Monday, December 23, 2013

ArchivesInfo Top Ten Stories of 2013

Welcome to the 4th 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 with a few notable exceptions this year. The number one spot, that had remained the same two years in a row, is different this year. This year's list continues to note major evolutions in the field.

We had many high profile stories that just missed the Top Ten this year. At the end of the year The British "Non-Internet Internet Archive"  got a lot of attention. We now expect digitization and are surprised when we seem to take a step back from a full "in the cloud model". This story highlights that we have not yet reached an ideal.
Additionally, I want to note that we continue to lose our ancient cultural heritage. War in Syria, Mali and other hotspots around the world have us very concerned about our heritage. Sheer neglect, like that we've seen in Italy, is also cause for concern. Furthermore, the Boston College archives is still in the news with its controversial oral history project. And, as always, thefts are in the news. The most notable theft case this year is a father and son team in Canada, enhancing other attention that Canada is given in the top ten this year.

There are stories that are still waiting fully to ripen, such as the news related to copyright reform. We'll see a lot more on this in coming years. We also worry more and more about the secrets our governments keeps and continue to push for more transparency in government record keeping and access around the world. This too will become a bigger story in 2014. Jewish archives in Russia and Iraq are stories that will also continue to evolve. Meanwhile, some prominent places are coming to terms with their controversial pasts, such as Mississippi and its Civil Rights museum and the Vienna Orchestra that this year revealed past ties to the Nazis. I hope that the care of our archives will continue to encourage us to take long looks at our history so that we can learn from it. Our documents can help reveal the truth and promote the healing process.

Now, without further ado, here are the ArchivesInfo Top Ten stories of the year:

10. JFK Archives 
On the 50th anniversary of his death, JFK archives and artifacts relating to JFK have made prominent news. The circumstances surrounding the death of the 35th president of the United States will always fascinate us. We will continue to seek new records that shed light on the mystery. It was hoped that the opening of Robert Kennedy's papers this year would provide some more answers.

RFK’s papers: Finally open to the public via
Radio Mogadishu archives to get digitalized :
Our Archives, Our Selves. A visit to see the papers of the Dallas medical examiner at JFK’s death # archives
We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archive
John F. Kennedy Library website asks people to share stories
An eye for history. Danvers archivist Richard Trask and
Confusion, panic and realpolitik – new tape throws light on the day JFK died
Police docs from assassination packed away in rarely-seen Dallas rooms
New RFK documents are window into early Cold War – via
New RFK Documents to be Released |
more on Judicial Watch Files FOIA Lawsuit Against National Archives Challenging Withholding of RFK docs
Judicial Watch sues National Archives over RFK records

9. The Online Museum Experience
3D technology may change the museum experience. We have been looking for ways to enhance the museum experience through digital means for many years now. Now we may be on to the big "answer". While stories about new apps have been prevalent, and databases with information and pictures are dandy, it is Smithsonian's 3-D model that caught my eye this year. Holodeck here we come?

Museum of the near-future: Smithsonian plans to print 3-D models of artifacts  
3-D technology brings Smithsonian to light
AHHH-mazing. RT : WATCH: Architects 3D print an entire room

8. Documenting disaster 
As natural disasters and man-made tragedies seem to become a more prominent part of our everyday lives, we look for ways to save the memories of our loved ones and to document the events. Archives have a bigger role than they ever had in stepping up to help preserve the remembrances. One clear example is the spontaneous memorial that was set up for the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. The City of Boston Archives carefully collected items and moved them into their collections, while Northeastern established a digital archive of the event. We look for ways to save our things when natural disasters hit and to memorialize all of these events.

Our Marathon: Digital Archive Documents Boston Marathon Bombing:
The Pan Am Flight 103 bombing 25 years later: Syracuse University aids community bound by grief
Teddy bears, lab goggles, letters remember Tech victims  

City to Take Down Copley Marathon Memorial - North End, MA Patch
Archivist shares rare images of 1953 Waco tornado devastation via
Boston Takes Steps To Preserve Marathon Memorial Items
Cultural Casualties of Egyptian Unrest: Photo List Released of Objects Lost from Malawi National
Computers Restore Ripped-Up East German Files
Experts recover military personnel records 40 years after fire
Train Explosion in . "The town's history 'has been lost'"
Lady Liberty reopens July 4, but Ellis Island, damaged by Sandy, remains dark
FAU restoring children's records damaged by Superstorm Sandy
Joplin photo rescue effort gears up to help Moore storm victims
With rain coming, makeshift Boston Marathon memorials are archived by city
Museums as Refuge: Serving as Places for Reflection After Boston Marathon Bombings
RT : The Museum will be open today. We hope to be a place of comfort and refuge for all in Boston.
Hurricane Sandy accounts preserved for history at Historical Society
Capturing the Stories of a Hurricane’s Survivors
Iraq Ntnl Library Destruction: Fight To Save Iraq's Collective Memory Baathist secret police @ Stanford
Documenting 1953 Essex Flood memories
Anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978
Boxing up history: Tornado-damaged temple sends to safer storage in Mobile |

7. New York Public Library 
NYPL's modification of its renovation plan makes top news. The library board had intended to demolish its stacks, but it now will keep a portion of them after protests, journalistic exposes and a lawsuit from scholars, librarians and the community. The library will carefully document the renovation process, showing that society recognizes the value of the experience and the repository as much as the artifacts contained within. 

New York Public Library's Renovation Project Clears City, State Reviews
New York Public Library Changes Plans, Will Keep Its Stacks via [YES!]
Lawsuit Filed to Stop New York Public Library Renovation | WSJ \NYPL Finally Unveils Plans for New West 53rd Street Library
The New York Public Library, Part X via

6. Library Archives Canada 
The profession waits on pins and needles to see what becomes of the Library and Archives system in Canada, which was once a model for archivists around the world. Priorities are shifting. Canadian librarians and the public say that they are worried.

Top librarian job up for grabs; head of Library and Archives Canada could bag a $226,500 salary
Harper government's Canadian History Fund a step in the right direction: Chapnick via
under fire for digitization deal with Library and
Canada’s National Draws Fire Over a New Digitization Deal via
Heritage Minister James Moore wants axed Library and NADP program restored
Historical letters not wanted at Library and Archives Canada, critics say
Library and Archives Canada and National Music Centre Collaborate to Promote Canada's Musical History:
Puzzling choice | Interim head of and Archives
Canada: Archivists call for change at roundtable meeting
Minister Moore Announces Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Huge cache of Canadian history hits U.K. auction block, tests Library and Archives
Canada: Librarians give heritage minister wishlist for top job
A Very Sad Story: The Ottawa Citizen Provides In-Depth Look at Current State of and Canada
Stephen Harper should appoint a pro to head Canada’s library and archives: Editorial
Canada: Is Stephen Harper taking the “public” out of public servant? via
Creeping Canadian Totalitarianism
Federal librarians fear being 'muzzled' by code of conduct
Historical letters not wanted at Library and Archives Canada, critics say
Canada: Museums mostly unconcerned about loss of federal funding [I think that "unconcerned" is not exactly right]
Harper Government Announces First Partnership w/ Canadian Museums "links between museums across country"

5. Budgets and Building 
The trend in the U.S. seems to be toward building, perhaps reversing a downward spiral of budget cuts and heartache that libraries, archives and museums have suffered in the past half-decade.  Despite the sequester in the U.S., which led to the temporary closure of many institutions, things seem to be looking up. Detroit is one sad example of a library closure, but we had better news at the end of the year than the beginning. Our industry is remaking itself. We are getting better at explaining our purpose and describing a new 21st century model.  Alaska's plans for its new state museum must also be highlighted with fabulous PR making sure their accomplishments are well publicized.

Queens Doubles Its Size With $68M Renovation
Alaska - state makes its move | Juneau Empire
Kentucky Derby Museum Opens Archives To Public
Smithsonian gets $1M to save endangered languages
Expansion at OSU allows for better display of classic comic panels
Queens To Replace That Served As Emergency Center During Hurricane
Library, archives & museums building project deserves support [ doing a good job publicizing this]
U.K. : clothing retail giant opens company archive held by University of Leeds.
BBC News - Birmingham Central Library's archive packed for move
Our First President Receives the Most Recent Presidential
New Cold War Historical Society preserves the area's personal stories
Big task complete, history department settles into new digs at County Building #2
Howdy Doody may test limits of protecting Detroit assets
Social enterprise will run York’s libraries despite union’s warnings of ‘risk’ (From York Press)
Freeborn (Minnesota) County Historical Museum is not the same old place anymore
Interview with Roosevelt granddaughter as renovated museum opens today
Royal B.C. seeking input on improvements
Camulos Receives Funding to Archive Historical Papers
Work Starts on Long-awaited National Black Heritage Center
Expansion at the National Means More Focus on Human Rights
Conditions at closed library put archives in danger
The Great Library at Alexandria was destroyed by budget cuts, not fire
Alaska: Designing the State and
San Diego: Central Library to Close
Rally held for Queens Library’s city funding
Work starts on the Huntington Library's new $60-million education and visitor center [inspiring museum education]
South to Build Genocide
Sequester leads National Archives to limit exhibit, research hours via
New York City: 'Citizens Defending Libraries' To Hold Public Rally
Sequestration: Cultural institutions scramble to adjust to federal budget cuts - San Jose Mercury News
New UMass Dartmouth library addition gives students a 'social space' [love the social library concept!]
Librarians rally for fired St. Johnsbury Athenaeum staff | Vermont - WPTZ Home via

4. New Acquisitions and Collection Development 
It's still a world filled with paper and there were some fabulous acquisitions and finds this year. We race to keep up with the new digital age, yet we still remember the importance of our paper archives.The study of history grows and prospers as archivists care for unearthed materials. I wonder how much longer our paper collections and non-digital artifacts will still make top stories. It is nice to remind young people of the value of items and how interesting they can be. Check out some of the new collections and found artifacts this year:

Rare Tlingit war helmet discovered at Springfield Science Museum called 'find of a lifetime'
Picture perfect donation [I wish more photographers would do this. So much history lost from photo ]
Long Beach archivist donates Upton Sinclair collection to Cal State Dominguez Hills
Papers of Ulysses S. Grant find a home at MSU
Library Acquires Tom Wolfe’s Papers for $2.15 Million
Ruscha's Go to the Ransom Center in Texas
Wright's net millions, records indicate
A Vast Frank Lloyd Wright Archive Is Moving to New York
Exclusive Video: Museum Acquires Incredible Collection of Japanese Games | Game|Life |
seeks mementos to mark centennial. part of "Grande Collecte" Appeal for war stories to create biggest ever digital history archive via
AFL-CIO archive donation largest in University of Maryland library history
Carl Sagan Archive Opens at U.S. Library of Congress
Columbia Rare books library acquires archive of cartoonist Al Jaffee
A rare find: Amherst College acquires comprehensive collection of Native American writing
University of Michigan acquires archive of maverick filmmaker John Sayles - Ann Arbor Journal
Ivy League Home for a Cartoonist’s Vast Archive
Woman Donates Historic Letter To Center For Studies At SE Missouri St.
NY Library Discovers Timothy Leary's Stash Of Experimental Video Games
Ojibwa author Johnson donates papers to McMaster via (including of life on Reserve)
Brooklyn's YWCA Builds Archive Collection To Preserve Its Storied History
Puppets from the Muppet Show & Sesame Street to enter Smithsonian Institution
UNC-Charlotte compiling history of LGBT community
Alan Lomax’s treasure trove of music unleashed from the Motor City
How The Arctic Seed Vault And Apocalypse Entwine With Climate Change
Artifact from 1963 church bombing heads to
University seeks war tales and pictures | Herald Scotland
Local group turns over ‘forgotten’ documents to Miami tribe | Indiana
Ernst & Young donates of its founders to Case Western University
London's V&A Museum acquires archive of actress Vivien Leigh
Brewery archivist appeals for relics of Cornish beer [ & alcohol seem to top today's story trends?]
Missouri Historical Society Receives Civil War Memoirs Book civilwar
historical record in the works
Brooks family donates papers to DSU
Beatles’ lyrics headed for British Library |
Rare Robin Hood manuscript is Hull archive's latest treasure
Letter from Napoleon's Brother Returned to France: Northwestern University News
Letters from Young J.D. Salinger acquired by the Morgan Library [as you might imagine, they are interesting]
Russian region pays $2.4 million for Tarkovsky archive:
Conn. Historical Society wins letters in auction
New collection documents Virginia’s -hop history
Barney Frank to turn his over to University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Wisconsin Historical Society buys Henry Koch's battle
Smithsonian’s American history museum begins creating archive on US farming, innovation via
'Louisiana Tech Marines' donate records, histor. Members were elite WWII cadets.
Today, on International Women’s Day, British Library opens 1st national Women’s Liberation oral history .
Kings Lynn register, First paper archive document in England
WWII Marine group donates historical records to Tech
Oxfam's donated to Bodleian (From thisisoxfordshire)
Museum Of The White Mountains Opens via [I can't wait to visit!]
Oklahoma Historical Society works to preserve American Indian culture
Winterthur acquires renowned ephemera collection
Bodleian receives £1.2 million donation.purchase of the of William Talbot, the inventor of
Jack Benny Papers now accessible at UW’s American Heritage Center
Frank Lloyd Wright to join MoMA and Columbia U

3. Museums and archives on the Web / Digitization 

We continue to digitize our existing collections, but the drive to create solely digital collections is growing too. Oral history may take the lead in this area, with people and institutions gathering memories of those who lived through history. World War stories were prominent here. Also, as we continue to digitize, we look for better ways to do it. Data written on glass was a big story this year that reminded me of Superman's fortress, real-living science fiction. There were also experiments with recording and DNA. Absolutely fabulous stuff!

Ford Set To Digitize Material For Online
Holocaust Museum puts Alfred Rosenberg diaries online
FDR library-museum's digital database hits the Web
set to digitize material from its for online [take note of the term "online museum." future?]
World War One in Wales digital archive launches
The Daily Tar Heel :: NC libraries put content online via
Trove of Emily Dickinson manuscripts to appear online
Launch of RI State Archives Online Catalog:
Kansas: Menninger family archives now available online
Last wishes of 1000s of soldiers killed in World War I, unseen for a century, being made available online.
Old school Delta maps finally join the digital age. [ need to shatter this image of "archaic documents"]
More than 2,200 documents from World War II war crimes archive are online for the first time
Inside the New 's Vast, Beautiful, and Totally Insane Digitization Project
Data written in glass could last millions of years
Iowa: Former Governor Ray's papers being converted to digital format
Afghanistan sends digital copies of historic documents to Iran
Saskatchewan Archives Puts Homestead Records Online.
U. Minnesota Archives digitizes collection. 1 million pages = 1 percent of total content [good intro to ]
Nanostructured glass mimicks the 'Superman' memory crystal data storage
Tolstoy, tweets and Tumblrs: British libraries leap into the digital age
British Library the web [aimed at preserving historical record of British Web Activity]
2,000 years after they were written, Dead Sea Scrolls go online
Library of Congress Digitizes Stunning Collection of Early Panoramic Postcards | Popular Photography
WWI outside living memory. Millions Of Stories To Be Online Memorial
Making collections available to everyone through Digitization. Imperial War Museum London
William Shakespeare's 1st Folio is Bodleian Library's digital gift on his birthday | Culture24
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Archive Project Complete, Now Online
The Internet Archive aggressively expands its software collection, now the largest of its kind
New archivist putting Port of Los Angeles history online
British Library archives the web
Cincinnati Art Museum partners with Google Project
British Library set to harvest the web
New digital collection documents 70 years of Priest Lake history via
Researchers show DNA’s potential for storing digital information [Shakespeare & MLK sound clips stored in test tube]
Historic photo website reaches 100,000 milestone [people give photos 4 archive]
Unearthing war records on Hull Blitz bombings
New website provides access to Prince Edward Island legislative documents
WOW!! BBC News - DNA 'perfect for digital storage'
RT Library of Congress Twitter Collection: 170 Billion Tweets Strong

2. DPLA 
The biggest news in digitization this year is the DPLA - the Digital Public Library of America - which opened on April 18th, 2013 and deserves its very own spot on this list. DPLA is set to change the way we think about libraries and preservation on a grand scale. In good company, the DPLA joins Europeana and other large scale digital projects that will change our world.  News of DPLA spread well beyond the archives world. Written up in business journals and announced in popular news, DPLA has the world waiting for what's next. (I do hope that they are successful in a goal to help digitize small collections. A cause close to my heart.)

USC Libraries has partnered with the Digital Public Library of America () as a content hub
In case you missed it, here’s today’s NPR story on the Digital Public Library of America ():
Groundbreaking Online Library Intrigues Educators --
The site is live, and I've already found a primary source for my dissertation research.

Not sure my students really realize the significance of . Don't care. I'm going to tell them about it and geek it up anyway!
I'm so excited about , I'm talking about it to anyone who will listen to me! Announced it over school library loud speaker...
The Digital Public Library of America is now online! *Party horns* *Confetti*
Welcome to the world, Digital Public Library of America! We're glad you're here. cc
Woohoo! congrats and good luck colleagues! "The Digital Public Library of America will launch at noon ET on April 18, 2013."
Wired: The National Digital Public Library is Launched
Digital Public Library of America will launch on April 18
The National Digital Public Library Is Launched!
National donates 1.2 million digital objects to Digital Public Library of America pilot project
With New Leader, Digital Public of America Prepares for Its Debut. Chronicle of Higher Education.

1. Preserving our Film and Audio Heritage
We have had many reminders this year about great loss in our film and audio heritage. Most notable is the Library of Congress study that announced we have lost 70% of silent films. This news gains the top spot as a reminder of what we are up against. Lost history. Fading memories.

Library of Congress: Much of American Silent Film Heritage Lost [possible contender 4 a top story of year?]
Study: Silent films loss troubling
70% of America’s Silent Films Are Irretrievable, According to Troubling New Study
Library of Congress sees troubling loss of silent films
Preserving IU's classic movie archive presents a 'reel' challenge
Pearl Harbor Memories Fading With Time via
Over 100 long-lost Who episodes found in Radio and Television by dedicated fans - in Ethiopia
Just How Much of Musical History Has Been Lost to History?
Mary Pickford film found in New Hampshire barn is restored
"Incredible cache of cinematic rarities uncovered in New Zealand over the past few years..."
Early 'lost' Disney cartoon discovered in UK
Archivists Strive to Protect Gay Home Movies via
Thomas Edison National Historical Park Receives a Donation of Rare Edison Recordings
Indiana Professor Finds Film of FDR's Secret Disability
Lost recording by Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck discovered 50 years later by archivist via
Alfred Hitchcock - Dial R for Restoration -
Earliest Alfred Hitchcock film rediscovered, to be available on DVD
Have You Seen This One Before? The Quest to ID Films With No Names - The Atlantic
Woah! The wins a for historic audio preservation!
UGA obtains vintage film of in Georgia
The Importance Of Archiving In TV And Film
NY Phil Transfers Vast Music Online
'Hollywood Unknowns' Gives Due to Nameless Extras
Famous cache of vintage films headed to homes and screens
Outreach to track lost - The hunt for the lost classics of Doctor Who

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