Showing posts from March, 2015

Paul F. H. Morley and an important landscape architect


ramifications for UK museums which break guidelines

UK museums which break established professional guidelines that affect public trust, such as selling collections in order to fund building a new wing, will face funding cuts and loss of professional museum status and possibly disciplinary action by the national Museum Association. Two museums have recently resorted to such tactics, selling an extremely rare or valuable item essentially for profit.

Connected to this, the Egyptian sculpture of Sekhemka sold by Northampton council for 15 million pounds, has been banned from export so it cannot be given to its new owner who is outside the UK. The statue is 4,000 years old and is one of the items recently sold to fund an extension to the town's museum and art gallery. Read more about it here

truly hideous wallpaper and small town life

A cache of 1960s Welsh small town negatives in the Treorchy library provide an interesting view of small town life and great examples of superlatively hideous UK wallpaper! We have some local photographers' negatives in our collection, but nothing with the hideous wall paper exhibited here. See it here

Clinton wiped her personal server

Sec. of State Clinton wiped her personal server. This means the stored copies of  both her personal and work emails are gone. She said she turned over all her official government work related emails for transparency, but chose to keep her personal emails for herself. The server was wiped shortly thereafter. The Benghazi investigation committee wanted access to her server to see if there were any emails that would further shed light on the Benghazi attack and deaths. This is going to cause those who believe she's hiding something more sure that she is. She and her staff and lawyers agree that she is completely within the law as it pertains to her records and Pres. Clinton's.

How many people care that much about this issue compared to other issues in the US? I don't know. This is all interesting to me from a historic information management and archival perspective. Were records lost or intentionally wiped? I don't see that there is any way to know for sure. Clinton state…

Richard III the final act

Finally after touring, cannons blasting, huge crowds, roses, a custom-built coffin by a great descendant of his sister, and services, with military, royals, clerics, and commoners a plenty, Richard III's remains were interred into a newly built crypt in a revised section of Leicester Cathedral. What a historic event. I loved all the tests they did and things they found out from his bones, DNA, and studies with the help of a man with as severely curved a spine as the king. Read more about it and see cool images here

Australia's new metadata law

Australia just passed a security law that is controversial in that it requires internet and mobile phone providers to keep customer's data for two years. Noting that the data plays a "central role" in counter-terrorism, the law passed. It does not include content of an email or phone call but does require information on the sender, recipient, and time made be kept. Privacy advocates describe it as "a form of mass surveillance." This law will cover everyone not just known criminals. The bill will cost companies affected an estimated $315 million.  The bill does not include third party systems or social media like Gmail, Hotmail, FB or Skype or internal email and phone networks used by corporate firms and universities. But, that data can be requested through FOIA or court order or by simply looking online. "Australia is part of the "five-eyes" intelligence-sharing network, along with the US, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom."  Read…

LC preserves American recordings

This year's list of 25 extremely diverse recordings worthy to be retained in the Library of Congress which are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" includes Radiohead's album OK Computer, Steve Martin, and Joan Baez, among others. Read more about it here

Job posting

Prince's vault of tapes exists and is deteriorating

Interesting article here about Prince's vault of music. Apparently he created and continues to create all kinds of music at an amazing pace. Thanks to his early sound engineer who had the foresight, much of his really early musical recordings were collected and a vault has since captured his concerts and recordings sessions, which are unlike anyone else's in the business. As long as music is not released there is mystery about Prince. The last video is particularly interesting as the sound engineer discusses how all the tapes are beginning to deteriorate and have to be recorded onto another medium if they are to continue to exist into the future. Even Prince can't stop decay. Maybe he needs to hire a digital archivist with tape experience. Read about it here

Picasso art cache to be returned to his heirs

Picasso's electrician has been ordered to return 271 pieces of art by Picasso, supposedly given by P's widow to the electrician. The electrician and his wife kept the art in their garage for almost 40 years. He took them to be authenticated and then the heirs were informed and filed a complaint. The couple also received a 2 year suspended sentence. They are in their mid-70s. He says Mrs. Picasso gave him a box filled with the art. They all had to have known then that they were valuable. Why not put them in a bank vault and get a letter from the wife stating they were a gift?  Even if they were given as a gift in good faith they are lost to the electrician now. They weren't insured or properly housed. Talk about stupid. The art includes "lithographs, portraits, a watercolour and sketches that were created between 1900 and 1932." Read m,ore about it here

Cache of old books found in Catholic parish basement in New Brunswick, Canada

Did you ever read or see some news article and think- hmm I had trouble following that. That story is not quite as complete as it could be. What am I missing?

Here's a story that is interesting, but not as informative as it could be. A Catholic parish had a busted pipe and, as a result, discovered lots of books (how many?) in their basement. Either they were buried under stuff or somebody forgot about them, who knows. I assume someone was trying to bail the basement and move boxes simultaneously, and they finally looked in the boxes. The books are described as "ancient" by the youthful reporter, but date from the late 1500s forward. Ancient to me is a time when togas reigned as the fashion of the day, but I think that is a matter of perspective. Some people think the 1980s were the good old days.

The older books, are all from Europe, and include many published in Greek and Latin, the language of the educated at that time, and some are bound in vellum. I assume they are …

Major Tunis museum attacked, 17 visitors killed

Gunman attacked a major museum, the Bardo Museum, in Tunis, next to Libya, killing 19 including 17 foreign visitors. Parliament was evacuated. Tunisia is one of the few places evolving towards peaceful democracy. This is  horrible! Those poor people who only wanted to look at antiquities and maybe enjoy a cool spot. 22 tourists and 2 guards were hurt in the attack. This is clearly an attack on a nation wishing for democracy and an attack on their important tourism industry. It is also an attack on cultural heritage. Read more about it here

Update more than 40 injured, more than 20 dead. 4 accomplices have been arrested. Read more about it here
and breaking news here

Now a total of 9 have been arrested. Read about it here…

how to date early Irish manuscripts?

With St. Patrick's day just over, here's something Irish to consider. A group of specialists is working on a grant-funded project to develop methods and software for dating 7th-10th century Irish texts to determine their chronology. This is important to understand if later writer knew about and used early texts. The group will look  at linguistics and language developments within the texts using software and methodologies they will develop. The project is called "Chronologicon Hibernicum – A Probabilistic Chronological Framework for Dating Early Irish Language Developments and Literature" (what a name!) and is funded by a 1.8 million pound grant from the European Research Council (ERC). They hope their completed analyses will be applicable to other ancient manuscript texts internationally. Read more about it here

MidMI Digital Practitions meeting at UM

Final meeting agenda for MMDP March 26-7 here

remains of Cervantes found

Spanish researchers believes it has found the remains of Cervantes (in bad shape and problematic to individually identify). In 1616 Cervantes was buried   in Madrid's Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians. His wife and others (probably family) were buried near him. The convent was rebuilt in 1673 and the bones were then moved. They've been missing in action ever since. The images of the coffin look like it is disintegrating into slivers. The bones were found using various technology in a forgotten crypt underneath the new building. Read more about it here

burial of Richard III

Remains of Richard III will be buried with a  mix of old and new, for ex. new music set at the pace of monks walking solemnly to the altar. Floral displays will have specific UK flowers in bloom now for remembering and because in medieval times only local flowers in bloom would have been used.  A coffin for the remains is being made by hand by a direct descendant of Richard III's sister. Pretty intense. Read more about it here

Personal Digital Archiving Conf.

UK intelligence gathering report

A new report on surveillance in the UK notes it lacks transparency but is working within the law. A single law rather than numerous are recommended concerning private communications. The report reviewed whether current laws are sufficient, privacy implications, and if there is sufficient accountability and management. Bulk gathering of data as an initial step is considered necessary and within the law according to the heads of numerous intelligence units and important politicos. Some outside reviewers still believe it is too much power, too much surveillance, and too much data retained. The impetus for the report was Snowden. Read more about it here

Celtic prince's burial mound and goods found

A large tomb of a 5th c. BC Celtic prince has been found outside Lavau, France. It includes his remains, his chariot, and very fine examples of bronze works, some which show Greek or Etruscan influence. It is centered in a large burial mound (130 feet across) with a burial chamber  in the middle. Read more about it here

destroying cultural heritage a war crime

First they whacked statues apart and now they have bulldozed an entire archaeological site in Iraq. The Iraqis know exactly what ISIS is doing-destroying their history! The international community considers the actions of ISIS a war crime and the worst destruction of cultural heritage since WWII. Read more about it here

Records management for dummies announcement