Welcome, Emily!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Portrait of Emily F. ShawThe Preservation and Conservation Department would like to welcome our newest staff member, Emily F. Shaw! Emily started on January 13, 2012 as our Digital Preservation Librarian. She comes to the University of Iowa from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, where she was most recently the Coordinator for Large-Scale Digitization. She brings with her a wealth of diverse experience in Digital Curation, as well as in hands-on Conservation treatment. Her first task is to review our digital policies, practices, and workflows and make recommendations for improvements. Emily is a great addition to our department, and we’re so excited that she’s here!

UI Libraries Preserve Selected Websites

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Those hard copies of course catalogs, University annual reports, and department newsletters are becoming a thing of the past. In their place are “born digital” records – publications created and available exclusively online. This poses a preservation challenge to the University Archives, which has traditionally collected paper versions of these records. Web sites are not always permanent, unlike paper records, and are often at risk for loss. UI Libraries’ Preservation Department, the UI Archives and other units in the Libraries are now using ArchiveIt, a service provided by the Internet Archive based in Palo Alto, CA. It allows us to select University-created web sites for scheduled capture and future access. The Libraries began using this service in 2008 – about the time of the flood – and since that time has been tracking over 200 selected University web sites for on-line preservation. Recently links to the service were added to the Libraries’ web site.

To access the Internet Archive’s gateway to preserved UI web sites, go to http://archive-it.org/public/partner.html?id=120 and choose from the four collections available. Or go to the University Archives’ web site at http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/archives/ and click on “Internet Archive.” It is also linked from the archives’ resource guides gateway at http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/archives/faq/.

From 78 to CD

Monday, February 8, 2010

One of the audiovisual formats we are digitally reformatting is the 78. We no longer have the equipment to play 78 recordings. In order to have the recordings accessible to researchers we needed to replace the 78s with CDs. Staff purchased commercially produced CDs where possible. Titles they couldn’t find were sent to us.

We quickly discovered two things. The jackets that we had made to house the 78s many years ago were too small for the 78s. We had to split open the jacket in order to safely extract the 78. We also discovered that some of the 78s were extremely brittle. We never knew when the next handling would cause the 78 to break.

We sent off a sampling to Safe Sound Archive to find out just how good the sound would be when converted to a CD. We were curious as to how much sound loss there would be for a cracked/broken 78. The results were very interesting.

Most of the records reformatted quite nicely with a few words repeated (just like a stuck record) the only evidence that it was a copy of a cracked record (image on left). One recording had missing sentences (image on right). All in all the results were quite satisfactory so we sent the rest of the collection off to Safe Sound Archive for conversion from 78 to CD.
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Safe Sound Archive was kind enough to share some photos of the work with our 78s. You can see from the photos that the correct size stylus or needle is critical and there are many to choose from. Adjustments for frequency and treble and bass are also made. The hisses, pops, and crackles were left in.
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