Showing posts with label digital archives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital archives. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Link Love from the Medical Heritage Library

NMHM, NCP 3280

For those of you who haven't heard, the Medical Heritage Library is a collaborative, digital curation project among some of the leading medical libraries, National Library of Medicine, The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine (Harvard), The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library (Yale), The Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library (Columbia), and the New York Public Library. They "promote free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine."

A friend and colleague of mine works for the team at the MHL and we chat often about the unique world of medical archives. She gave us a shout-out today on their blog: Digital Connections: The Otis Historical Archives, highlighting some of her favorite images from the NMHM flickr site.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Digital archives

A friend sent me a link to an article in Library Journal, The E-Memory Revolution, which discusses a topic that is so important to archives and archivists - digital archiving. I can't imagine an archives that isn't affected by this revolution, unless it's run by Luddites.

One thing that gives me the heebie-jeebies, though, is where the author says, "We horrify archivists when we talk about digitizing things and then throwing them away. Of course, one need not destroy the physical object after making a digital copy, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of Total Recall is the reduction of clutter; it is especially satisfying to shred one's papers and eliminate rows of filing cabinets and shelves. When curators come to deal with our archives, they will surely find hundreds fewer physical objects because of Total Recall. But they will have hundreds of thousands of additional digital artifacts. Whether you agree that is a highly positive trade-off, it is surely coming."

Archivists are fascinated by having/handling the real thing. I'm a big fan of not keeping multiple copies of some journal article but no way is some one-of-a-kind document going through the shredder because we've scanned it. Will I pitch my uncle's handwritten pages of his poetry because I have 600 ppi scans of them? I'll keep that clutter, thank you.