In light of Born Digital Week, it seems appropriate to write a blog on some of the challenges we and other institutions face when it comes to looking after born-digital content. So let’s take a closer look at a born-digital item in our collection which highlights some of the processes and challenges of preserving and maintaining access to digital content.
Most of us have moved into the digital world in order to work, communicate, take photos, and generally to run our lives. But the huge storage capacity of contemporary computers and other devices, and a sense of being too busy, mean that many people have chaotic personal digital archives, disorganised and prone to accidental loss.
If our digital archivists could be angels on the shoulders of digital content creators, they would bestow 4 pieces of wisdom.
Maps conveying news of war are as old as Ptolemy. In the second century AD, his map of the Middle East spread the news across the Empire of victory over the Judeans, and the redrawing of boundaries for the new Roman province of Syria Palestina. The map was part of an ancient media campaign to quell any similar unrest. Over many centuries since, maps have led the public war story, bringing a sense of order at home while the situation in the field was anything but.
Artist Augustus Earle’s life was in many respects so remarkable that if it wasn’t true it would have had to be invented. Born in London in 1793, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from the age of 13 and is acknowledged as the first independent, professional artist to visit all continents. He documented his travels with candour and honesty. Loving travel and immersing himself in the worlds he encountered, he captured them in luminous watercolours.
NAIDOC Week (NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’) on 3-10 July is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
Hidden away up on the fourth floor of the Library, the Preservation lab is always using weird and wonderful tools to undertake conservation treatment on our wide range of collection material.
I thought writing a book about children at home during World War One would be interesting. However, as I began my research I found I was in for two shocks. The first was how little had been recorded about the lives of children during the Great War. I expected piles of books and journal articles, and I was very disappointed. Thank heavens for Trove with its vast collection of newspaper articles. Thanks, too, for the Victorian School Magazine of those years, which recorded the contribution that those kids made. Those who wrote history a hundred years ago wrote of the deeds of men.
Trove’s people and organisations zone passed a milestone in May 2015. The zone now contains biographies describing the lives of over one million people. One million people who have contributed to the creation of Australia in both small and large ways. We’ve written about our work on this zone before. In 2014 I introduced you to the sort of work we do for people records, using the story of an Australian doctor and writer.
On Sunday 20 March, Professor Nicholas Jose will visit the Library to deliver the 2016 Eric Rolls Memorial Lecture. Professor Jose is a novelist, essayist, playwright and academic. He studied for his undergraduate degree at the Australian National University, and gained his doctorate at Oxford University, before returning to ANU to teach in the English department from 1978 to 1985. He then taught briefly in China, before serving as Cultural Counsellor in the Australian Embassy Beijing from 1987 to 1990.