Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Top Ten Stories of the Year - The Archives Year in Review

Welcome to the 2nd annual ArchivesInfo Top Ten Stories of the Year. Our list includes the stories that have impacted the cultural heritage professions -- more specifically archives, libraries, and museums - the most over the past year. These stories were greatly discussed, contributed to a change in our profession, and / or are on our radar as potential changers of the heritage we keep. They were garnered from the ArchivesInfo Twitter archives. I have evaluated my tweets based on my own personal outlook and welcome differing opinions. The list is admittedly biased toward the United States. I apologize to my international readers, but I have tried to recognize areas where we are greatly impacted by changes abroad and stories that take on a global perspective are given extra bonus points! (hint, hint!)

It is easiest to begin with stories that just missed the cut.  This year I have cut from the top ten: Archives and museum thefts in the U.S. including thefts by a presidential historian; Crowdsourcing; Hungary and the protection of communist files as it relates to protecting history and human rights; Libyan looting;  the loss of languages and discussions about why "obscure" languages matter; The Boston College and the Northern Ireland oral history project controversy; politicians erasing emails / FOI and accusations of federal and state governments withholding info; release of the Pentagon papers; Wikipedia; NYPL at 100; 30th anniversary of AIDS; a new focus on personal digital archives. Any of these topics could have comfortably fit into a top ten cultural heritage list, but I think they were outweighed by other stories. (Are there any up there that you think I should have kept in?)

So, without further's the ArchivesInfo top ten of 2011!

#10 The Nixon Presidential Library
There was much news about Presidential Libraries in the news this year. The Kennedy libraries digitization efforts are truly worth note, but it is the Nixon Library that made news that should be of interest to every cultural heritage professional. I think this headline sums it up: "What’s a Presidential Library to Do? Should Presidential Libraries show warts and all?" What IS the role of those who display / interpret collections for their audiences?

2011-03-31 Watergate gets new makeover at the #Nixon #library  #presidentiallibrary 
2011-04-01  #Nixon #Library Opens a Door Some Would Prefer Left Closed   #watergate
2011-04-02 Nixon library is the big #archives news this morn. "At Nixon Library, A Raw Look At A Disgraced Leader. "
2011-04-02 Timothy Naftali: Nixon's checker. Director of Nixon Presidential library discusses new Watergate gallery and more
2011-04-18 Bob Woodward, no longer banned, on making his first visit to the #Nixon #Library  #archives
2011-06-06 The Nixon Library That Wasn't politics of a presidential library. #Duke
2011-09-14 NYT: What’s a Presidential Library to Do? Should Presidential Libraries show warts and all? Reagan vs. Nixon library
2011-11-01 Naftali, who helped re-image #Nixon library, resigns 

#9. Ebooks:
With the closing of the Borders bookstore chain in part blamed on the rise of the ebook, libraries fighting publishing companies over ebook circulation, and discussions about the future of print, this technology is altering the landscape for our profession, for businesses, and for culture in general. Returning to our list for the second year in a row, ebooks continue to hold our attention and it will be interesting to see how they develop.

2011-02-27 Cultural shift hurt #Borders' image - mass marketing of #books has lost appeal
2011-03-15 NYT: Publisher Limits Shelf Life for Library E-Books – Harper Collins boycott
2011-03-17 Library bodies warn publishers off 'retrenchment' over e-book lending
2011-09-18 RT @GalleyCat: Borders closes forever today. Here's a heartbreaking picture: "I cannot live without #books"
2011-10-18 the Future of Endnotes in the Era of E-books. (via H-Net]Finding Footnotes and Chasing Citations #books

#8. Natural Disasters - Japanese Tsunami, Australian floods, U.S. Tornadoes
The need for careful disaster planning for cultural heritage institutions has become intensely apparent in recent years. 2011 had a remarkable string of natural disasters worldwide.

2011-03-24 System protects historic buildings from #earthquakes with a new anchoring system.
2011-03-11 #Archives of Tragedy - new ArchivesInfo blogpost during the World #Tsunami crisis
2011-03-14 RT @KPKollenborn: #Japan Earthquake: before & after: Aerial photos reveal the scale of devastation http://bit.… (cont)
2011-03-15 RT @presarch: Archives and Disasters: #japan
2011-03-15 RT @japansociety: Wonderful NYT op-ed by JS member Marie Mutsuki Mockett: ”Memories, Washed Away:"  #japan
2011-03-16 Hawaii: Tsunami damage including flooded spaces holding #archives and artifacts  via Archivists listserv
2011-04-04 Japanese #Tsunami Damages National Treasures  #japan
2011-04-20 RT @the_archive: Why do the #archive, archives, & the act of archiving matter? New AP blog re: Japanese tsunami tragedy
2011-05-01 Help Tusaloosa tornado victims find family photos  via @subclassz

#7 Digital Projects by Institutions
One of four categories to make the top ten for a second year, digitization has significantly slipped from their number one standing. This is not because digitization has slowed down, nor because we are not as interested in its developments. New collaborative digitization projects among museums, libraries and archives continue to spring up. We are coming up with more remarkable ideas and fine tuning our efforts within our institutions. Many such fine projects are represented in our list of tweets this year. Here is a sample of projects we took on:

2011-01-15 RT @RAINbyte: Rockwell museum shares its digitization project with the world - Bennington Banner
2011-01-18 Oregon: Local poets can participate in digital-audio archive project
2011-01-21 GSU Library awarded grant to digitize Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization records 
2011-01-27 Community Digitization Project. Online photos, audio recordings and more bring Ontario's past alive
2011-01-28 Websites expand access to New Jersey and Pennsylvania state archives
2011-02-01 U. Texas: Digital Collection Highlights Photos Taken In Corpus Christi During Great Depression
2011-02-02 Online exhibit from London foundling hospital  {I adore this!]
2011-02-02 Vassar College: Special Collections digitizing #archives
2011-02-05 Digitization, Special Collections & University Archives, U Iowa #civilwar #sequicentennial
2011-02-13 RT @Arquivistica NY Metropolitan Museum of Art seeks new audience online: a virtual expansion 
2011-02-17 New website gives rare glimpse into times past - #Scotland's Places, views of city 1830+ and 16th c maps: http… (cont)
2011-02-20 Abu Dhabi: National Library to post historical content online [UNESCO's World Digital #Library collaborative 
2011-03-24 RT @subclassz RT @johnxlibris: The NY Philharmonic Opens Digital #Archives to the Public #music
2011-05-03 US #Holocaust museum to put records online  #genealogy
2011-05-11  The “National Jukebox” - An Online Destination For Historical Sound Recordings  #archives
2011-05-11 Yale announces free online access to #museum, #library, #archives collections. first in Ivy League #LAM
2011-05-26 Houston Area Digital Archives posts 3 volumes of Love letters donated by Lawson family
2011-09-06 Du Bois papers now available on the Web #archives
2011-10-18 Library completes digitization of medieval manuscripts 
2011-11-03 #BBC #radio #archives to go online

#6 Library of Congress Archiving Tweets
The news that the Library of Congress is Archiving Tweets can be seen as a game changer for the archives profession and the study of history and culture. Now, the words of the "average" person will be preserved for posterity in a way that they have never been in the past. As we change the way we communicate, we change the idea of civilization itself. Whose voices can be heard has been forever altered. Who can make an impact in this world has been altered. There is no going back. The Library of Congress, recognizing the amazing Twitter voice, has given it official status and recognition by formally seeing humanity's tweets as collection worthy.

2011-01-25 RT @paige_roberts: "Trouble for the tweet keepers?" Boston Globe:
2011-06-02 How the library of congress is building the Twitter archive  via Library journal on Facebook
2011-06-09 Gnip to deliver archive of public historical #twitter data to the U.S. Library of Congress  #loc

#5 Wisconsin Protests and Occupy Movements
Perhaps emblematic of the rest of the nation, perhaps even forerunning of Occupy movements around the world later in the year, Wisconsin citizens took to the streets to protest budget cuts in their state. As humanity considers our future direction, libraries, archives and museums are not only impacted by decisions, but we are also poised to document them and the events that took place that helped us make them.

2011-03-02 Wisconsin Historical society documents budget battle
2011-03-14 Wisconsin Librarians' March Merges with Tractorcade #library 
2011-04-26 Wisconsin’s public libraries in peril #savelibraries
2011-10-10 wow. this is nutty RT @AASLH: OH GEEZ: Conservative journalist says he infiltrated, escalated DC #museum protest
2011-10-16 Just thinking...This is one of those moments when a word's meaning may be changing. I think the word "occupy" will never be the same.
2011-10-20 Occupy Wall Street Archival Project #archives via@archivesnext
2011-11-03 I told you recently that the word "occupy" would take on new meaning! RT @geneabloggers: Occupy Genealogy
2011-12-01 National Museum of American History collects Occupy Wall Street memorabilia  #museum #OWS
2011-12-01 Occupy Wall Street and #Archives - new ArchivesInfo blog post   #OWS  #WashingtonTimes

#4 Copyright and SOPA
We are grappling with all kinds of copyright issues from how to deal with orphan works when digitizing to international ILL. Potentially one of the most influential copyright "events" for cultural heritage and information management professionals is the SOPA bill that is poised to censor the Internet in the United States. The struggles over copyright will shape the way we care for and manage information many decades into the future.

2011-01-11  Brussels Wants 7-Year Limit on Works Digitized by Google
2011-02-18 RT @conservators: Funding for Conservation facing deep cuts! action needed now. Visit our Advocacy page:
2011-03-11 RT @jennydigiMdHS: USA Today: "Misinformation about your #photography rights continue to spread"  #copyight #civilrights
2011-03-08 RT @mrlibrarydude: New Supreme Court Copyright Case: The Supreme Court will weigh in on a law that has l... 
2011-03-31 RT @LibraryLaw: Stanford not fazed by #Google #Books decision
2011-04-15 Europe creates orphan works registry, copyright ID system
2011-05-25 RT @lynnemthomas: RT @blefurgy: EU rules on "orphan works" proposed to help digital libraries  #copyright

2011-06-22 Coalition of #Library Consortia Joins ARL in Opposing Publishers' Position on International ILL  #copyright
2011-06-07 RT @lynnemthomas: RT @LibraryStuff: Why non-academics should be following the Georgia State U case  #copyright
2011-09-28 RT @JPvE: Princeton bans academics from handing all copyright to journal publishers  #copyright #writing
2011-12-20 #SOPA debate brings millions in political contributions from Hollywood, Silicon Valley 

#3 Egypt
Uncertainty and dissatisfaction with government policies has been followed by unrest around the globe. Continuing events in Egypt have the world watching to see what change will be brought about by revolution. Egypt also has us concerned about the fate of cultural objects that many have claimed are part of the heritage of all nations and not Egypt alone. Looting, destruction, and safeguarding of the world's cultural heritage is a great concern and Egypt is the most explosive microcosm of our struggles to maintain this heritage in a time of upheaval. 

2011-01-24 Egypt officially requests return of ancient Nefertiti bust
2011-01-24 German foundation refuses to return Nefertiti bust
2011-01-29 RT @theplayethic: The human wall protecting Cairo museum. So beautiful
2011-01-29 RT @arttheft: Photos of Egyptian Museum damages accessed via
2011-01-29 RT @cortsims: No kidding! “@science: Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit - Nefertiti's bust will stay in German capital
2011-01-29 RT @RAINbyte Breaking: Images of Egyptian Museum Damage via Al-Jazeera
2011-01-30 RT @cortsims ART THEFT IN EGYPT "Those were our own people" The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has been looted by own guards.
2011-01-30 RT @historyancient: News from Cairo: ARCE Director Dr. Gerry Scott talks abt the crisis & Egypt’s Antiquities
2011-01-30 Were Tut's treasures damaged?
2011-01-31 RT @AntiquiTweet: Some of Egypt's oldest pyramids are among the tombs that were broken into at Saqqara -
2011-01-31 Egyptians bravely defending cultural heritage, according 2 librarian of Alexandria/director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
2011-01-31 Egyptian soldiers arrest 50 men attempting to break into famed antiquities museum
2011-01-31 good idea!RT @kv64info: Egyptological Looting Database 2011: To help maintain a site by site list of looting
2011-02-01 RT @cortsims:  WSJ: Egypt's Antiquities Fall Victim to the Mob
2011-02-01 RT @cortsims: Interesting Blog Post. Egypt Museums and Archaeology News    
2011-02-02 RT @amlibraries: Photos of people guarding the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in #Egypt:
2011-02-03 Museums rally to protect Egyptian sites. Intl archeologists volunteer 2 help protect country's cultural heritage
2011-02-07 WSJ: Alexandria #Library is A Symbol for the New #Egypt
2011-02-11 RT @kv64info: Restoration of Objects in the Egyptian Museum: W/ blog post from Egyptian Minister of State fo… (cont)
2011-02-14 RT @archivistabby King Tut statue among missing #Egypt treasures -
2011-02-14 Egypt's Missing Treasures Shown in National Geographic Photos
2011-02-15 RT @Bennu: "Get out," crowd of 150 archaeology graduates chanted outside office of Antiquities Minister Hawass:
2011-03-03  Egypt: Protesters demand removal of National Library chief
2011-03-04 Egyptian antiquities attacked and under threat. Alarming report on the widespread looting and vandalism
2011-03-05  RT @dvergano: Egyptology: Zahi Hawass confirms his resignation, discusses reasons. ScienceFair:
2011-03-16 RT @paige_roberts: #Egypt releases illustrated list of 54 objects missing from Egyptian #Museum
2011-03-17 RT @EgyptologyNN: Ancient Egyptian artefacts found and thieves apprehended:
2011-03-23 UNESCO helps #Egypt's Museums. Director expresses how remarkable human shield formed by civilians 2 protect #museum was
2011-04-17 RT @ArchaeoNewsNet: Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass sentenced to one year in jail
2011-04-21 Egypt erases history: 5 places where the Mubarak name will be removed   #history
2011-05-24 Egypt in the Early 1900s: Rare Brooklyn Museum Slides 
2011-12-18 #Egypt Institute Burns; Scholars Scramble to Rescue #Manuscripts #archives

#2 Funding
Once again making our number two spot - funding for libraries, archives and museums is under close watch. There have been other times during modern history when cultural heritage institutions struggled to sustain themselves and sometimes redefine themselves in response to outside events, changing society, and funding crises. This year, funding concerns in the United States and Britain have reached a critical stage. Many institutions have cut staff, merged, and even closed in response to monetary pressures. (Great Britain responded early in the year with a #savelibraries campaign that helped set a tone for 2011.) The institutions that make it through the next few years will be those that have been able to create a strong, sustainable business model and will define the charge of cultural heritage institutions for the 21st century.

2011-01-12 Brown Proposes Eliminating All State Funding for California Libraries
2011-01-15 Exploring the economy’s toll on local #museums
2011-01-16 Watching #savelibraries with fascination in U.S. Good luck British friends! I see important implications for cultural heritage around world…[lots more]
2011-01-19 London museums urged to show more 'hidden' artefacts. Despite economic climate, challenge to offer more to the public.
2011-01-19 RT @Shahalti: Bill That Kills Historic Preservation Funding (Along w/ Public Broadcasting)
2011-01-19 RT @UKpling This is the reality of volunteers running libraries  It   simply is not good enough.
2011-01-25 Proposed Budget in #Texas Nearly Zeros Out Key State Library Funds
2011-02-04 RT @MarDixon: Protests across the UK expected for Save Our Libraries Day
2011-02-08  RT @MarDixon:RT @CollectionTrust: '#savelibraries World Trending' By @mardixon & how Museums can fight for the future
2011-02-11 NPR: Britain Faces Closing The Book On Libraries
2011-02-11 RT @gordonbelt: Archivists, B vry afraid:  Why U ask? I'll tell U:  [sounds lk all shld B afraid.]
2011-02-12 RT @CSMlibrary: One of saddest photo galleries @csmlibrary ever saw. Camden NJ Library closes for good.
2011-02-18 RT @gordonbelt: National Archives budget would drop 10 percent under current proposal:
2011-02-18 RT @conservators: Funding for Conservation facing deep cuts! action needed now. Visit our Advocacy page:
2011-02-19 Librarians in Texas Protest Proposed Cuts (noticing funding issues across spectrum – colleagues in libraries, especially in U.K. most active in media?)
2011-02-23 archivesinfo: #Texas #librarians offer a taste of protests to come  
2011-03-03 TN: Jesse Owens park, museums expect state funding cuts
2011-03-04 UK - Cambridge: Scorn for plan to run library with volunteers 
2011-03-05 RT @MarDixon: Exactly what @archivesinfo suggested bit ago RT @PaulFraserWebb:  interesting - UK map of heritage cuts:
2011-03-10 Petition 4 #TX libraries: Please RT When libraries cut digital divide widens @GITANAJAVA #savelibraries
2011-03-18 RT @CILIP_LSG: #savearchives Georgia Archives facing devastating budget cuts  #genealogy #archives #sunshineweek
2011-03-18 RT @LISNews: US Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) wants to rescind all IMLS and LSTA moneys  #museum #libraries #archives
2011-03-23 Reading more on Klamath County #Museum funding in OR. gr8 explanation on why voters should support them #savemuseums
2011-03-23 Oregon: Answers to #Museum funding not so simple  #savemuseums @MarDixon
2011-03-31 RT @CSMlibrary: BPL elimination of Sunday hours shows deeper woes at library. #Boston Globe editorial  #library #BPL
2011-05-23 Even considering closing Oakland libraries infuriates many  #savelibraries
2011-05-29 #Tennessee State #Library, #Archives Lays Off 9 Librarians
2011-06-11 Texas parks, #libraries, #arts, historical sites facing deep budget cuts
2011-06-17 Oakland's African American Museum and #Library survives, for now   #savelibraries
2011-07-07 RT @AAMers: House Appropriations Subcommittee just passed version of FY2012 bill cutting NEA & NEH far below already reduced levels. #museum
2011-08-25 #Minnesota Historical Society Announces Jobs Cuts; Fee Increases   #museums #savemuseums
2011-11-03 #Canada. Professors decry cuts to Library and Archives.
2011-11-17 #Libraries in Crisis [gathering of news articles related to library closings. well worth a look]
2011-11-27 #Texas: State budget cuts hit rural #libraries hard
2011-11-29 Britain: #Museum Workers to Strike Over Pensions
2011-12-02 "Enough is Enough": Cultural Workers and #Museum Staff Join in the UK's "Strike of a Generation"
2011-12-01 RT @ALALibrary: Chicago's neighborhood #libraries in a bind | News | Chicago Journal  Use up, funding cut

#1 The Digital Public Library of America
While institutions continue to work on using computers to make their collections more accessible, projects like DPLA are drastically altering the digital landscape.Boldly joining Europeana and other large scale collaborative efforts world-wide, the United States has begun churning its wheels to get its own national digitization project going. It is poised to change our professions, our own focused projects, and the world as we know it.

[*Google was left off the list this year, but I struggled with the decision to keep it off. On last year's list at #4, the Internet company's efforts to "digitize everything" have been seen as heroic by some and scary by others. DPL perhaps offers an alternative to Google. Perhaps one day it will find some kind of partnership with them...but for this year at least, the Digital Public Library's early efforts are outstanding. The goal to collaboratively link information professionals worldwide to provide extensive access to cultural resources overshadows efforts to privately digitize these materials.]

2011-01-08 New York Times: U.S. Playing Catch-Up in a Digital Library Race
2011-01-11  U.S. slow to digitize nation's cultural heritage

2011-01-11 Digitizing Public Domain in The EU
2011-01-27 Contributor Enhancing Europeana, the great European digital library
2011-04-01 How Europeana, crowdsourcing & wiki principles are preserving European history WH #archives #digitization
2011-04-04 NYT: Ruling Spurs Effort to Form Digital Public #Library
2011-04-13 Harvard Leads Digital Library Initiative. Digital library might eventually include all printed books
2011-04-22 Digital Democratic Vistas. re: "Digital Public Library of America "
2011-05-25 Demise of Google Newspaper Archive Shows Need for National Digital Library Policy
2011-05-25 Re: Google newspaper project, ""They need to give their head a shake here and realize they have some public re… (cont)
2011-05-25 Google archive decision 'astonishing.' End of newspaper digitization effort disappoints originator of technology
2011-10-21 Digital Public Library of America inauguration. Live stream: #dpla via @archivesnext
2011-10-21 Yay! thank you! RT @digpublib: If you can't view live-stream, keep up with our liveblog
2011-10-24 RT @connecthistory: #Digital public library of America & Europeana collaborating on opening up cultural #heritage #dpla
2011-10-24 @digpublib listening remotely last week stirred some thoughts. I wrote abt concern that small orgs be included in #dpla
2011-10-24 National Digital Public #Library November meeting in LA - #ndpl #digitization #dpla
2011-10-24 Archived #dpla plenary meeting  #digitization #archives
2011-11-16 British Library joins collections from seven countries for Europeana World War I project #archives
2011-11-17 Researchers work to build a national online #library to house Canada's history  #canadiana #canada #digitization
2011-11-20 Digital Public Library of America quotes me on "The Digital Divide"
2011-11-29 RT @Riparchivist: #Digital Public #Library of America » Blog Archive » John Palfrey: A Future for Libraries
2011-12-02 RT @digpublib: John Palfrey Presents at the LA Public #Library Conference - building a national digital public library

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