Showing posts from May, 2012

Flame malware causes severe havoc

Ongoing news in international cyberwar: Weds BBCnews reported the Flame malware, a very complex malware which definitely had government backing, caused severe issues for Iran. Today the US and Israel have been accused of being behind Flame both individually and jointly. Both nations deny complicity. Obviously, both the US and Israel would benefit if Iran's nuclear program was shut down. The malware operated since 2010 without detection until a Russian firm recently found it.  If someone can do this to Iran,  why not shut down other annoying nations as well. Here's a list of possible hits: N. Korea, Syria, Afghanistan...

Moldy, acidy collections leaving for Skokie

Here is evidence of yesterday's work. Romey and I packed unprocessed moldy Aladdin materials (an addition) for 2 hours. The Challancin materials were already processed and cataloged but reek of mildew.  Both collections are leaving early Thrs for Skokie for treatment. We are packing the moving van today.

Prepping for Skokie.

Spent 2 hours with Lizzie prepping boxes and carts, loading 1 cart full of Challancin circus collection to go to Skokie for de-acidification tomorrow. Spent 2 hours with Romey boxing unprocessed, moldy Aladdin Co. addition to go to Skokie for fumigation and hand cleaning. See what great experiences interns have working in an archives! 51 cubic ft. boxed, 2 carts of oversized materials, 1 cart of Challancin.

China continues controlling Twitter

To keep control on the Chinese, the Chinese government has a nice list of rules for Tweeters to follow. Some of them are up for governmental interpretation. "Gossip" is certainly one of these categories. If the Chinese government thinks your tweet is inappropriate you are in big trouble. For more on this, see the BBCNews article at Check out the list of what is and is not appropriate. Makes you really appreciate freedom of speech. The article notes those who do not wish to be controlled will continue to find ways around the rules. Good for them!
IRA tapes at Boston College continue to make headlines. Not much has developed in the court battle as to whether or not the oral histories of IRA members discussing murders, plans to murder, and who was in the IRA can be released to British police investigating IRA murders. The tapes, created as part of the Belfast Project, are housed at Boston College. They were taped after those interviewed were promised access would be closed until their deaths or when they waived closure to their tapes. Some are now advocating that the tapes be returned to those interviewed by Boston College. Most believe if the British police access the tapes many will be prosecuted. Gerry Adams is implicated on the tapes by at least one IRA member who died recently so access to his tapes is allowed. However, the tapes alone would be insufficient evidence in a trial. Prosecuting Adams is seen as unlikely due to his political role in helping attain peace. Families of those killed by the IRA are advocating for acce…

SAA workshop on arrangement and description of ERs

Chris Prom delivered well organized, helpful, informative info. However, the room was hot in the a.m. and the plugs for the computers were inadequate, therefore mine died. I think for the price of the workshop this should have been addressed in advance. One of the issues I have with e-workshops and courses is that when you go from one site to another in the process of doing something important to help you learn, it is hard to follow what is happening. I look forward to future discussions about arranging and describing e-records. The lingo used often today were iterative and emergent. Iterative meaning you can arrange and describe and it is an ongoing, never ending, constantly evolving process you learn from, and (this is important) that is okay. Emergent as in all  ER management procedures, standards, practices, and developments are still happening and will be for some time. There are NO standards. I was very impressed that there were 3 people, 2 students among them, taking the class …

Electronic records management class, here I come!

On Weds I'm taking one of SAA's Electronic Records workshops, this time on managing ERs. Chris Prom is the teacher. I am prepared. I hope it goes well. Sadly, I learned that Amtrak does not provide adequate internet access for me to access email. However, my hotel does! SAA is offering a series of multi-tiered workshops to assist those of us who graduated before there were computers in grad school classrooms. Yes, there was such a time. My plan is to take one workshop a year, or more. This is my second. The first was in RI. Everyone was sick. We passed kleenex, pain meds, and coughdrops. I thought none of us would survive, but most of us did.   Then it snowed! We were terrified our flights would all be cancelled.  It was quite an experience. I wonder if tomorrow's experience will come close to that of RI.

dino is stolen goods?

A rare, disputed dino skeleton from Mongolia was auctioned Sun. What is its provenance? Found more than 10 years ago in the Gobi dessert, Mongolia says it was illegally taken out of the country. A June 1st court hearing will decide its fate. It sold for $1 million. Sale ill not be completed until the court rules. For more check out the article at$1m-in-nyc/

Do you have $38 to buy a share of Facebook stock?

Today Facebook is going to start selling shares at $38 each. Prices will probably rise so you better buy soon. 1/5 of the company's share will be offered, not enough to prevent those currently in control from continuing their control. How will this affect Facebook, FB users, the rest of the internet and e-world? Did you know that FB is worth as much as Amazon and more than Disney?  I am interested to see how many shares are purchased, for how much and what the end result will be. For more see the BBCNews article at

Guest speaker in archives class

Right before the MAC (Midwest Archives Conference) began, Portia Vescio came from MSU Archives  where she is now the Assistant Director of the Archives, and talked to my archives administration class about front desk management and other interesting topics and concerns from her career. She covered a lot of subjects which reference archivists handle on a routine basis and also mentioned concerns inherent in the physical layout and location of a given archives. Interestingly, she also discussed and distributed copies of an article entitled, "Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers." This provides lists and points that quality reference staff should excel at. The general areas are Approachability, Interest, Listening/Inquiring, Searching, and Follow Up. While I know many people librarians and archivists who excel in these areas, there are others who do not. I wonder if administrators are aware of these performance guidelines? The gu…

Christopher Robin's house is for sale

Bowing to children's lit fans, who doesn't love Pooh bear?, I note that the BBCNews is reporting that Christopher Robin's childhood home is for sale. Any takers? Click here to see it. Lovely. Much bigger than my home and probably bigger than yours as well. Looks like a good place for Pooh.

Lost Shakespeare play found

Well, that is sort of what happened. There was a listing for a play the great man wrote, but no extant original manuscript, only manuscripts that had been repeatedly edited over the centuries.  A history professor believes he has pared out the later additions and gotten down to the original play. The play has been enacted. Some believe it is a Shakespeare play, some don't. For more click here

Court request for Tweets being fought

Do you tweet? Do you know someone who tweets? Well you better read this.

The BBCNews on May 10th reported that a NY state court has requested tweets of an activist involved with the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011. Twitter is refusing on the ground that the Stored Communications Act (see brief definition from Wikipedia below) allows members to challenge requests for info on their user history. The judge believes they are not protected by the 4th Amendment, against unlawful search and seizure. In other cases, American courts have won forcing "email providers to hand over evidence." The ACLU is involved. Wikipedia and other service providers do not want to be involved in libel and copyright issues. They want people to police themselves. Well, we know how well that works. Law enforcement wants access to  monitor and learn about problems, particularly terrorism.

So, even though there is a law, your tweets and other information is not private. It can be requested for release…

African-American collection to be auctioned

A large collection of items documenting African-American history and culture will soon be on the auction block. The collector can no longer sustain it so it will be auctioned as individual items. For more click here.

one of last live Louis Armstrong recording made public

The title here says it all. I love jazz and grew up listening to Louis. click here to hear part of the recording. for more info.

Maurcie Sendak dead

The author of the Wild Things and other amazing books of our childhood died on Tues. in Ct. For more read the article and see the video.
Two things today:
1st my prior post about free Harvard, MIT courses is being discussed as the most important change and impact in education since the printing press. How long will the free online courses initiative last? What will its impact be on the lives of those who are not enrolled at Harvard or MIT? How will it impact education? Will CMU and other colleges and universities begin to offer classes for free? The UK had very affordable education once but the cost is up. Yet I have an ex- student who plans on attending a 1 year long MA program for archives in Dublin and it is faster and cheaper than anything offered in the US. There is an issue there. I wish the US grad schools would follow suit.

Second China's great firewall of censorship continues to prevent its people from freely using the web and so many social network sites that we all take for granted. They have some knockoffs compared to our network sites. Here's an interesting article on the topic:…

Harvard, MIT to offer free online classes to everyone

You don't even have to be accepted into the universities. This is all part of a project to see the impact of higher education on people who normally would not attend. The online classes are part of a $60 million initiative called edX.   Think of the impact this will have nationally and internationally. Maybe someday we'll all get to take free classes everywhere.

17 of 6,000 Bin Laden documents declassified

17 of 6,000 documents, 2005-2011, of Bin Laden's,  seized at his hideout, now house at the West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, have been declassified for research. Why those 17? When will the rest be deaccessioned? What is the deaccessioning schedule? I'm curious as to why they are there. I assume so that the military and analysists can access them more easily. The 17 show some interesting points about what he thought and how he operated. Very interesting. What else is being held. To read more click here

MAC Reception

Despite a very large art exhibit in the middle of the room, the MAC reception for 400 was a smashing success. I'm so glad so many came and had a wonderful time. The food was delicious and plenteous, as were the drinks and desserts. The ice sculpture and ice punch bowl were fun. The MAC Pals mentors and students matched up and talked. There were 96 students who networked and enjoyed themselves. The music was lovely. All of this happened at the President Ford Museum. I appreciate everyone who helped, the caterers, musicians, servers, ice guy, donors, and especially the Ford staff. Here are some photos.  The only group I failed to get a decent photo of was the musicians on the upper level. Sorry guys. The reflection off the glass got me. Now that I have a moment to reflect upon the event and the six months of planning leading up to it, I don't believe that  I'm ever going to volunteer to plan a party of this magnitude again. I think it is a good thing that professionals are …

Leonardo human anatomy exhibit

The master, DaVinci, drew some fascinating, excellent, detailed drawings of human anatomy. The largest collection of these drawings are gathered for an exhibit in London. Here are manuscript drawings with so many values: intrinsic, educational, historical, informational, aesthetic. And they are valuable financially as well to so many of us. They are irreplaceable and from a basis for our history. For more see a cool video in the BBCNews at

European History Project/Hitler postcard

Thanks to an European History Project identifying previously unknown historical works documenting individuals, some artifacts and manuscripts have turned up that are amazing. One is a previously unknown 1919 postcard from Hitler. Did you know he destroyed many manuscripts from his youth and early adulthood to re-invent himself? To read more click here

Things aren't always what they are labeled in the archives

Nor are storage media always what they are labeled outside the archives. Today on CNN there is an interesting article about how Al Queda stored plans to board cruise ships and execute passengers on storage media labeled as porn. Investigators were suspicious because they were encoded. Over 100 documents were found, which helped avert disaster. For more read the article at  Let this be a lesson to all archivists: never assume the contents matches the label!