciting new resource in the history of computing: "Computing Then." It's the history portion of Computing Now, a web portal from IEEE focusing on promoting the content of IEEE publications through selective free published content. Computing Then will focus heavily on print content and podcasts from the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (a journal edited by CBI's own Jeff Yost) in addition to video interviews from other IEEE CS journals.

The site's official launch is tomorrow, so this is a sneak preview! :-)