October Innovator-in-Residence Update

Library of Congress Innovator-in-Residence, Jer Thorp, has started diving into the collections at the Library. We’ve rounded up some of his activities in October and how he is sharing his process in this post.

Jer has created a “text-based exploration of Library of Congress @librarycongress‘ MARC records, specifically of ~9M books & the names of their authors.” He started by asking what would happen if you and he were to wander the Library of Congress stacks and collect every book from a given year. After piling them up, what if you selected 40 titles at random to represent each year, then gathered the first names of the authors? What might you see in those names across time and space?

Now you can explore this thought experiment with Jer as he takes authors’ first names from MARC records and remixes them in glitch.

Screenshot of author first names from Library of Congress MARC records

Library of Names – an experiment extracting author first names from Library of Congress MARC records

You can find code for the front end and processing via this tweet from Jer.

Jer is sharing his work in several ways. First, he’s documenting his research and thoughts via Open Science Framework. You can dig into his wiki, activity, and tags on his Library of Congress Residency 2017/2018.

He has also created a Github repository of his code, data, and miscellanea related to his residency. You can comment and share your ideas with him there and via Twitter.

Earlier this month, we shared our experience touring Library of Congress divisions with Jer. Take a look at the collections we explored via this Twitter Moment. We visited with curators, reference librarians, and archives specialists from Manuscripts, Geography & Maps, Rare Books, Prints & Photographs, American Folklife Center, and Web Archiving.

Two men exploring subject files in the American Folklife Center Reading Room, Subject File drawer for "Gulf War - History of the World"

@LC_Labs Tweet from 06 October during American Folklife Center tour

 

Want to create something new with Library of Congress collections data? Download a cleaned MARC records data set for yourself from our LC for Robots page from the MARC Open-Access section. And if turning data into a thought experiment is your game, you might consider showcasing your skills in the Congressional Data Challenge (details here).

Announcing the Library of Congress Congressional Data Challenge

Today we launch a Congressional Data Challenge, a competition asking participants to leverage legislative data sets on congress.gov and other platforms to develop digital projects that analyze, interpret or share congressional data in user-friendly ways. “There is so much information now available online about our legislative process, and that is a great thing,” said Librarian […]

New FADGI MXF AS-07 Specification and Sample Files Published

The following is a guest post by Kate Murray, organizer the FADGI Audio-Visual Working Group and Digital Projects Coordinator at the Library of Congress. The Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) is pleased to announce the publication of a new version of the MXF AS-07 Application Specification (with CC BY-SA 4.0 license) and its accompanying […]

Take the NDSA 2017 Web Archiving Survey

This is a guest post co-written by Grace Thomas, Data Specialist for Web Archiving at the Library of Congress, and Maria Praetzellis, Program Manager for Web Archiving at the Internet Archive, on behalf of the NDSA Web Archiving Survey Working Group. This announcement originally appeared on the Archive-It Blog on October 3, 2017. Calling all web archivists: it’s that […]

DC History For All: Volunteer Fair Event Summary

On Saturday, 23 September 2017, the LC Labs team joined representatives from cultural heritage organizations, archives, libraries, and historical organizations for DC History for All: Volunteer Fair. The event matched dozens of interested volunteers with opportunities to preserve Washington, D.C. history. There are many cultural heritage and historical organizations located in D.C. that invite the […]