In Mother Jones, the story behind "Letters to Newtown." This project was instigated by Boardwalk Empire prop-master, freelance illustrator, and Newtown resident Ross MacDonald, and it serves to digitally archive some of the half million cards, letters, and drawings sent to the town of Newtown, CT after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Jacques Hebert of Mother Jones, the magazine putting this all together with Tumblr, explains, "These messages of love, hope, and sadness have been on display in Newtown Town Hall, and have been viewed by many residents. To broaden access to these cards and preserve them as memories of what Newtown residents and the nation experienced on that tragic day, Mother Jones in partnership with Tumblr is launching the 'Letters to Newtown' project."
"The project will aim to digitally preserve these cards (the town of Newtown can't afford to store them any longer and many will be turned into ash for a future memorial site) by photographing them and uploading them to a special Tumblr for the world to see."
Read the rest
UC Santa Cruz launched the Grateful Dead Archive Online last Friday with tens of thousands of items. But it wouldn't be a Grateful Dead archive if all you could do was look at stuff, so you can also:
• Add your own photos and stories - you can even tell us a story over voicemail.
• Use the map to search for things related to a particular Dead show and venue - like photos, backstage passes, and envelopes that fans sent in to request tickets, and tapes from performances hosted at archive.org.
• Read Dick Latvala's original notebook from 1978 describing and commenting on fan tapes
• See Jerry and Bob with a tiger - and send us a comment if you can identify the two other folks in the photo! Our team has done a lot of work to get as many names on these things as possible, but did I mention the "tens of thousands of items" thing? It's a big job, and we appreciate your patience as we work to get comments posted and metadata updated.
We've logged visits from 97 countries so far (Hello there in Moldova, Montenegro, and Malaysia!), and as of yesterday the average visit lasted four minutes and twenty seconds, which we can't help but interpret as a good omen. The messages we're getting from the community have been full of warmth and love - of course! - and we're pleased as punch to be able to open up this collection to such a great (grateful?) bunch of fans, scholars, and researchers. We look forward to growing it with them and creating a fun and useful tool for understanding the Grateful Dead phenomenon and all the broader waves of American culture in the past 50 years it has impacted.
Posted by Katie Fortney of University of California Santa Cruz Library.
A reader writes,
The Canadian government is slowly doing away with Canada's ability to access its own history.
Library and Archives Canada's collection is being decentralized and scattered across the country, often to private institutions, which will limit access, making research difficult or next impossible. It should be noted that Daniel Caron, the new National Archivist hired in 2009, doesn't even have a background in library nor archives but, a background in economics.
"The changes and cuts are being justified by reference to digitization. A generous estimate is only 4% of the LAC collection has been digitized to date -- a poor record that will be made worse by the cuts announced on April 30, 2012, which reduced digitization staff by 50%."
Save Library & Archives Canada
Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,
On March 15,
Boing Boing kindly allowed me to use this
august forum to serve notice on 7 government officials and 10 of the CEOs of the $1-billion/year industry of
standards people. The issue was privately-developed public safety standards that were incorporated into U.S. law, but
only available by paying big bucks. We asked the government and the standards people to send us their comments by
May 1 as to why the law shouldn't be available for all to read.
There have been no such comments received, so today
we're making available for public inspection 317 legally-mandated
documents, most of why have been previously unavailable on the net. To properly document
this open source release, Tim O'Reilly, Jennifer Pahlka, and the 2012 Code for America fellows joined me in an Internet
Although Public.Resource.Org received no comments from the standards people, this doesn't mean they haven't
circled the wagons. Tuesday [today], the Department of Commerce
is hosting the CEOs of the biggest standards
bodies in a big standards summit. We asked to participate as did a number of other public interest groups, but we didn't make
Although all these Standards Development Organizations are non-profits, they do quite well for themselves.
In fact, the 5 nonprofit CEOs attending this meeting (which is conveniently not webcast and isn't taking questions or comments
from the net), the average salary is $633,061. The standards people claim they need the money, but I don't think they need
nearly as much as they're making and, in any case, you can't have a democracy if the citizens don't know what the law is.
I hope everybody can take a few minutes to look at these standards and make your voice known here on Boing Boing or directly
to your government. (This isn't just a U.S. issue, by the way, and we're now preparing a release of public safety standards
for other countries.)
If you're interested in other links, you might consider:
* One Man's Quest to Make Information Free (Bloomberg Business)
* Making Laws More Public (On the Media)
* Why building codes should be open
Free archive of for-pay laws
An update to the saga of Marty's dad's collection of handmade wild west whisky bottles
: they've been acquired
by the Autry National Center
. They'll be part of a 2013 special exhibition on the wild west in pop culture. Yee-haw!
Spider Robinson writes concerning a petition to rescue the 100,000 items from the musical archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that are in danger of being purged: "To waste the precious musical treasure the CBC has painfully accumulated and indexed for us would be a self-inflicted cultural lobotomy, akin to burning down the Alexandrian Library to make room for a trailer park. It’s our national iPod, and we spent a bundle of money and decades of hard work to load it. Don’t let some imbecile erase it. Keeping its battery charged is a trivial expense. I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes just a few seconds of your time."
The stated plan is to digitalize some recordings, but the timeline for disposal in one fashion or another does not allow anywhere near an adequate appraisal of the provenance or cultural worth of each artifact. Many of these recordings were rare to begin with and are impossible to acquire in any format today. Thousands were donated by erudite collectors and hosts. Album covers and liner notes will disappear.
(For more information, see: http://cbcradiotwoandme.blogspot.com/2012/01/coming-to-garage-sale-near-you-cbcs.html and http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/planning+record/6135746/story.html.)
Save CBC Music Archives