Monday, October 20, 2008

food for thought

At the most recent meta | morphosis a participant asked what I thought about Google's then recent announcement that they were getting into the newspaper digitization business. I said, "That's interesting you ask because it's been a hot topic of late." I said I'd bring it up during my newspaper talk but, as time was running short, I wasn't able to get the conversation going. 

Today, on our KY-NDNP blog, I was finally able to bring up Google's announcement, and I'm hoping that each of you reading this have something to say about it...and will post a comment! 

Whatever your stance may be, the digitization of any shared history - which is pretty much everything as far as I can tell - is important to debate so we can make the most informed decisions as we move forward. Time waits for no one and neither does Google.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

more meta | morphosis photos

Here are more photos taken at this year's meta| morphosis.

Feel free to download any of them by visiting the on-line album by clicking here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

embed your google book

Google books are now able to be embedded like YouTube clips. They say you replace a small section of the script with the book of your choice (derived from the URL).

Read more about it on the googlesystem blog

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Digitizing the world's knowledge

This is an interesting talk by digital librarian Brewster Kahle that he gave at the EG 07 conference (available through He talks about reformatting of many kinds of items - books, audio recordings, film and video. His observations about what it will take to digitize and make available the world's information are interesting. He correctly observes that the digitization is best done by those close to the source if one expects any sort of quality and consistency. I believe you can take that a step further and outsource the work if you have adequate quality control processes in place. Some of what is available in the Internet Archive looks like it was "brute force" digitized, but it is least for now. I really don't know about what the preservation plan is for the content that is there. Items are backed up, but as platforms change I wonder what will happen. This is always a concern I have given the massive amount of effort that has been put into creating these items. Think 8-track tapes....WordStar documents, zip drives, floppy disks.

One major category that Brewster doesn't address is newspapers. We certainly can't reformat newspapers and make them searchable for 10 cents a page. (At least not yet.) But the added value for access and preservation of newspaper content makes it worth doing even if it costs more than 10 cents per page. To have digital access to newspaper content - that is huge for so many constituencies. So, that is what we are working on - how do you create content of high quality at an affordable price point with a replicable model?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Google and newspapers

The world seems abuzz today since Google announced it has worked deals with Heritage Micrographics and ProQuest to digitize historic newspapers. The New York Times ran a story about it and Google blogged about it.

The question becomes: what does this do for those of us who already digitize historic newspapers? Will it stifle our work? Will it fill in the gaps we haven't digitized yet? Will Google guarantee the preservation of the digitized newspaper images? The list of questions is nearly endless.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

new tools

Google has released their highly anticipated browser - Google Chrome - beta for Windows. Our Evaluation Form (the new version on display during meta | mophosis 2008) works well in the new browser as well as Firefox.

Speaking of Firefox, Mozilla also has some new things cooking...