LC Labs Letter: November 2020

November 2020

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

Our Projects

It’s not too late: apply to be a CCHC researcher today!

The call for researchers to work with Library collections at scale as part of the Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud (CCHC) project is still live! We anticipate selecting up to four research projects from three Program Areas. Submit a 2-page concept paper by 12:00 pm EST on November 30, 2020 to be considered.

As a reminder:

You can also read more about how the project plans to inform the design of possible service models in the GLAM sector in this recent article.

Announcing Speculative Annotation: the 2021 Innovator in Residence project

LC Labs is pleased to announce visual, research-based artist Courtney McClellan as the 2021 Innovator in Residence! McClellan’s project, Speculative Annotation, will invite Americans to creatively engage with a curated collection of free to use items from the Library’s vast treasure chest centered on the question: how does the past influence the future?

With just a web browser, Speculative Annotation will present items from Library collections for students, teachers or any users to annotate through captions, drawings and other types of visual expression. Working with Library curators, grade school students and teachers in the classroom, McClellan’s project will encourage students to engage firsthand wit primary sources – and support conversations between students and educators about these historical objects.

Hot Off the (Digital) Press: New Posts on the Signal

  • “An Archivist’s Perspective on Legacy Files”: a closer look at how 2020 Staff Innovator and archivist Chad Conrady tackles the challenge of outdated or legacy files that are no longer compatible with contemporary operating systems or software.
  • “LC for Robots in Action”: a story about reference librarian Elizabeth Brown and Prof. Derek Miller of Harvard University using LC for Robots resources to access Library of Congress digital collections for a quantitative history of Broadway in the twentieth century.
  • “Nominations sought for the U.S. Federal Government Domain End of Term 2020 Web Archive”: a call for members of the public to submit their nominations for any federal government website they’d like to see archived by the Library’s Web Archives team. It’s also the 20th Anniversary of Web Archiving this year–join the conversation on Twitter using #WebArchiveWednesday.
  • “Analyzing the Born-Digital Archive” : a deep dive into the thousands (yes, thousands!) of file extensions contained in the Manuscript Division’s born-digital holdings by 2020 Staff Innovator Kathleen O’Neill.

Curio

Tell Us More

What else do you want to know about our work this month? Email us at [email protected] with questions we can answer in next month’s newsletter!

 

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

Questions? Contact LC Labs at [email protected]

 

LC for Robots in Action: using the API to access the Federal Theatre Project collection

The following is a guest post by Derek Miller, Harvard University, and Elizabeth Brown, a reference librarian in the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress. In it, they discuss how Brown helped Miller access LC for Robots resources that helped him gain enhanced access to Library of Congress digital collections used in his research.

Analyzing the Born-Digital Archive

Kathleen O’Neill is a 2020 Staff Innovator with LC Labs and a Senior Archivist in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. In this post, she discusses her analysis of the various file formats in the Manuscript Division’s born-digital holdings.

Citizen DJ at the virtual National Book Festival

This post was originally featured on the Minerva’s Kaleidoscope blog for kids and families. We’re excited and grateful to be able to re-share about this opportunity to experience Citizen DJ at the virtual National Book Festival next week!

Metaphors for Understanding Born Digital Collection Access: Part III

Kathleen O’Neill is currently serving as one of two Staff Innovators at the Library of Congress. Their 2020 project, Born Digital Access Now!, explores existing pathways for accessing born digital materials in the Manuscript Division. In this series of blog posts, Kathleen describes the complexities of gaining access to born digital materials through the lens of three different metaphors. Up first was “Media Format, or, Have Fun Storming the Castle!” The second blog post discussed “Legacy File Formats and Operating Systems or Lost in Translation.” This is the third and final post in the series and Kathleen carefully explains the process of emulation and makes it feel less like “strange magic.”

Metaphors for Understanding Born Digital Collection Access: Part II

Kathleen O’Neill is currently serving as one of two Staff Innovators at the Library of Congress. Their 2020 project, Born Digital Access Now!, explores existing pathways for accessing born digital materials in the Manuscript Division. In this series of blog posts, Kathleen describes the complexities of gaining access to born digital materials even before they reach researchers. This is the second post in the series and focuses on legacy file formats through the metaphor of being “lost in translation.”

Metaphors for Understanding Born Digital Collection Access: Part I

The following is a guest post by Senior Archivist Kathleen O’Neill. Kathleen and her colleague Chad Conrady are currently working on a project called Born Digital Access Now! as the 2020 Staff Innovators in LC Labs. Their first blog post introduces the project, which aims to provide greater access to born digital materials held in the Manuscript Division, in greater detail. Today’s post is the first in a series of three blog posts in which Kathleen will discuss different challenges or barriers to born digital collection access through the lens of three different metaphors. Up first is: “Media Format, or, Have Fun Storming the Castle!”

LC Labs Letter: April 2020

LC LABS LETTER A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team Editor’s Note As it did for many people across the country and all over the world, the month of March brought new ways of working and communicating and challenging, complex circumstances for the LC Labs team. We found […]