by Adam Harwood
It sounds like something from CSI New York. And its something that I, an Archivist, have been doing for the last few months. No dusting off old manuscripts for me – digital forensics is my bread and butter. The reality unfortunately is not as exciting as it sounds, but maybe you, my library and archive colleagues, might be interested in this young yet burgeoning aspect of digital preservation.
On my desk currently sits a normal looking laptop computer, but boot it up and you’ll be looking at an unfamiliar screen that is the first step in preserving all Special Collections’ digital collections. I call it the digital forensics machine and we will use it to transfer digital records off of physical storage media like external hard drives and usb sticks and into a digital repository. Our digital repository doesn’t exist at the moment, but we can prepare our records to be transferred to it for when we do get it. I’ll explain what a digital repository is in another post where I’ll also explain what digital preservation is. For the moment I want to describe the digital forensics process and explain why we need to do it in the first place.
by Siân Cox
I do like words.
I like to collect words.
I like to find new ones, store them up, and keep them for a rainy day.
Mostly my days are filled with words like journals, monographs, spreadsheets, space, library of congress, rolling stack, store and anagrams like UKRR and COPAC and NAG. I know.
But recently my days have been flooded with words like complex carbs, training schedule, miles, gait, foam rolling, fartlek, ouch and anagrams like IT Band, ER (easy run) and LR (long run).
This is because I have done a slightly mad thing and signed up for the London Marathon.
If you’d like to read the story behind it all please visit my page here:
by Rose Lock
Rosey Pool and the case of the damaged Equiano; or a book made safe and a treasure revealed.
The world of archives works slowly – the papers we hold need care and attention to prepare them for researchers, often to their frustration. But sometimes we get a request that we just can’t say no to, so it’s stoke up the coals and full steam ahead! Sometimes such emergency procedures provide us with surprise gifts, as happened in this case.
Dr. Rosey Pool and her papers are well known to us here in Special Collections, and we’ve always felt the fascinating archive created by a Dutch Jewish teacher and translator involved in the early days of the field of African-American studies was underused by researchers.
The joy of the day diary is being catapulted into someone’s life for that brief moment. With a fascination of people, their lives and behaviours, this always feeds my sheer nosiness.
Delving into the 12th May day diaries is a treat. They come from people of all ages across the UK and leave me hanging, wanting more. All we know of these writers is their age and gender, some give further biographical information but for the purpose of this collection, that is our only request. I read of the mundane to the life changing and the utterly personal, feeling touched and richer from the experience.
By Lynn Perez
I started my Academic Services career last June, joining the team as a Library Assistant working in Collection Development. One of the main projects I’m working on consists of listing and scarcity checking part of the Legacy collection called the Black X.
What is the Black X Collection, I hear you say?
The collection covers approximately 132.3 metres of shelving and is housed in the South Store basement. It is home to the British Government publications including Board of Education, Department of Overseas Trade, Department of Transport, N.H.S and Treasury amongst others. It’s made up of a wide range of items ranging from reports to posters, flyers to books and even some microfilm. Continue reading
The Innovation Group hosted the second Library Show & Tell event in the Barlow Gallery. Staff from across the Library and The Keep presented wonderful examples of their work, and a grand time was had by all! Look out for links in the photos…
Andrew Bennett showcased the Unbuilt Brighton project
Proposed summer and winter palace, situated on Kings Road to the west of the West Pier, c1910 (ACC 2791/8/1)
Including some fascinating images of Brighton architectural features that never quite got made...
Elaine busting out the moves!
Ed & Mike take a virtual tour of the BLDS
Catrina's Open Access demo
Rachel, Claire and Helen demonstrated Kahoots and PollEverywhere
Samira showed us the German Jewish collections site
Phil glimpsed the future...
...and HUGE thanks go to Lindsay, Jade, Kerry and Ed for organising the Show & Tell!
Adam Harwood on SURE
Tim Graves on Fusion Charts
Doug Broadbent-Yale on e-textbooks
Gavin Byman on digitisation
Beth Logan on Hive Scholars
Ed Hogan on virtual tours
and all who participated...
by Clare Playforth
Classification is a big part of my job and certainly the part that I find most enjoyable and challenging. The other day I was looking in vain for a resource that would provide me with a table of ‘date letters’ that are sometimes used when classifying collected works. After a couple of discussions about this it became clear to me that there are many practices in cataloguing and classification that might seem like they are needlessly complicated and opaque. I want to explain that there is a reason for things to be done this way.
Every time we make a decision about how to classify something we are doing it with the collection and ultimately the user in mind. When someone has looked up a book on the catalogue we want them to be able to find it easily on the shelf, but when they get to that shelf we also want them to find a load of other books that are relevant on either side i.e. we want to enable browsing. We want them to arrive at the shelf and first find the general books about a topic and then to be able to walk down that stack seeing how the subject narrows and becomes more specific as the classifications are expanded. In an ideal world we would want each classmark to represent only one book – this is part of the reason for doing the reclassification projects which you can read about here.
By Katy Stoddard
In a former life I was a librarian at the Guardian, answering queries from journalists and, among other things, blogging historical content from the digital archive. In 2011 I wrote a blogpost about the history of the Booker Prize, the UK’s biggest prize for literature but also its most controversial.
2011 was the year the Booker was criticised for being too mainstream, as if a book cannot be ‘great literature’ and also a cracking read. Some even suggested setting up a new, ‘proper’ literary prize, though in the event the traditionalists prevailed and the prize was awarded to Julian Barnes, the only ‘proper’ author on the shortlist. Continue reading
By Eleanor King
I am a graduate archive intern working for the University of Sussex’s Special Collections held here at The Keep, and until a few years ago, I had never visited an archive. Looking back, I am not sure what preconceived ideas I had about what might go on in a building like this. Whilst I had no doubt as to the intellectual and cultural value of the collections stored here, I don’t think I had any real idea of the range of material, or the variety of ways it can be used or interpreted. I must admit though that my lack of knowledge of archives, or how to navigate an archival catalogue had, in the past, made me apprehensive about engaging with archival material. But then I had never been to The Keep!
Since joining the team here, I have been inspired by the variety of work that goes on, and the range and depth of skills and knowledge possessed by the people who work here. As I consider furthering my career in the archive sector, I am now in a better position to recognise there are many challenges that the sector, and therefore the individuals working within it, face and one of these is user access.
By Lizzy Pennock
Picture the scene – you’re at a party, a gathering or any occasion where you might meet someone new for the first time. You greet each other with awkward smiles, you swap names and as the rules of small talk dictate, you must find out each other’s jobs. That’s just what you do. He works in digital marketing because of course he does, it’s Brighton and he has a beard. You take a breath and you say “I work in a library”.
A flicker of something you can’t quite make out flashes across his face. “Oh wow, that’s cool”, he says, nodding a little too enthusiastically, “So…do you just get to sit and read all day?” Your mind flashes back to the mountain of invoices you typed out yesterday, the student sobbing at the front desk, the time you sang Baa Baa Black Sheep to 40 uninterested parents and babies. “Yeah, something like that”.