Monthly Archives: July 2011

Floppy disk article on Spellbound a must read

Spellbound blog has a great how to article for getting data off floppy disks. It’s simple and well written. A must read for anyone who might come in contact with floppies.


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Learning XML and recent job postings

In my last post I mentioned I was teaching myself XML. I’m continuing to do so and soon I will be expanding to JavaScript. I think I’m going to take some time next week and create a curriculum before I do. In a way I wish I did that when I started XML. I think having some sort of plan would have kept me from becoming overwhelmed with all that I want to learn. I’m also reading The Accidental Taxonomist which I’ve been dedicating my time to as well. I have an idea of an outline I want to follow and planned to work on it last week. I’ll try my best to bang it out this week and post it. However, there have been quite a few job postings in my area and they have kept me occupied. Which is great and to be honest I really hope this trend continues.

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I attended a work shop on processing audio-visual collections, on Tuesday July 12, 2011, hosted by METRO NYC,  presented byPeter Oleksik and Joshua Ranger from Audiovisual Preservation Solutions.

I’m happy I had the opportunity to go. This wasn’t so much a presentation but more of a hands on workshop.  It began with a short introduction of magnetic tape and how signals are recorded. Which was followed by a series of “breakout” sessions.

The first for me was the VCR station, the instructor for this session took apart one and demonstrated how one would properly clean it. They also showed how you the tracks on the tape. Also I found out that the tracking button realigns the angle of the head to read the tracks on the tape properly.

The second session was on reel to reel tape, this instructor showed us the pre- digitization procedure for reel to reel and had us listen to a MRL tape.  He also showed us how to thread the tape though the machine, something I hadn’t known and had the chance to try myself.

The last session was on cassettes, the last instructor had several types of audio and video cassettes taken apart. He showed us how the inside of a tape worked and if one needed to replace the shell how one could do that.

The afternoon section was dominated by a prioritization exercise. Although it generated a great deal of discussion, it left me confused.. Everyone had their own idea of which item should and shouldn’t  be saved and why. It reminded me of the difference of opinion people can have on collection arrangement.  I think a lecture that supplied a better background on the formats and contents of the items discussed would have strengthened this part of the workshop.

I really enjoyed and learned a great deal from this workshop. However, it was more of a technical workshop on how AV machines operate and how one would prioritize their collection for digitization. I think some people were expecting a workshop that would explain how one would go about processing a AV collection.

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What skills will be needed in the future?

This is a great article from the Signal. That blog in my opinion is a must read for all archivists, librarians, or DAM professionals.

I agree what’s important today isn’t necessarily knowledge of various programming languages (something that I thought myself until quite recently) but the ability to show that you can learn new skills.

I think the article tries in well with this podcast April 23, 2010. Panel, “Career Paths for Information Professionals: Looking Ahead to 2020”

I listen to earlier this month, the podcast says pretty much the same thing, but does point out near the end that database understanding, XML, and perhaps some PHP will be useful.

I agree which is why I’m in the process of teaching myself XML though the W3school. More on that in future posts.

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Digital preservation education article from LOC

I came across this article from the library of congress, I like that they are trying to determine what is needed for digital preservation education. Also the schedule for courses and workshops are very helpful.

I will probably do some of those webinars in the future. While some of the courses are free most have a cost. I hope that the cost doesn’t become an obstacle for new archivists. They are the ones that will benefit the most from such workshops. However, with so many unemployed and with student loans, I fear that it will be.

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This isn’t really library or archive related but I thought this website was cool and wanted to share.  MIT made map using data they collected from cells phone on how the different parts of the country interact with other. As you may have noticed I love seeing new ways to use maps

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Digitization dilemmas and Embedded Metadata Manifesto articles

I came across this post early today.  I like that it showcases the potential problems a institution might encounter in a digitization program and how one might avoid them.

I thought this Embedded  Metadata Manifesto was interesting. I’m still learning the finer points of metadata but I thought this summed up this aspect pretty well.

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