GLAM

  • Lam-inating libraries ... reduxApril 13, 2011 – The shared interests between libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) has been an important line of work for OCLC Research. It is also of course a recurring service, organizational and policy issue in many contexts. A related issue is also of considerable interest for libraries. As we move into a digital...read full entry...
  • QR Codes and exhibitionsAugust 15, 2010 – We spend some time in the very congenial Dayton Art Institute this afternoon. We wandered around the Modern Masters exhibition (from the Smithsonian American Art Museum). I was interested to see the QR codes by the pictures. Here is a somewhat fuzzy picture taken by my son on his phone:...read full entry...
  • On the discrimination of curators and curations ....July 25, 2010 – As existing practices evolve and new ones emerge it often takes time for the way in which we talk about them to settle down. There may be some interim terminological confusion. This has happened in our world with 'archive' for example. We can also see this happen with curation/curation/curator. In...read full entry...
  • Lam-inating libraries ....March 28, 2010 – The shared interests between libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) is an important line of work for OCLC Research. However, a related issue is also of considerable interest for libraries. As we move into a digital environment, library work increasingly needs to understand and benefit from archival and museum perspectives. As...read full entry...
  • EuropeanaJanuary 03, 2010 – My colleague Ricky Erway bravely accepted the challenge to talk as an outsider on the challenges faced by Europeana to a European conference on digitization last year. Her remarks are recorded in an article in the LIBER Quarterly. The organisers of the second LIBER/EBLIDA workshop on digitisation (The Hague, October...read full entry...
  • QOTD: libraries and museumsMay 22, 2009 – CILIP is the UK professional organization for library (and other information) workers. I was interested to read the passage below in a recent submission it made to a parliamentary group looking at public libraries in England. It is referring to MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, a government sponsored...read full entry...
  • Earth worksMay 09, 2009 – One of the most interesting things we have seen while in the US is the Serpent Mound in southern Ohio, reputedly the largest effigy earthworks in the world. Atop a plateau overlooking the Brush Creek Valley, Serpent Mound is the largest and finest serpent effigy in the United States. Nearly...read full entry...
  • Library and archives - visibleApril 22, 2009 – We were in Nashville for a couple of days over the Easter period. Doing the tourist thing, we spent a couple of hours in the Country music hall of fame and museum. I was very interested to see at the center of the building, though glass panels, the Frist Library...read full entry...
  • QOTD: therapeutic value of objectsApril 11, 2009 – A project looking at the use of 'heritage' materials in hospital contexts caught my eye ... Working with Guy Noble, UCL Hospitals (UCLH)'s Art Curator, as well as the British Museum, Oxford University Museums Service, Reading Museums Service, Islington Education Library Service and the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council, their...read full entry...
  • Libraries and cultural resources at the University of CalgaryFebruary 15, 2009 – Tom Hickerson, Vice Provost, Libraries and Cultural Resources, and University Librarian, University of Calgary, visitied us last week together with several colleagues. He spoke about their ambitious plans for the new Taylor Family Digital Library. It was especially interesting to hear about the organizational structure within Libraries and Cultural Resources,...read full entry...
  • MLA welcomes ObamaJanuary 24, 2009 – The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in the UK welcomes the inauguration of Barack Obama, quoting from his speech at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 2005. Here is how the piece opens .... During an especially historic week, the MLA, and its Chief Executive Roy Clare, would like...read full entry...
  • Museum studiesDecember 19, 2008 – The UK academic world was in a frenzy yesterday as the results of the Research Assessment Exercise were published. In this process, the work of academic departments is graded on a scale from 4* ('world leading') down. It is important for both reputation and revenue, as the results are keenly...read full entry...
  • Das Bundesarchiv and Wikimedia CommonsDecember 06, 2008 – An announcement from Das Bundesarchiv (German National Archive) and Wikimedia Commons: Starting on Thursday Dec 4, 2008, Wikimedia Commons will witness a massive upload of new images. We are anticipating about 100,000 files from a donation from the German Federal Archive. These images are mostly related to the history of...read full entry...
  • Cultural heritage resources at UKOLNDecember 02, 2008 – I notice that my former colleagues at UKOLN have created a set of web pages pulling together support services for the cultural heritage communities ... What will you find here? Information on a range of topics relating to the use of digital resources and technology. Follow the Topic links in...read full entry...
  • BL webNovember 20, 2008 – I notice that the British Library has revamped its website. They have also launched a new catalog in beta, using Primo. Currently it searches over 13M records for books and other materials, a major scholarly resource. They also point to the just launched Europeana portal which has been remarked in...read full entry...
  • LAM Consolidation and public funding October 19, 2008 – It looks as if Ireland is to follow Canada in amalgamating its national archives and national library. However, the driver appears to be financial rather than functional, and it is one of several organizational consolidations being pushed through by the Irish Government. The news came in the 2009 budget announcement...read full entry...
  • The silos of the LAMsSeptember 28, 2008 – Libraries, archives and museums have different curatorial traditions and professional outlooks. In the digital environment, correspondences grow, around both the management of surrogates and of born-digital materials. Based on workshops in five RLG partner institutions, my colleagues have released a report [PDF] on institutional collaboration between libraries, archives and museums....read full entry...
  • The flatpack wealth of nationsSeptember 19, 2008 – Robert Crawford's poem Digital Library, St Andrews, finishes with these lines .... Where laptops open like thick-leaved books The flatpack wealth of nations. I know this because I listened to him talk to John MacColl in the latest PARCast ... Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern scottish Literature at the University...read full entry...
  • From GLAM to ColumbusAugust 01, 2008 – I use GLAM as a category on this blog, standing duty for Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. We do not have a great collective name for these institutions. Sometimes we may use memory institutions or organizations, but it can sound a little contrived. I was interested to see Tara Brabazon...read full entry...
  • The institutional record and web archivingJuly 25, 2008 – As an institution's web presence becomes more central to its identity and business life, it will be interesting to see how long it is before we have more routine approaches to selectively capturing and archiving institutional web resources. One of the interesting things about this topic, as with many we...read full entry...
  • Yeats againJuly 19, 2008 – I mentioned visiting the very nicely done Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland in these pages a couple of years ago. There is a very positive story about it in the NYT today. They highlight some of the digital elements of the exhibition ..... The notebook is one...read full entry...
  • Calais - entity identification in the cloudJune 26, 2008 – Calais is a web service provided by Thomson Reuters, currently at no charge. Calais enhances your content with rich semantic metadata. Using your content as a starting point you can utilize Calais to automatically add metadata such as entities (people, places, organizations, etc.), facts (John Doe works for Acme Corporation...read full entry...
  • Consistent access to French archives and manuscriptsMay 25, 2008 – Calames is a recently released catalog of archives and manuscripts in French universities and national institutions. It is provided by Abes, which also provides Sudoc the French universities union catalog. Not only is there a shared public catalog, but Calames supports a shared cataloging environment for the creation of finding...read full entry...
  • Some readingMay 07, 2008 – Here are links to several unrelated publications ..... Reconfiguring the Library Systems Environment portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2008/dempsey-portal.pdf (.pdf: 195K/18 pp.) [Lorcan Dempsey: Selected publications [OCLC]] This is a short piece adapted from an earlier blog entry. Lavoie, Brian, and Günter Waibel. An...read full entry...
  • Making tracksApril 30, 2008 – We got a present of a couple of children's books from Australia and were intrigued to discover their relationship to the collections of the National Museum of Australia. Making Tracks takes young readers on a fictional journey through some fascinating Australian stories, inspired by objects from the National Museum of...read full entry...
  • GenealogyApril 13, 2008 – I am in Dublin (Ireland) for a couple of days and was interested to see Fintan O'Toole writing about archives and genealogy in the Irish Times yesterday (behind a paywall). He contrasts two views of genealogy, one that it is about tourism, one that it is about culture and the...read full entry...
  • Full disclosure?March 23, 2008 – An interesting announcement from CLIR about a $4.27M competitive program to describe hidden collections has just appeared. The existence of such collections must be more fully disclosed if they are to release more of their value in research and learning: With generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the...read full entry...
  • Data exchange and museumsFebruary 15, 2008 – My colleague Günter Waibel writes about a new RLG Programs project looking at the exchange of metadata between museum systems. Go to the entry for more detail. With the generous support of a $145,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, RLG Programs will gather a select group of museum...read full entry...
  • Metadata creation againNovember 28, 2007 – Reading the report [PDF] of the RLG Programs metadata practice survey, this quote from a respondent jumped out at me: We use a variety of tools to produce a variety of records. Mature and established systems (such as our ILS) are generally effective. Tools for creation of XML are not...read full entry...
  • HBR interviews LB of the BLNovember 01, 2007 – Well, this must be a first! The current issue of the Harvard Business Review carries an interview with Lynne Brindley, Director of the British Library. Do you have a favorite piece from the collection? I never answer that question. I want people to understand that we’re not a museum. We...read full entry...
  • The special webOctober 21, 2007 – Quantity has a quality all its own. A focus on quality is one reason that libraries, archives and museums have not moved their collections in large quantities to the web. This reduces their visibility and impact as the web becomes central to research, learning and civic engagement. Scale matters, and...read full entry...
  • Memory: curatedOctober 11, 2007 – Major 'memory organizations' face significant challenges as the volume and variety of what is within their potential remit to collect grows. The digital turn has presented major challenges in developing routine ways of capturing and curating digital materials in many contexts. An Australian colleague pointed me to a joint statement...read full entry...
  • Narnia, memory organizations and public diplomacyJuly 12, 2007 – Cultural diplomacy is a report from the UK think tank Demos which I finally read on a plane ride this week. It talks about the role of cultural institutions and manifestations in international relations and,while charting international differences of approach, notes that cultural diplomacy is sometimes underappreciated as a 'soft'...read full entry...
  • A many featured catalogueApril 29, 2007 –  The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has been doing very interesting work on their collection 'catalogue'. Some of this work is described by Sebastian Chan [blog] at the recent Museums and the Web 2007 conference in San Francisco in a paper well worth reading. Internally called OPAC2.0, the new catalogue...read full entry...
  • Hong Kong speakingApril 15, 2007 – I have spent this last week in Hong Kong, hence the lightness in posting. I was pleased to be speaking at the Chinese University of Hong Kong at a conference named The academic librarian: dinosaur or phoenix focusing on change management, and later in the week at The Fiesole Collection...read full entry...
  • Metadata across cultural domainsMarch 13, 2007 – An interesting article by Mary W. Elings and my colleague Günter Waibel on cross-domain metadata practices has just appeared. Integrating digital content from libraries, archives and museums represents a persistent challenge. While the history of standards development is rife with examples of cross-community experimentation, in the end, libraries, archives and...read full entry...
  • Self disclosureFebruary 18, 2007 – In several venues recently I have suggested that it would be useful to do some content analysis on various documents to see how institutions are describing themselves, their priorities, their relationships and so on. I am thinking of strategy documents, annual reports, but also things like websites, organizational charts and...read full entry...
  • It's a small(ish) worldFebruary 11, 2007 – George Bernard Shaw is famously said to have said that England and America were countries separated by a common language (of course, Shaw was neither English nor American). Here are a couple of very small things that I ran into recently, not about language as such but about little cultural...read full entry...
  • London displayedDecember 29, 2006 – The British Library has an exhibition on London and its maps. There is a 'curator's blog'. And there I read:Just a quick note to let you know about a fantastic new Google Earth layer based on London: A Life in Maps that a colleague in our web team has put...read full entry...
  • Chicago: a gallimaufry of observationsNovember 26, 2006 – Light posting this week as we spent Thanksgiving and a couple of additional days in Chicago. Here are some vaguely work-related remarks, and some less so:Discovered in Chicago Comics on North Clark St the following volume: The Illustrated Librarian: 12 temporary tatoos for librarians and booklovers. Includes 'I love Dewey...read full entry...
  • Metadata ...November 07, 2006 – Günter has a nice entry on metadata and explores correspondences across the GLAM sectors - libraries, archives and museums. He notes a specific content type in each domain, bibliographic, archival, and material culture, respectively. Then he compares the metadata stack for each type of material, using a useful typology: data...read full entry...
  • All the online peopleOctober 19, 2006 – Collections of personal papers are important areas of interest for libraries and archives, and for the scholars and students that use them. In the last few weeks, several examples of digital - or digitized - personal papers have come over my horizon: Cambridge University has just launched The complete works...read full entry...
  • Yeats and the webJuly 23, 2006 – I spent several hours at the Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland earlier this week. It was very nicely done and I will come back to some more specific thoughts it prompted about evidence and exhibition, and shared interests between libraries, archives and museums. Motivations for the exhibition...read full entry...
  • Registries, research and jobsJune 09, 2006 – A colleague drew my attention to an advert for a Bioinformatics Curator at the University of Manchester, which interestingly touched on several different issues that have been on my horizon recently. Here is an excerpt from the ad:We have an opportunity within the highly successful myGrid project for a bioinformatics...read full entry...
  • RLG and OCLCMay 30, 2006 – Many years ago, my wife Ann worked as a cataloguer on the small team at The British Library creating the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). It was a good project to work on as people knew that they were making something special. It was also interesting in that the...read full entry...
  • Placing namesMay 28, 2006 – Driving home from The Serpent Mound a few weeks ago, we passed through Belfast, Ohio. We have also been to London, Ohio, and, of course, OCLC is located in Dublin, Ohio. I was in Cardiff, Wales, a little while ago [ppt], and will be in Edinburgh, Scotland at the beginning...read full entry...
  • Collections linkMay 28, 2006 – I have just come across Collections Link, a UK service. It is ...... the new national advisory service for collections management managed by MDA in partnership with the Institute of Conservation (ICON) and the National Preservation Office (NPO). [Collections Link]It carries a range of materials, and presumably will develop further....read full entry...
  • Picture thisSeptember 17, 2005 – I managed to spend an hour or two in the Prado last weekend (and in the very relaxing Botanical Gardens opposite afterwards). I was in Madrid at meetings held in parallel with the DC-2005 conference which continues to discuss metadata issues ten years on. I was amazed to see how...read full entry...
  • GLAM peopleAugust 16, 2005 – Some years ago, I worked with a group assembled by the relevant part of the European Commission to work on ideas about overlap between libraries, museums and archives. As the poet said, 'the words of things entangle and confuse'. We spent a long time discussing words and what was meant...read full entry...
  • That Reading Room againJuly 02, 2005 – More about the The British Museum Reading Room, which was until recently a part of the British Library - until the latter moved to its new accommodations at St Pancras. Some years ago I was asked to contribute an article to a British Library publication on digital libraries. I wanted...read full entry...
  • BackstageMay 11, 2005 – Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!: they are all massive data presences on the web. In various ways, they open up access to that data through RSS and Web Services so that others can build out on top of their data, recombining it in new services. Now the BBC has taken a...read full entry...
  • Aura again: habent sua fata libelliApril 10, 2005 – This post continues the discussion of aura, digitization and 'mechanical reproduction' initiated below, and relates it to remarks of Fintan O'Toole reported in another post. JD is right to suggest that aura is about more than uniqueness. It is about the 'historic testimony' of the object, the traces it bears...read full entry...
  • Aura and digitizationApril 06, 2005 – Writing here about the digitization initiatives in the "Google 5" libraries a while ago I referred to aura:Walter Benjamin famously asserted that "that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art". In his terms, the aura is that which is original or...read full entry...
  • The complement of booksNovember 28, 2004 – We spent several days in Washington DC over the Thanksgiving period. We were intrigued by Rachel Whiteread's Untitled (Library) in the Hirshhorn. Since the late 1980s, Rachel Whiteread has used resin, rubber and, as in Untitled (Library), dental plaster to cast overlooked domestic spaces. Like earlier works by Bruce Nauman...read full entry...
  • Westerville webOctober 27, 2004 – I like Westerville Library's web presence. It thinks about itself in terms of user interests, rather than library offerings. It incorporates news headlines. It gives you access to the catalog directly from a search box on the home page (all libraries should do this), has some materials from the interesting...read full entry...
  • MLA survey on museum attendanceOctober 24, 2004 – From the UK, another survey of use.The most comprehensive survey in five years of museum satisfaction rates and visitor numbers, published today by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), shows that more people visit museums each year than go to live sports events, theme parks or the theatre. [MLA...read full entry...
  • LAM and memoryMay 09, 2004 – The policy framework for libraries, archives and museums has come together in several contexts, although actual services have not converged much. IMLS in the US, MLA in the UK, and other bodies have cross-domain responsibilities. I have just come back from visiting the newly formed Library and Archives Canada, but...read full entry...
  • Libraries and LearningApril 25, 2004 – Bob Martin has been emphasizing the role of libraries and museums in support of learning. I now notice that the Institute of Museum and Library Services tagline includes the phrase "dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners". That the end of libraries is learning has been a constant...read full entry...