Monthly Archives: March 2017

New Issue: Information & Culture: A Journal of History

Current Issue: Volume 52 Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 2017)

Paper Dancers: Art as Information in Twentieth-Century America
Whitney E. Laemmli

Around 1940, a New York City organization known as the Dance Notation Bureau (DNB) began a decades-long effort to promote a system known as “Labanotation.” Designed to capture the ephemeral, three-dimentional complexity of dance on the flat surface of paper, the DNB believed that Labanotation held the key to modernizing the art form. Focusing on the period between 1940 and 1975, this article catalogues the Dance Notation Bureau’s efforts to make dance both “literate” and “Scientific” and explores how these efforts contributed to broader transformations in the definitions of creativity, preservation, authorship and dance itself.

A Cost-Saving Machine: Computing at the German Allianz Insurance Company
Corinna Schlombs

This article provides a close study of information processing at Allianz, a West German insurance company, in the two decades following World War II. It contributes an international perspective to the history of information by analyzing corporate information technology decisions outside the United States and by tracing exchanges about information technology between insurance managers in the United States and Germany. The article argues that Allianz managers, claiming that electronic information processing would reduce office operating costs, meticulously sought to document these savings to legitimate their computer acquisition in an otherwise adverse economic and political climate.

A History of Information in the United States since 1870
James W. Cortada

This article summarizes the findings of a book-length study of how Americans have used information since the 1700s, with a primary emphasis on the post-1870 period. The author argues that residents of North America were extensive users of information in their work and in their public and private lives. Reasons are offered for that dependence on information: high levels of literacy, economic prosperity, open political system, and considerable personal freedom to do as one wanted. The article describes findings on information use in the private sector, public sector, and in private life, including the American experience using the Internet.

Using Historical Methods to Explore the Contribution of Information Technology to Regional Development in New Zealand
Janet Toland and Pak Yoong

This article examines the role that information and communication technologies (ICTs) play in regional development and their relationship with factors such as regional learning, innovation, culture, and internal and external regional information networks. Historical methods are used to build up a picture of significant changes that have taken place within two contrasting regions of New Zealand between 1985 and 2005. The interdependent relationships between the development of hard ICT-based networks and regional social networks are explored.

The Octagonal Pavilion Library of Macao: A Study in Uniqueness
Jingzhen Xie and Laura Reilly

Privately owned by the Macao Chamber of Commerce, the Octagonal Pavilion Library was the first free Chinese library service as well as the most used Chinese public library in Macao from its establishment in 1948 until the late twentieth century. With a total surface area of 1,130 square feet, it is possibly the smallest library in the world. Despite its diminutive size, its educational and cultural impact on the community make it unique. Its relationship to “the foreign-Chinese divide,” to Ho Yin (Macao’s most important twentieth-century historical figure), and to other libraries in Macao are of particular interest. Its architecture, classification system (centered on the Three People’s Principles), and non-technical operations in the current technical environment also make it a meaningful library service case study.

Find the current issue on Project MUSE.

Purchase this issue at the University of Texas Press.

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CFP: LGBTQ Public History

THE PUBLIC HISTORIAN SEEKS ARTICLES ON LGBTQ PUBLIC HISTORY

In light of the LGTBQ theme study recently released by the National Park Service, The Public Historian invites proposals for articles to be published in a special issue of the journal on LGTBQ public history to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. A broad range of proposals focused on LGBTQ public history in North America and beyond are encouraged, including community-based projects, oral history, digital history and new media, museum exhibits, archival initiatives, collective memory, and public history education and training. Proposals for alternative formats, such as reports from the field, interviews with practitioners, and roundtable discussions, will also be welcome. Proposals, which should be no longer than one double-spaced page, should be submitted to The Public Historian at scase@history.ucsb.edu and to the guest editor, Melinda Marie Jetté, at jettem@franklinpierce.edu. The deadline for submission of proposals is April 26, 2017. Selected authors will be notified by May 24, 2017. Articles will be due by January 1, 2018. Publication of the special issue of The Public Historian will be in 2019, Volume 41).

New Issue: The American Archivist

The Archival Profession: Looking Backward and Looking Forward
Gregory S. Hunter

ARTICLES

“As Vast as the Sea”: An Overview of Archives and the Archival Profession in Russia from the Time of Ivan the Terrible to World War I
Aleksandr Gelfand

“Filling the Gaps”: Oral Histories and Underdocumented Populations in The American Archivist, 1938–2011
Jessica Wagner Webster

How Soon Is Now? Writings on Digital Archiving in Canada from the 1980s to 2011
Greg Bak

Cultural Heritage and Preservation: Lessons from World War II and the Contemporary Conflict in the Middle East
Laila Hussein Moustafa

Perceptions and Understandings of Archives in the Digital Age
Caitlin Patterson

Teaching Data Creators How to Develop an OAIS-Compliant Digital Curation System: Colearning and Breakdowns in Support of Requirements Analysis
Lorraine L. Richards

From (Archival) Page to (Virtual) Stage: The Virtual Vaudeville Prototype
Tonia Sutherland

Linking Special Collections to Classrooms: A Curriculum-to-Collection Crosswalk
Sonia Yaco, Caroline Brown and Lee Konrad

Social Media and Crowdsourced Transcription of Historical Materials at the Smithsonian Institution: Methods for Strengthening Community Engagement and Its Tie to Transcription Output
Lesley Parilla and Meghan Ferriter

REVIEWS

Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research
Caryn Radick

The Evolving Scholarly Record and Stewardship of the Evolving Scholarly Record: From the Invisible Hand to Conscious Coordination
Jordon Steele

Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East
Christopher M. Laico

Archives in Libraries: What Librarians and Archivists Need to Know to Work Together
William J. Maher

Archives Alive: Expanding Engagement with Public Library Archives and Special Collections
Mary K. Mannix

Rights in the Digital Era
Jean Dryden

The American Archivist Editorial Policy

 

SAA Sampler Series Now Open Access

A few years ago, SAA’s Publications Board started creating samplers. These are introductions to topics and SAA publications, whether to read on your own or used in a classroom. Two recent announcements about these samplers: they are now all open access and there’s a new one on social justice.

SAA samplers online

Archival Advocacy: Archivists must continually explain who they are, what they do, and why archives are important to society. The selected chapters in this sampler offer different approaches and techniques from three books which align with the core goal of advocating for archives.

Law and Ethics: All archivists will face legal or ethical concerns throughout their careers. In many cases, we are caught unaware, and pressure is escalated by time crunches or demanding patrons. The chapter from the three books represented here aim to equip archivists to handle these sorts of dilemmas as they arise, by presenting practical information drawn from real-life experiences of archivists.

Social Justice: As repositories of the objects that make up the historical record, archives have the potential to shape and define our collective understanding of the past. The selected chapters in this sampler consider personal and collective memory as well as examples of political influence over the historical record.

CFP: Open Library of Humanities

Remaking Collections

Abstract Deadline: 15 May, 2017

In recent decades cultural and collecting institutions have digitised their collections en masse. These digital collections are vast, diverse and dispersed, challenging traditional modes of management, access and engagement; but they also constitute an immense cultural resource. As well as supporting traditional uses in research and scholarship, digital collections are fostering an emerging body of creative practice. Through the work of artists, designers, data visualisers, heritage hackers and digital humanists, digital collections are being remade. This practice enlivens digital collections online through interface design and visualisation, revealing new connections and meanings; it also enriches the collections themselves, adding new layers of metadata and modes of approaching cultural artefacts. Software bots and agents drop digital artefacts into the everyday digital environment of our social media streams, seeding serendipitous encounters between past and present. Open digital collections and computational tools enable makers to work at vast scales; and to either collaborate with collection holders, or work independently, offering unsolicited interventions that bypass institutional contexts altogether. As digital collections reach web scale — tens of millions of items — experimental digital practices play a vital role in understanding their content and potential, as both scholarly and cultural resources.

This special collection of articles will address emerging creative practices around digital collections. It aims to document current practice and theory through diverse case studies and articulate multidisciplinary understandings of the art, design, computing, heritage and humanities practices that come together here. This practice brings a growing computational toolset to bear on mining, interpreting, annotating and transforming digital archives; how do we grasp this interplay of data, code, collections and emerging cultural forms?

Potential topic areas include:

  • Experimental and speculative approaches to digital cultural collections
  • Generative and computational methods
  • Data visualisation for collections
  • Unsolicited interfaces and collection reskins
  • Large-scale creative reuse and adaptation
  • Challenges and rewards of scale – approaches to web scale collections
  • Innovation in collecting institutions – labs and collaborative models
  • Content mining and classification for creative outcomes
  • Tangible and site-specific approaches to collections
  • Place-based and localised digital heritage
  • Audience engagement and impact – the life of remade collections
  • Connecting collections: mashups, concordances and linked data
  • Authorship and agency – manual and algorithmic processes in collections practice
  • Political, critical and anti-narratives
  • Playful and poetic realisations
  • Design and research methodologies for remaking collections
  • Digital repercussions in the exhibition space

Research articles should be approximately 5-8000 words in length, including references and a short bibliography. Submissions should comprise of:

  • Abstract (500 words)
  • Full-length article (5-8000 words)
  • Author information (short biographical statement of 200 words)

Authors intending to submit should email a 500 word abstract by 15th May 2017 to Prof. Mitchell Whitelaw (mitchell.whitelaw@anu.edu.au). The deadline for full paper submission is 1st October 2017. The special collection, edited by Prof. Mitchell Whitelaw (Australian National University), Dr Geoff Hinchcliffe (Austrlian National University), Prof. Tim Sherratt (University of Canberra) and Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk (University of Applied Sciences Potsdam), is to be published in the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) (ISSN 2056-6700).

Submissions should be made online at: https://submit.openlibhums.org/ in accordance with the author guidelines and clearly marking the entry as [“REMAKING COLLECTIONS,” SPECIAL COLLECTION]. Submissions will then undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Authors will be notified of the outcome as soon as reports are received.

The OLH is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded open-access journal with a strong emphasis on quality peer review and a prestigious academic steering board. Unlike some open-access publications, the OLH has no author-facing charges and is instead financially supported by an international consortium of libraries.

To learn more about the Open Library of Humanities please visit: https://www.openlibhums.org/.

CFP: Practical Technology for Archives

This is a reminder that we would like to have proposals/abstracts submitted by the end of day, on the Friday, 24 Mar 17.

Practical Technology for Archives is an open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic journal focused on the practical application of technology to address challenges encountered in working with archives. Our goal is to provide a timely resource, published semi-annually, that addresses issues of interest to practitioners, and to foster community interaction through monitored comments. Submissions may be full articles, brief tips and techniques, AV tutorials, reviews (tools, software, books), or post-grant technical reports. Please visit practicaltechnologyforarchives.org for more information.

The editorial board of Practical Technology for Archives is calling for proposals/abstracts for Issue no.8 (2017:Summer).

The submission timeline is as follows:

Proposals due: March 24
Selections made: April 7
1st drafts due: May 5
Draft reviews: May 19
Revisions due: June 2
Publication: June 16

Submission should be sent to:

Practical Technology for Archives
Randall Miles
Managing Editor
rm527@cornell.edu

Call for Editor: Archival History Section Newsletter

As I’ve developed this blog, I’ve wavered about including calls and information about newsletters. My purpose in starting this blog is to promote and help with scholarship, so I generally do not incorporate archival newsletters. I’m posting this call (from A&A listserv) because a newsletter editor can develop skills and is a good way to start engaging in publishing.

_________

Dear colleagues:

SAA’s Archival History Section (AHS) is looking for an editor, or two, to help relaunch a newsletter for AHS members and other interested parties.

Founded in 1986 as the Archival History Roundtable, the AHS advocates for and promotes an understanding of the history of the American archival profession. Inspired by the work of other SAA sections (see, for example, the Lone Arrangers Quarterly Newsletter, https://lonearrangers.wordpress.com/about/), this digital newsletter will function as a dynamic space to keep members informed and up-to-date about people, activities, and events of importance to the history of our profession.

The newsletter editor will be appointed to a 2-year term. In partnership with the AHS steering committee (which is working to formalize the editorial structure), the editor’s duties will include:

  • Setting up an online presence for the newsletter via WordPress.com
  • Determining a publication schedule for the newsletter
  • Identifying content appropriate for the newsletter (i.e. news and announcements, feature articles, updates and photos of AHS activities, information about upcoming conferences and publication opportunities, member recognition, obituaries and oral histories).
  • Editing and proofreading content
  • Creating a marketing and social media strategy for the newsletter
  • Joining monthly AHS steering committee calls when needed to provide updates on progress with the newsletter
  • Work with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee libraries to ensure that the content of the newsletter is archived with the SAA archives on a regular basis.

Interested parties should respond with a one-page cover letter describing interest in the position, including how you would encourage original content and collect pre-existing content from a variety of online and print sources in order to build a cadre of authors to sustain the newsletter.  Also, indicate the amount of time you could devote each week to sustaining the newsletter over the next two years.

Please send all expressions of interest, or requests for additional information, to Eric Stoykovich, AHS Chair, EricStoykovich@gmail.com, by March 31.