Showing posts from April, 2012

insecure websites will be named in UK

In the UK, a list of insecure websites is going to be named and made available to the public. Imagine if your company's or governmental unit's or charity's website was named. Wouldn't that destroy confidence in your site and hurt your business and interests? Maybe it would force you to ante up some cash and hire some people to secure your site on an ongoing basis. When will this happen in the US? Probably sooner than we think. We can afford an insecure site these days. For more check out the article at

more art stolen by Nazis found and returned to owners' family

An art collector, Gentili, died in 1940. Because he was Jewish, the Vichy government later confiscated and sold his art collection. Since 1997 his heirs have tried to recover the art collection. 5 paintings were found in the Louve. An additional painting was bought by another museum in 1998. A Christie's employee realized the last painting was probably stolen. Did you realize that Homeland Security is involved in the repatriation of stolen works of art? How cool. They have helped repatriate nearly 2500 piece of art since 2007 in 23 countries. For more see the BBCNews article from April 19 at

Another of my students gets an internship

One of my ex-processing students, Veronica Rohr, who labored triumphantly and diligently in the Boyce Lumber Collection just got a curatorial summer internship at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, Colorado. Congratulations Veronica!   She begins May 14th. She is hoping for a career in museums. To learn about the museum, click here.

MAC student poster on Challancin Circus Collection

My two processing students, Bronwyn Benson and Tressa Graves, gave a student poster session on their processing of the Challancin Circus Collection at the Clarke during last weekend's Midwest Archives Conference in Grand Rapids. I am very proud of them. They were the only students there who were not in Library or Information School. Here are some photographs.  The finding aid is not yet encoded, but the catalog record can be found with a key word search of Challancin in the CENTRA catalog at  The conference was fabulous. My reception went well. Photos soon to come to this blog.

Westie papers

Sometimes a collection comes in bit by bit over a period of years. Since 2010, the Chuck and Ardith Westie collection has been and is still arriving periodically. Here is a photo of Tressa and Anjali processing part of the collection. Bronwyn is also helping with the processing.  Both Ardith and Chuck were CMU war years grads. Chuck taught at CMU in the College of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, 1956-1976. Chuck was a leader of the CMU faculty before the union existed. He also helped establish the Honors Program and the Museum. Ardith was very involved with CMU and the local community, especially Homecoming and Alumni activities and special anniversaries of CMU. Their WWII correspondence are at the Archives of Michigan.

This is my last post this week due to the impending MAC conference.

News of one of my ex-students

Congrats to Julia Wright, one of my ex-processing students, who after working as a research assistant May 2011-May 2012, will be working at Mary Kay Corporate Headquarters in Addison, Texas, as an intern in the Strategic Intelligence division. She will be gathering research info on the cosmetics industry and trends that will affect MK. Cool.  Would we all be more respected if we had Strategic Intelligence in our resumes? I may add it to mine. I'm very proud of Julia!

Faces of some of Titanic's crew

To see images of some of the Titanic's crew click here

Bodleian and Vatican to digitze some of their collection of ancient texts

1.5 million texts in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and Vatican Library (In Rome of course!) will be digitized thanks to a 2 million pound grant they received. The materials will be available for free to the pubic and researchers. Materials to be digitized include "Greek manuscripts, 15th Century printed books and Hebrew early printed books and manuscripts." The article does not say when the project will begin or how long it is estimated to take. I wonder if and hope that future plans will see more of the collections digitized and available for free to the public and researchers. What an excellent resource this will be for the public and researchers.  For more read the article  at

Buildings in Pompeii to be rebuilt

Extra funds will soon help rebuild and restore a  number of buildings in historic Pompeii which have fallen into disrepair. and/or collapsed. Among the collapsed buildings are the so called "House of the Gladiators" and "Sirico House." Nothing lasts forever, particularly after a historic volcanic eruption like Vesuvius. To read more of this interesting BBCNews article click here

Successful trip to Ferris St. U. Archives for my archives class

Eventually, thanks to the reroute, we all arrived at Ferris last night for a tour of the Archives at FSU thanks to Melinda Isler. My students were surprised at the differences between the archives there and the Clarke, both in function and facilities. We do similar functions, but focus our energies in different percentages on different tasks. FSU has a lively records management function and CMU does not. We are in a 10-year old building and they are in an older, renovated building, the only one on campus which escaped the horrible FSU fire. Our storage is in one location in one building and hers is in one building, but spread out over different floors. Still, we both function pretty well. I hope everyone made it home safely. That reroute was something. It is very important to visit and learn about archives besides your own, take a tour, and realize that we are all different and trying to accomplish our jobs the best we can with what we have. Thanks Melinda!

UK 10 Downing St. Home Office hacked by Anonymous

On Sat Anonymous hacked the Home Office website of No 10 Downing St., UK, and threatened to hack it again every weekend. Whether or not A. will do so remains to be seen. There is some confusing as to why, or in retaliation for what, exactly the Home Office was hacked. There are options to chose from. Anonymous has been so busy hacking. What or which government or other website will it hack next? It looks like hacking and disruption of website access and functionality is here to stay as a means of protest. How effective is it? We are certainly paying attention to it in the news.  Companies and government website owners are clearly trying to hack-proof their sites as best they can. Right now most of the hacking is to temporarily disrupt access to the site, but what happens when the hacking changes the site? That will be the next thing. It's already happened with worms. For more read BBCNews

200,000 Titanic records now available online for free

For a limited time, doesn't this sound like a commercial?, 200,000 records related to the Titanic's history and passengers are available for free via the UK branch of All this to honor the Titanic's 100th anniversary. For more click here

Boston College IRA records court edict expected in 2-3 months

As I reported earlier in my blog in the 1970s a number of oral histories were taken of former IRA members, with the agreement they would not be released until they died, and given to Boston College. Northern Ireland police want access to solve murders and arrest murderers. The college has donor agreements. Historians want documentation and eventually access to it. There is an agreement between the US and UK about murder evidence that it will be shared. This is America so of course the mess went to court. 

The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals held a hearing to decide if the records, made with the promise of they would remain secret until those interviewed died, should be given to NI police. Police are specifically interested in the 1972 murder case of one woman and who was involved with it. A US District Court judged ruled the college must turn over the interviews, specifically those of Dolours Price.  Two men, one a former IRA member, and the other, an IRish journalist who directed th…

American Reading stats are up with Ebooks

For all you librarians and bibliophiles out there a new report states that American reading statistics are actually up due to e-books. More people are reading and reading more often than print readers. As a reader of both, I am probably about equal right now. I prefer to hold a book in my hands. For me there is physical, tactile pleasure in choosing and holding a book from my library or a store, usually a library. Reading in whatever format is better than not reading at all. Print books apparently remain a preference for people to read to/with children. What a relief. For more read this article

Boston's Irish troubles oral histories ruling

Sometime today, US Courts will rule on whether or not oral histories gathered and donated to Boston College can be turned over to the police to prosecute murderers  during the Irish Troubles, a topic which I reported  on in a previous blog. The oral histories were given with the understanding that they would not be available to researchers until after those recorded died. How will this turn out? This has interesting implications for oral histories, for donor agreements, and for the solving murders, all of these are affecting an archives and historians who helped gather and document the oral histories.  For more info read here

A federal appeals court in Boston heard arguments over the case before noon today. The result is not yet reported (at 2pm)

Brits consider increased monitoring, access to communications

The Brits are considering more invasive monitoring and access plans for web, email, phone, and social networking sites. In 2009 they implemented laws so internet service providers now keep users' web access, email and phone calls for a year. Content is not retained, although other identifiable information is.  However, this may change. A proposed new law would also include social networking sites and phone services such as Skype. If the law changes, intelligence officers could access all these in real time, not afterwards, and without a warrant. This would be a drastic change from the current law. Plans failed with the "last Labor government to create a giant central database with all UK web and telephone use." Even though it might catch criminals, many people of various political persuasions were concerned enough about civil liberties and the potential inappropriate uses of such information to defeat the database plan. Will we learn what the queen accesses on facebook? …

web exhibit

New exhibit on history of the web and its impact on our lives is  opening soon in Britain. For more information click here.

MI Tech summer internship 2nd notice

If you are interested in working this summer as an archives intern at MI Tech read this: