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Panel 19, June 19, 2012, 11:00am-12:30pm
Moderator: Alison Hicks (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Presenters: Samuel Wicks (University of Pittsburgh); Tina Gross (St. Cloud State University); Sarah G. Wenzel (University of Chicago); Carolyn Palaima (The University of Texas at Austin); Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia); Barbara Alvarez (University of Michigan)
Rapporteur: Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa)
Alison Hicks introduced the presenters and explained the pecha kucha format. Generally speaking, pecha kucha presentations are 20 slides for 20 seconds each for a presentation of 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
In the first presentation, “What Digital Collection? Issues of Collection Development, Cataloging Trends and Standards, and Ethical Considerations of Underground Music in the Caribbean and Latin America,” Samuel Wicks explored initial considerations in planning a digital collection for Latin American punk music. A collection such as the one proposed potentially includes media in a variety of formats, including text, images, audio, and video, from a variety of original carriers, including audio cassettes, vinyl records, ephemera, and fan zines. Wicks discussed open source digital collection management software, briefly reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of systems in relation to this project, including Archon, DSpace, ICA-AtoM, and Greenstone. Ultimately, CONTENTdm provides the most robust platform capable of handling audio and video files in addition to text and images, as well as allowing the creation of compound documents to group related items. Wicks created a “materials and techniques” metadata elements to more adequately describe objects such as album covers. Wicks also looked for other punk collections. He found a variety of projects, such as museum exhibits in Slovenia and Reno, Nevada; the Fugazi Live Series with the support of the original band; and fan-created digital collections like Killed by Death Records and Kill from the Heart. Finally, Wicks briefly discussed the challenge of identifying and obtaining copyright permission from members of sometimes obscure punk bands that have not been active since the early 1980s.
Because Wicks had to leave for the airport immediately after his presentation, there was a short question and answer period before moving on to the next presenter.
Miguel Valladares-Llata (University of Virginia) asked about the availability of the presentation. Hicks confirmed that she would post the presenters’ slides on the SALALM blog.
Laura D. Shedenhelm (University of Georgia) asked if links would be included. [At the time of writing this report, the slides have been posted on the SALALM blog, but links have not been compiled and posted.]
Meagan Lacy (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) commented that her library had difficulty identifying the copyright owners of a journal included in a digital collection. The journal itself did not include any copyright information. The library chose to post the content with a note that the copyright holder should contact the library and the library would remove the material if requested. Wicks commented that a similar practice is commonly seen on YouTube, in which content is posted with a note that the person posting the material does not own it, does not intend to profit from it, and will remove it if requested.
An unidentified librarian from NALIS commented that Greenstone is capable of handling audio files, as the NALIS Digital Library runs on Greenstone and includes mp3 files, notably in the storytelling collection. [Wicks later verified that the version of Greenstone he used was not capable of supporting audio files.]
Kumaree Ramtahal (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine) asked Wicks to elaborate on the process of uploading video in DSpace. Wicks used KeepVid to extract a file from YouTube and other streaming video.
In the second presentation, “Developing Local Cataloging Procedures for Access to Foreign-Language Films,” Tina Gross discussed providing better access to foreign films for patrons. Standard cataloging practice focuses on the physical object which, in the case of films, describes the location of the publisher, not the production of the original film. Patrons looking for foreign film, however, frequently want to search by country of production. Two new MARC fields, 257 and 044, have been introduced to capture “Country of Publishing/Producing Entity.” However, many integrated library systems are not configured to include that as a searchable field. Further, many OPACs do not distinguish between the MARC coding for the primary language of the film and the subtitles, making it difficult to search for a film based on its original language. Gross and the staff of the St. Cloud State University Library reasoned that activating the search functionality of the new MARC fields or language coding was a low priority for their ILS vendor, especially with the impending implementation of RDA, but still an important search strategy for their patrons. Gross and her colleagues chose to add local subject headings in the 655 genre/form fields:
Foreign language films – Language.
Motion pictures – Country.
These headings are browseable in the old catalog interface and appear as genres in the next-generation catalog with faceted search capabilities.
Sarah G. Wenzel followed with her presentation, “Patron- or Demand-Driven Acquisition: Strategies for Successful Implementation.” At Chicago, selectors were allowed to implement patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) however they best saw fit for their collections and patrons. This case-by-case implementation was chosen to foster support and buy-in from the selectors. Wenzel and her colleagues were seeking solutions to three primary questions: how to supplement selection without a budget increase, how to streamline and speed up selection, and how to serve faculty and other patrons who normally have little or no contact with the selector. The PDA program has not changed existing approval plans but adds a new approach to slips titles, or titles that are not completely peripheral to the collection but not core titles either. In Wenzel’s experience, this has not interfered with purchasing and she has made titles available by PDA rather than adding them to a desiderata list. Slips profiles have required some tweaking. Wenzel gave the science collections as an example in that they added “how-to” titles for programming languages, which they normally do not purchase but there is a point-of-need demand. Other selectors have imposed price limits on purchases and budget ceilings on call number ranges to preserve their existing budgeting patterns. Wenzel and other selectors use usage and PDA purchase statistics available through Ebrary to inform purchases, especially in fields in which they have little contact with faculty and students. Since records for PDA titles are loaded in the online catalog, purchases are not constrained by the availability of the paper book, but can be bought on demand, be it tomorrow or in five years. If a publisher ceases to offer their content by PDA but the library has already bought it, the library does not lose access, as opposed to the risk of losing content in a leased collection. Overall, selectors at Chicago who have participated in the PDA program and have spent the time to tailor their profiles have been happy with the program. Chicago would like to see more vendors offer PDA purchasing as the practice enriches the library’s catalog and provides greater access to patrons.
In the next presentation, “Collaborative Digital Archiving: A Non-Custodial Approach,” Carolyn Palaima discussed the Primeros Libros project as a case study. In this project, the University of Texas at Austin has worked with Texas A&M University and the Biblioteca Lafragua of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla to digitize New World incunabula, beginning with those published in Mexico. The collection is defined, also the first step in building a digital collection, as books printed in the New World before 1601, of which there are 220 known titles and 136 known to still exist. Primeros Libros’ initial focus are those printed in Mexico and to include as many exemplars of each work as possible. The next step in such a project is to identify lead partners in content, technical aspects, and digital preservation. University of Texas and Texas A&M are the initial partners, with 16 and 18 primeros libros respectively. The main Mexican partner, the Biblioteca Lafragua, was chosen more for its willingness to commit to the project than for its holdings. Initial content partners had as little as one item to contribute to the project. Scanning standards were developed by University of Texas and Texas A&M. The project website with access to the complete collection was designed and is hosted by University of Texas. In terms of digital preservation, the TIFF images are stored with the Texas Digital Libraries Preservation Network and the Repositorio Digital Mexicano. All partner institutions receive a complete collection of TIFF and/or derivative images. The primary documentation for partnership is the project agreement and the digitization standards. Both are available in English or Spanish on the Primeros Libros website. Both University of Texas and Texas A&M set up scanning stations and trained staff to digitize their collections of primeros libros. A mobile scanning station was set up in Puebla with trained staff, which can travel to other content partners in Mexico. Other content partners are brought into the project based on institutional holdings. The project is non-custodial as materials do not have to be physically acquired by the organizing institution, digitization takes place locally, each partner receives a complete collection of the digital images, and the framework of the project can be adapted to the needs of participating collections. The project achieves a consolidated collection of dispersed holdings, allowing comparison of copies across institutions, and demonstrates international collaboration. University of Texas has used the non-custodial model in previous digital collections, notably the Human Rights Documentation Initiative and the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive (AHPN).
The following presentation, “Library Outreach Using Library a la Carte (TM)” by Laura D. Shedenhelm discussed adapting selective dissemination of information (SDI) as a value-added service to Library à la Carte, an open-source content management system intended for subject and course library guides. Shedenhelm learned SDI in library school and used it early in her career in law firm libraries. In her current position as the Bibliographer for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, she has used it to open lines of communication to faculty and students by capturing content about Latin America, Spain, and Portugal in otherwise general works, especially those that are not classed in the usual F and PQ call number ranges. While some of these titles would be readily apparent from scanning the New Titles List, the link for that list is a small one on the library catalog. Many of the chapters in other general works are searchable unless the table of contents is listed in a catalog record and are delayed in their inclusion in index databases. Shedenhelm used to gather new titles and relevant chapters in a document that she e-mailed to her liaison departments but she now maintains a Library à la Carte page, “Spanish & Portuguese: New Works in the Libraries.” Once a month she creates a list of the newest material and saves the old list as attached files, which are available for a year.
In the final presentation, “Publish, Not Perish! Supporting Graduate Students as Publishing Authors,” Barbara Alvarez discussed a workshop on publishing for graduate students. Alvarez and a colleague observed that they saw graduate students mostly early in their studies and less as they progressed. They felt, however, that research was only the beginning and they could offer support through the publishing process as well. While publish-or-perish is often associated with junior faculty, it creates anxiety amongst graduate students as well, who are concerned with making themselves competitive in a shrinking academic job market. Graduate students, though, may be reluctant to ask for advice from their professors and senior faculty may be decades removed from the experience of publishing as an early-career scholar. University of Michigan Libraries now house the University of Michigan Press as a department within the libraries, including MPublishing, which provides publishing consultation services and employs publishing outreach librarians, providing a natural partner for this project. Alvarez and her colleagues first began with a survey to find if such a workshop was needed and to identify what questions students have about the publishing process. The survey reported interest from students at all stages of graduate studies, including beginning students. Working from the survey results, they sought to address the following in a one-hour workshop:
the current publishing environment with information on Open Access and authors’ rights (covered by publishing consultants)
what and when to publish (covered by an invited junior faculty member with a strong publishing record)
how to select journals and publishers (covered by Alvarez)
how to respond to reviewers’ feedback
Future plans include open sessions available to students in all disciplines on general issues such as authors’ rights and sharing the workshop model with subject librarians to create discipline-specific workshops. Overall, the workshop was well-received. Alvarez and her colleagues concluded that it makes sense for librarians to be involved in the publishing process as an extension of research training. Graduate students may find the rapidly changing publishing environment to be overwhelming but it is a natural topic for librarians to keep up with. The workshop also supports change in academic publishing by educating young scholars about Open Access and their rights as authors.
Graduate Students’ Guide to Publishing: http://guides.lib.umich.edu/gradspublishing
Questions & Comments:
Palaima asked Alvarez if the LibGuide is freely available. Alvarez replied that it is.
Anne Barnhart (University of West Georgia) asked if Alvarez had worked with faculty, as she has noticed that faculty need guidance on publishing strategy as well. Alvarez replied that they are especially hoping to attract faculty to the discipline-specific and focused topic workshops. Faculty present a lot of opportunity for this program, such as inviting currently active faculty for informal, focused conversation with their colleagues and graduate students.
Meagan Lacy asked Alvarez what departments were represented in the graduate students who attended the workshop. Alvarez replied that the initial workshop focused on Romance Languages and Literatures students as an experiment. They are planning to talk with other subject librarians to share details and offer the survey for reuse, with hopes that others will approach their respective departments.
Alison Hicks asked Shedenhelm if her lists on Library à la Carte are available by RSS. Shedenhelm replied that it is available through the UGA Libraries website and is freely available. It takes her about 20 minutes each month to create the lists. Meagan Lacy asked if Shedenhelm manually compiles the lists or generates them through an automated process. Shedenhelm replied that she types the lists.
Margarita Vannini (Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica) asked Palaima to elaborate on the institutional relationships involved in digitizing the AHPN collection. Palaima replied that the AHPN was a very large project with lots of people working on it. The archive is approximately 80 million pages. Agreements signed with the AHPN require open access. Digitization was done on-site in Guatemala. UT sent hard drives which were returned full. The first batch was 11,000 documents which were sent to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to be processed into TIFF files and derivatives. The site launched in December has sparse metadata but is open access. It is structured much the same as the physical archive, with documents organized by provenance and original order. Researchers can browse the digital archive by year, much as they would do with boxes of documents. There is currently no metadata for names and places. UT is expecting another 10 million documents and is working with the TACC to extract metadata the document images. This is challenging because of different handwriting, formats, and other variables throughout the collection. It has been a major collaboration over a long period of time. As soon as the website went live it received heavy traffic.
Rafael E. Tarragó (University of Minnesota) asked Palaima if Primeros Libros is limited to New Spain or if it includes all of Latin America. Early publishing also took place in Peru. Palaima replied that choices were made at the beginning of the project to limit the initial collection to Mexico. They hope to expand the collection geographically in the future.
Hicks asked Wenzel if Chicago’s PDA program included print or just e-books. Wenzel responded that it is currently just e-books. One factor in that decision is the speed of delivery and that it is currently faster to deliver materials through interlibrary loan or unmediated consortial borrowing. It is unclear if PDA for print would be an improvement in service.
Alvarez asked Wenzel if PDA records are loaded after a title-by-title selection or if they are loaded in a large batch of PDA records. Wenzel replied that PDA titles are loaded by batch based on the refined slips profile she has set partly based on subject headings. For example, she does not purchase language learning or ESL materials so those records are excluded from any PDA batch load.
Tagged with: Alison Hicks • Anne Barnhart • audiovisual • Barbara Alvarez • Carolyn Palaima • cataloging • digitization • film • Laura D. Shedenhelm • Lisa Gardinier • Margarita Vannini • Meagan Lacy • Miguel Valladares-Llata • music • PDA • Rafael E. Tarragó • rapporteur reports • RDA • Samuel Wicks • Sarah G. Wenzel • Tina Gross
Panel 12, Tuesday May 31, 2011, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Moderator: Silvia Mejia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Presenters: Marisol Ramos, University of Connecticut; T-Kay Sangwand, The University of Texas at Austin; and Joel Blanco-Rivera, University of Pittsburgh
Rapporteur: Suzanne Schadl, University of New Mexico
The first presentation, Sharing Archives: The P.R. Civil Court Cases Collection Digital Project, by Marisol Ramos of the University of Connecticut (UConn) offered digitization of the Puerto Rican Civil Court Cases Collection as a solution for colonialist ownership of cultural heritage collections in tenuous political environments. Ramos noted that this collection, purchased by UConn in 2002 (before her appointment), actually belonged in the National Archive in Puerto Rico. Upon its establishment in 1955, it became the repository for all government records from the Spanish period to the present. Even so, and through legal means, these documents were in the custody of UConn when she began working there. Because of strict Connecticut state laws prohibiting the deaccession of materials bought by the state, this 19th century collection could not be returned to Puerto Rico. To make matters worse, the fragility of the documents within this collection prohibited making photocopies to share access with the country of provenance.
In 2007, Ramos became concerned with how best to address the moral and ethical obligation to provide Puerto Ricans access to this collection. She saw it as part of the Puerto Rican national and cultural heritage. As a Puerto Rican who had worked in and collaborated with staff at the National Archive in Puerto Rico, Ramos felt even more obligated to identify a solution to the problem of U.S. universities ending up with collections far from their countries of origin. After offering a snapshot of several cases in which donations, purchases, deaths, and/or other events led to document drains, Ramos addressed the difficult historical relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. In so doing, she situated their relationship within studies of colonialism. Ramos noted that as a political appointee embroiled in this difficult connection, it would be ill-advised for the director of the National Archive in Puerto Rico to formally demand that documents be returned to Puerto Rico. The rotating nature of such political positions would make this endeavor even more complicated.
Ramos proposed intervention from archivists and librarians in the United States holding cultural heritage collections. She then outlined the UConn project, and announced that the Latin American Microforms Project (LAMP) had agreed to help fund the initiative. Ramos noted that once digitized, by May 2012 all of the documents in the Puerto Rican Civil Court Cases Collection would be shared through the Internet Archive. Ramos noted that while this solution did not return documents to their country of origin, it did offer access. It also successfully bypassed University funding politics and spoke to the difficulties of cross national/institutional ownership of cultural heritage collections in a tenuous funding situation and in a complicated political environment.
In the second presentation, Tejiendo la Memoria: Strengthening Collective Memory of El Salvador’s Civil War through Transnational Digitization Partnerships, T-Kay Sangwand (The University of Texas at Austin) proposed a Distributed Archival Model as an alternative to problematic traditional methods of archival possession. She argued that the partnership based model of transnational digitization could empower record and access creators by enabling them to retain, expand, and share access while also learning useful techniques in digital preservation.
Sangwand began by presenting the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) at UT (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/hrdi). This program serves as the umbrella under which her primary focus, the Tejiendo la Memoria project, evolved. Sangwand noted that HRDI emerged out of the collective effort in which activists, scholars, and organizations together with the University of Texas Libraries (UTL) began to identify threatened electronic and analog resources for preservation. They sought to save the most fragile records of international human rights struggles and promote their security through archival availability, human rights research and continued advocacy. A generous grant from the Bridgeway Foundation in 2008 led to the establishment of the HRDI, which Sangwand noted currently engages in transnational collaborative projects to preserve and make accessible the historical record of genocide and human rights violations throughout the world.
Sangwand presented UT Austin’s work with the Radio Venceremos Archive at the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (Museum of Word and Image) in El Salvador as an example of implementing a Distributive Archival Model. Radio Venceremos traveled with the FMLN during the El Salvadoran Civil War and denounced human rights abuses. Sangwand noted that this medium also became an important means for popular education. After the war ended, Radio Venceremos had 1,270 fragile tapes containing personal testimonies. Needless to say, the Museum Word and Image was reluctant to give UT Austin temporary custody of these important records, and understandably so, especially considering the political history between the United States and El Salvador. UT Austin chose, thus, to use collection development funds in order to send equipment and trainers to the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen with the express purpose of acquiring this digital collection.
UT Austin employees provided training in digital preservation techniques and metadata standards and Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen archivists began to digitize and describe the collection. Custody never changed hands and each party had the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the project. UT Austin and the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen agreed to share the digital copies archived in a server at UT Austin. The original Radio Venceremos tapes remained in El Salvador. The funding formula used in this experimental acquisition involved calculating the staff costs of two employees processing this collection over two years’ time. UT Austin agreed to pay 2/3 of the cost while the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen covered 1/3. Sangwand concluded by sharing a clip of a sole survivor’s testimonial in these audio files.
In the third presentation, Declassification and Accountability for Part Abuses: Transitional Justice in Latin America and the Impact of Declassified U.S. Government Documents, Joel Blanco-Rivera (University of Pittsburgh) argued that transitional justice in Latin America requires and is dependent upon access to government documents from the United States. He suggested and offered several examples in which these documents have played important roles in memory-related initiatives throughout Latin America.
Blanco-Rivera began his presentation by placing Latin American requirements for access to U.S. government documents in an international context. He offered a review of cases and literature including reference to the following international efforts to save threatened records: German state security service records in the early 1990s; Paraguayan information on detentions during the Stroessner regime; records from the Guatemalan national police stored in a police building in Mexico City; and very recently, records from the Egyptian state security police. In this last case, Blanco-Rivera stated that protestors successfully used social media to document their demands for saving records as well as for documenting them. He noted that in all of these cases, saving these documents from destruction led to public outcries and increased availability, as in the case of the Archive of Terror. Knowledge of these documents also prompted heightened demands for declassified U.S. government documents, as in the case of Operation Condor.
Building on literature regarding the importance of archivist activism in Human Rights, Blanco-Rivera noted that it was imperative for archivists and human rights activists to take responsibility for preserving several different kinds of archives including transitional archives of former regimes; archives of human rights organizations; archives documenting life during the period; and archives of declassified governments. He reiterated that archival sources enable societies to address legacies of human rights abuses, to institute truth programs, and to implement government reforms and other transitions. Blanco-Rivera highlighted the importance of truth commissions as the main mechanisms for addressing abuses in Latin America. He also argued that such efforts succeeded only after also obtaining declassified U.S. documents. Blanco-Rivera demonstrated that combining Truth Commission reports with the declassification of U.S. documents increased interest in the contradictions between U.S. declassified documents and local documents. He added that this triangulation often opened the door for even greater demands for the release of additional records.
Questions & Comments:
Pamela Graham (Columbia University) asked Sangwand how prevalent the UT Austin model is. She wanted to know if there were other institutions doing similar things and she asked Sangwand if the cost sharing formula UT Austin has used addressed ongoing preservation and maintenance costs. Sangwand stated that she was not aware of any other academic organizations doing something similar but that non-governmental organization were involved in like practices. As for the storage and maintenance costs, she noted that the UT Austin director was supportive of the project as an acquisition and not worried about storage right now. The point was to build an infrastructure for this process to continue in the future. There was an inaudible interjection from the audience on other collections or documents in Mexico.
Ana María Garra asked Blanco-Rivera about his familiarity with a case brought in the U.S. in 1973, which was developed from U.S. documents. He noted that he was familiar with that case and added a few additional examples.
Adrian Johnson (UT Austin) asked Blanco-Rivera if civil judgments help people pursue criminal cases, sort of as a means to ameliorate the reality that a civil conviction rarely results in payment. He wondered if it would be possible to use such a case to revoke citizenship. Blanco-Rivera responded that receiving money was never the end goal. Recognition was most important.
Suzanne Schadl (UNM) asked Ramos and Sangwand if they had to maneuver restrictive bureaucratic funding (such as not recognizing museums as vendors or refusing large reimbursements) to purchase documents in order to get them back to where they belong or to use collections development funds for digital acquisition. Both noted that they had very little difficulty, just increased paper work and communications.
Johnson (UT Austin) asked Ramos if she had any contact with the Puerto Rican Archives since they put this collection into the Internet Archive. He wondered if they were using it. Ramos noted that they were still in the beginning processes of the project and that it would not be live until May 2012.
Adán Benavides (UT Austin) asked Sangwand how feasible it would be to continue these kinds of agreements and how selective they could be in this process. He wanted to know about the long-term sustainability of these projects after the case. Sangwand noted that the library was dedicated to preservation and maintenance costs for these collections, not unlike they would be for other acquisitions. Graham (Columbia University) added that Mellon grants were offering funding for figuring out how to do archiving metadata.
Panel 9, May 31, 2011, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Moderator: Pamela Graham, Columbia University
Presenters: Sarah B. Van Deusen Phillips, Center for Research Libraries; James Simon, Center for Research Libraries; Pamela Graham, Columbia University; Alex Thurman, Columbia University; Tessa Fallon, Columbia University; Christian Kelleher, University of Texas at Austin
Rapporteur: Bridget Gazzo, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library
The first presentation was “The Human Rights Electronic Evidence Study” by Sarah B. Van Deusen Phillips and James Simon.
The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) Global Resources Network is currently engaged in a two-year project supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to examine how human rights organizations use digital technology to document human rights abuses. Simon opened this presentation by explaining that the project grew out of an interest in determining what happens to human rights documentation when the paper trail becomes digital, including management of materials that are born digital and the use of the new media. CRL is engaged in the project to study and assess current practices of human rights organizations, to ascertain how adequate these practices are for advocacy, and to track the chain of evidence.
Van Deusen Phillips provided details, explaining that they assessed documentation practices and technologies in Mexico, Rwanda, Russia, and the United States. The study is designed to assess the state of current available technology; to identify challenges in the collection and preservation of documentation; to identify best practices for metadata acquisition and preservation; and to encourage and support collaboration between human rights organizations and libraries and archives. She presented findings on Chiapas, Mexico and Kigali, Rwanda, noting that a pattern of documentation and collection emerged. In Chiapas, the documentation is created within small grassroots groups, on paper or orally; these small organizations share information among themselves and pass it on to mid-size professional organizations that consolidate and digitize the information; and the mid-sized organizations forward it to large national and international institutions, such as governments, courts, universities, libraries and the media. Van Deusen Phillips noted problems in Chiapas with the preservation of paper and VHS tapes, problems stemming from moisture and mold. Although she was granted access to the offices, archives, and staff of the small human rights organizations, across the board in Chiapas the staff was unwilling to let her take photos. Van Deusen Phillips documented what she saw by sketching each evening while the images of the kinds of documents and how they were organized were still fresh in her mind. She described canalseisdejulio, the mid-size professional organization in the Chiapas case study. Canalseisdejulio is a media collaborative in Mexico City that has been in operation for about 25 years and has produced over 50 documentary films about human rights and counter-political movements.
Van Deusen Phillips described the study in Kigali, Rwanda, where she was allowed to take photos. The document situation was very much the same, perhaps more organized. Ibuka is a genocide memorial site and activist group that advocates for the civil and human rights of survivors. It is also an umbrella organization for a number of other groups focusing on gender and legal rights, and HIV treatment. It has three primary objectives: genocide memory, justice, and survivor needs. Individuals in Rwanda and in other countries submit documents to Ibuka’s regional offices. Regional offices send consolidated information and copies of documents to Ibuka’s Kigali main memorial center. The Kigali center distributes the information to the national and international media and shares information with other groups. The Kigali Memorial Center Archive provides access to archives for activism and research.
CRL will convene an advisory group to: assess the adequacy of documentation practices for supporting downstream purposes; evaluate standards of metadata, provenance, and legal requirements for electronic evidence; compile best practices; and create tools to support the collection, maintenance, and long-term storage of electronic documentation.
The link to the study is here: http://www.crl.edu/grn/hradp/electronic-evidence
The second presentation was “Collecting the Human Rights Web” by Pamela Graham, Alex Thurman and Tessa Fallon.
Graham began by defining the Human Rights Web (HR Web) as basically everything about human rights on the internet: reports, articles, books, journals, testimony, blog posts, multimedia, and social media. The project has been able to capture all these different kinds of content, except social media because of its proprietary nature. Graham added that all the content they are capturing is open-access and non-licensed. She then explained why they are collecting the HR Web. First, it has high research value. In some cases, digital has replaced print, so it is to maintain the current level of collecting. In other cases, it is to expand the scope and range of collecting, and finally, some content is ephemeral and at risk. They began with a planning grant in 2008, and are presently halfway through a 3-year grant from the Mellon Foundation. They are looking into web archiving other content areas. Content selection is an open process so they can better source the ideas from out in the field. They are collecting materials from NGOs, national institutes, bloggers, and both established and at risk sites. They are not archiving content from counties with archiving initiatives, and they are coordinating with similar web collecting programs to avoid duplication.
Thurman covered the stages of permissions and harvesting. They use a standard permission request form available in English and 5 other languages. They request permission and, if they receive no answer, they wait a few weeks and place another request. If they do not receive an answer to the second query, having made a good faith effort, they proceed with capturing the content. For harvesting, they use Archive-It, a web archiving service, and for preservation they copy the content and structure of the website into a WARC (Web Archive) file. The WARC files are stored at the Internet Archive and in Columbia’s Fedora repository. They cannot capture password protected sites, and they preserve only the form and content of sites, not their functionality. They begin their harvesting process with an initial site assessment, in which they anticipate what will be able to be captured, and crawl scoping, in which they define the domain. They run a test crawl and then re-scope to pick up what was missed and to block unwanted material. Then they do the actual capture and review for quality control. Fallon explained that they provide access through Columbia’s OPAC, through Archive-It, and through WorldCat.
The third presentation was “Preserving Human Rights Archives and Cultural Patrimony: Strategies of the Human Rights Documentation Initiative” by Christian Kelleher.
Kelleher began by explaining that the Human Rights Documentation Initiative makes an effort to address the entire life cycle of electronic records. The 2007 conference at Columbia University caused the University of Texas at Austin to create their Human Rights Documentation Initiative, and he showed a website for the Initiative, that brings together a lot of the materials they have created and collected in the course of their human rights programming. They, like Columbia, also use Archive-It, and use procedures similar to those at Columbia to catalog the material. They have created a thesaurus, and they catalog the web resources using their own thesaurus terms. On their web page, they have a link out to both the live URL and the archived URL. He pointed out that there are two distinct categories of materials on the web. Although website resources are well-served by harvesting, the individual documents within a website are not served by this method of capture. He makes a strong distinction between the categories, giving the example of a list of publications on the website, Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo, in Guatemala. The Initiative has developed another project through which they download each individual publication and place it in the University of Texas digital repository, where it is then cataloged and/or made full-text-searchable. This treatment allows for more detailed information and refined control over individual publications. Another example of this is with another group called Equipo Maíz in El Salvador. They want to have a lot of control over the materials they have. On their website, they have publications that are only available electronically. While investigating what to do with a broadside from the site called Página de Maíz, the Initiative found out it had not been cataloged. They cataloged the title in the University of Texas OPAC and linked it to their digital repository, so it is now full-text searchable and fully discoverable.
Kelleher then described the non-custodial archiving program. They partner with organizations, but they do not collect their archive. Rather, they work together to preserve it, make it available, and to promote the organization’s activities. This model preserves cultural and historical patrimony of the original materials. An example of a partner organization is Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, in El Salvador, where they have a great historical archive, including the files of Radio Venceremos, along with its original recordings of rebel radio broadcasts. In the partnership efforts, the Initiative is jumping over the mid-level professional organization of Van Deusen Phillips’ model to work directly with the specific actors in the realm of human rights documentation. The best example of a non-custodial project is their work with the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The Initiative’s recently launched website for this project is the best resource for original documentation of the Rwandan genocide. As an example of a beneficial partnership, the URL for the Kigali Genocide Memorial (http://genocidearchiverwanda.org.rw/) points to a server on the University of Texas at Austin, but the material appears to come from Rwanda. A software tool called Glifos, developed in Guatemala, uses a wiki structure to provide access, which allows the cataloging to be done in Rwanda. The material can be digitized and cataloged in Rwanda, in the Rwandan language, by staff of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, and then the hard drives are brought to Austin to be loaded on the server.
In this case, the Initiative works with the non-custodial partner, the Kigali Genocide Memorial, as the mid-level professional organization, who then in turn extends the Initiative’s efforts and training in Rwanda to other human rights organizations. Training and collaboration are very important parts of their programs. The partner organizations are able to gain legitimacy by throwing around the name of the University of Texas, allowing them to gain support within the national and international community which allows them to preserve, catalog, and make available the materials they already have, but also allows them to create new archival materials, do new testimonies, and collect materials from different organizations. Kelleher then showed details of the website for the Kigali Genocide Memorial site. Through the partnerships, they not only support the digitization of the documents, but also support the organizations that are creating the original documents.
Questions & Comments:
Adán Benavides (University of Texas at Austin) asked the first question of Van Deusen Phillips. He asked if she thought her inability to take photographs in Mexico was due to the cultural aversion to photography since it is very common in many situations in Mexico not to be allowed to take photographs. In addition, culturally, for many indigenous groups, taking a photograph is perceived as taking their soul. Van Deusen Phillips replied that she thought it was more an issue of concern about her. She was on site for only ten days, not really enough time for them to get to know her and to build trust. She had relied on being introduced to the archives staff by a trusted local person. Although he was able to get her into the archives, it was still a situation of artificial trust, so it was somewhat limited. Benavides said in his experience sometimes the suspicion on the part of the administrators is that the photograph would be misused, and probably to denigrate their work. Van Deusen Phillips said yes, they had plenty of reasons to be concerned. How were they to know she would not share it with the federal government of Mexico, or with the opposition? For similar reasons, they have a fear of digital documentation. They worry that, if the information goes on the web, who is going to use it, and where, and why? Simon explained that their intent on that project is to get as specific information as possible, such as specific case studies or types of documentation, but it is a real challenge to get that kind of data, especially considering how far removed they now are from the events of the day. The protective role of the mid-level organizations to provide a buffer so the small groups are not instantly squashed sometimes means they can see a piece of paper or an archive, but not copy it.
Graham asked Kelleher how they have gone about building trust in the partnerships with the non-custodial part of the project. Kelleher noted Graham’s earlier observation that the human rights organizations do not have records management skills. He explained that is what the non-custodial model provides. The Initiative works for the non-custodial organizations. Kelleher clarified that the Kigali Genocide Memorial made the decisions about what to include in the archive and what to make available online. They have another partner that has decided to have nothing online. The Initiative is working with them in the short-term to help them manage their resources, and they have a written agreement to make the material available down the road. In the short-term, the Memorial does not want anyone to know about the materials of the one partner that has decided to have nothing online because it would be dangerous for the people involved. Kelleher explained that with all their partners, they do what the partners want.
Fallon asked Kelleher how he presents the Human Rights Initiative to administration as a function of the university library. Kelleher answered that it is a real challenge, especially when the issue is funding. He points out that in some cases it is an opportunity to expand their funding. They have a foundation that has funded their efforts with the Kigali Genocide Memorial that is not a supporter of library programs, but rather is a supporter of human rights programs.
Kelleher then asked the group from Columbia what changes they would like to see in Archive-It and what they think is lacking in the tool. Fallon said she would like to see changes to the way Archive-It groups crawls. It does not provide a sufficient level of management within the tool. Thurman added that the California Digital Library (CDL) has a competitor tool called Web Archiving Service. With this tool, it is very easy to put together all the crawls of any given site and to compare the crawls of the site. Fallon concluded by saying that the Archive-It interface is not as user friendly as the CDL tool.
p>Panel 20, June 1, 2011, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Moderator: Paula Covington, Vanderbilt University
Presenters: Barbara Tenenbaum, Library of Congress; Amy Puryear, Library of Congress; Donna Canevari de Paredes, University of Saskatchewan; Paul Losch, University of Florida
Rapporteur: Peter S. Bushnell, University of Florida
Barbara Tenenbaum‘s presentation “Putting the Mexican Revolution Online: The Library of Congress Experience” centered on a new website at the Library of Congress devoted to the Mexican Revolution. Not content with the official dates of 1910 to 1917, the site includes material from both before and after the Mexican Revolution. Some of the images to be seen include a picture of Agustín de Iturbide, title pages and covers of various books about the Revolution, broadsides, papers and pictures of President William Howard Taft and other U.S. diplomats, sheet music covers, and cartoons. Eventually the site will include film footage.
“The 1988 Plebiscite in Chile: A Personal Experience” was presented by Amy Puryear. She was living in Chile at the time of the plebiscite and was able to collect a wide variety of material. The day of the plebiscite was a Sunday and there were to be no gatherings of any sort (including no mass to be celebrated) that day. As a result, the day ended up being quite calm. The plebiscite itself was basically a referendum on Augusto Pinochet and the result was 45 % was in favor of Pinochet with 55 % opposed. When asked for her opinion, Puryear always kept her responses neutral. As far as collecting material, Puryear was able to gather documents of varying lengths (from single sheets to copyrighted material), buttons, and other ephemeral material from all sides and all types of sources.
Donna Canevari de Paredes presented “Eva Perón, Published Memory and Human Rights: The Bibliographer as Memory Keeper”. Eva Perón has been a topic for publications of all sorts (including fiction, poetry, drama) in Argentina and elsewhere for a long time. Along with Eudoxio Paredes-Ruiz, Canevari de Paredes has developed a database of approximately 2500 entries. The material included concerns itself chiefly with Eva Perón and human rights. Some of the more specific topics include race, social welfare, labor, education, social issues and women’s rights. In addition to scholarly works, popular works and everything in between is included. Finally everything is evaluated in terms of the mythology surrounding Eva Perón (positive, negative, in-between) and its research value as related to human rights.
Paul Losch in his presentation “The Mystery of the Fake Filibusterer: Using Digital Newspaper Archives to Reconstruct a Hoax from 1895” was able to combine Philadelphia (our host city), Gainesville, (home of the University of Florida where he works) and Cuba (always of interest to SALALM). Frank Hann, a native of Philadelphia (who lived on Chancellor St. which was also the original street of our hotel) for a few months in 1895 manufactured his participation in the Cuban revolution. He filed news reports during for a 2-3 month period. Most of these were posted from Gainesville and were reported in the local paper. However, reports were also included in other newspapers, including the New York Times, but still with Gainesville mentioned as point of origin.
Questions & Comments:
David Dressing (University of Notre Dame) asked Losch whether other sources had been checked for later information about Hann. Losch said he had found a wealth of information from various websites and learned that Hann eventually married a woman from North Carolina. It also came out that Hann had wanted to impress people. The closest he came to military service was filling out a draft card at the time of World War I.
Bushnell noted that many of the genealogical websites are based in Utah; he asked if any were connected to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Losch did not know.
Gayle Williams (Florida International University) remarked that when she worked at Emory, they had a subscription to ancestry.com which was loaded with information. Losch used ancestry.com at the local public library since the university did not subscribe.
Paula Covington remarked that a listing of the links to the newspaper websites could be put on a Libguide-type source and Losch said he would check into it. Canevari de Paredes added a microfilm list would also be useful.
Finally, Bushnell mentioned that back in 1990 he had earned good money by playing flute/piccolo/clarinet for a production of Evita.
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