LC Labs Letter: July 2021

July 2021

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

Our Projects

LC Labs publishes “Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Research Guide”

Have you ever wanted to use digital Library of Congress materials but weren’t quite sure where to start? Well then, we have just the guide for you!

LC Labs brought together an interdisciplinary team from across the Library to write a Digital Scholarship Research Guide to the Library of Congress, which can be found on guides.loc.gov/digital-scholarship.

The guide is written for anyone who wants to use the Library digitally, including students, educators, researchers, family historians, creative artists, and/or community organizers. It includes information about all the different ways you can find digital Library of Congress resources, including searching loc.gov, using the API, or bulk downloading datasets.

The authors of this guide also developed a series of tutorials and FAQs from Library patrons. We continue to update it with new materials as they become available and build additional tutorials to support deeper engagement with the Library’s data and digital offerings.

Discover more in the Digital Scholarship at the Library of Congress Research Guide. If you have questions, please contact [email protected]

 

Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage: community review of the “Collective Wisdom Handbook” ends August 9, 2021

The team behind The Collective Wisdom Handbook: Perspectives on Crowdsourcing in Cultural Heritage wants your help! LC Labs’ Meghan Ferriter teamed up with expert researchers from the British Library, digital research platform Zooniverse and more to write a practical guide for designing and implementing crowdsourcing projects in cultural heritage settings such as libraries, museums, and archives.

Aligned with the goals of broadening a network of practitioners, the authors are inviting comments, suggested example projects, and case studies, or additional insights about crowdsourcing and citizen science initiatives. This period of community review ends on August 9, 2021 so don’t miss it!

Finally, if you’re interested in both crowdsourcing and cultural heritage, mark your calendars for the next Collective Wisdom event: a virtual workshop on digitally enabled participation at cultural institutions on October 20-22, 2021.

 

National Council of Teachers of English features Speculative Annotation in “summer sandbox” series

From July 14 to August 4, 2021, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) will host a series of events that explore annotation practices through different lenses. The series kicked off on July 14 featuring a lecture on Historic Annotation by Library of Congress Curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection and Aramont Library Stephanie Stillo and will continue on a weekly basis every Wednesday from 4:00–5:30 pm until August 4, 2021.

Each of the sessions–on historic annotation, creative annotation, civic annotation, and disciplinary annotation–demonstrate possible ways to use the Speculative Annotation experiment to foster creativity and facilitate critical thinking.

Learn more and register directly on NCTE’s website.

 

Curio

  • Improve By the People by taking this 10-minute survey by August 13. The By the People team will use your responses to improve program offerings, website features, and communication with volunteers.
  • New derivative datasets on LC for Robots! LC Labs partnered with the Web Archives team to make available a series of datasets describing the United States Elections Web Archives. The datasets contain information about various campaign sites archived weekly during United States election seasons since 2000, such as those associated with presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections. Share what you make of these datasets with @LC_Labs.
  • Citizen DJ continues! Partners from last summer’s National Book Festival continue to use the tool for their music education programming.

 

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

Questions? Contact LC Labs at [email protected]

That’s a wrap! 2020 Staff Innovator detail comes to a close

A reflection on the 2020 Staff Innovator detail from an LC Labs team member, shared in the hopes that some of the lessons we learned from this cross-institutional partnership may be applicable to other institutions and interesting to our readers! 

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.

Newspaper Navigator Search Application Now Live!

On September 15, 2020, the Library of Congress announced the release of Newspaper Navigator, an experimental web application which makes 1.5 million photographs from the dataset from Chronicling America available to the public to explore for the first time. Read more about the design and features of the project below or jump straight to the newly launched application at //news-navigator.labs.loc.gov/search !

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.”