LC Labs Letter February 2021

February 2021

LC LABS LETTER
A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Announcements

Launching the Black, Indigenous, and Minority Americans Digital Futures Program!

As part of the Library’s new Of the People initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Black, Indigenous, and Minority Americans Digital Futures Program will sponsor digital projects and partnerships aimed at amplifying the stories of Black Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and other people of color whose stories have too often been undertold in our nation’s history.

As the COVID-19 pandemic makes online communications more critical and the national conversation about race deepens, the Library of Congress will join other efforts across the country to incubate projects that explore, re-imagine, and re-present the knowledge of the past. The goal is to foster a creative, vibrant, and collaborative additions to the cultural record that are designed by, for, and with all of the people of the United States.

Read more in this blog post and subscribe to the Of the People blog for regular updates.

Our Projects

Teachers, our 2021 Innovator in Residence wants to work with you!

Artist, writer, and this year’s Innovator in Residence Courtney McClellan is developing Speculative Annotation– an experimental application for teachers and students to annotate a selection of LC primary resources in the classroom.

Courtney is currently visiting classrooms virtually to discuss the tool and lead an annotation activity with Library resources. She will also be conducting focus groups, developing email surveys, and hosting forum discussions with participants.

If you, or someone you know, is an educator and interested in participating in any of these activities, please reach out to [email protected] And to learn more, you can read about one of Courtney’s class visits and check out the Speculative Annotation experiment page.

Historians Who Code: Exploring the Born-Digital Files of Rhoda Métraux and Edward Lorenz 

Josh Levy is a historian of science and technology in the Library’s Manuscript Division. Josh has been working with LC Labs’ 2020 Staff Innovators to test methods for accessing and using born-digital files on the division’s prototype digital workstation.

In this Signal blog post, Josh describes what it was like to work with the Rhoda Métraux and Edward Lorenz collections having little to no direct experience with coding or born-digital materials.

Josh’s feedback will inform ongoing and future work to expand the ways in which born-digital materials at the Library of Congress can be made available to researchers.

Looking Back and Forward with LC Labs

Last year, LC Labs worked with partners across the Library and outside its walls to advance the Digital Strategy. Take a look back at some of our work on opening the Library’s treasure chest, connecting, and investing in our future, and get a sneak peek at our plans for this year.

In the coming year, we hope you’ll join us as we experiment and explore! Stay tuned in this space and our social media channels for job and contracting opportunities, new collaborations, and more news about the digital transformation taking place at America’s Library.

 

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For more information about LC Labs, visit us at https://labs.loc.gov/

Questions? Contact LC Labs at [email protected]

 

Doing History with Born Digital Files: the Rhoda Métraux and Edward Lorenz Papers

The following is a guest post by Josh Levy, Historian of Science and Technology in the Library’s Manuscript Division. What’s a historian to do with a born digital file? On Christmas Day, 1854, between family gatherings and fretting over the cost of living in Washington, engineer Montgomery Meigs was notating his plans to build a […]

Looking Back and Forward with LC Labs

Last year, LC Labs worked with partners across the Library and outside its walls to advance the Digital Strategy. Here’s a look back at some of our work on the strategy’s goals of opening the treasure chest, connecting, and investing in our future, and a preview of this year’s plans. In the coming year, we […]