Tag Archives: news

#DigitalHeritage 1-2-3: APIs, Apps & Social Media Preservation

#DigitalHeritage 1-2-3 represents news and ideas that caught my attention recently. Have any suggestions for future editions? Let me know via Twitter @heritagevoices.

1: APIs: How Machines Share and Expose Digital Collections

Finally, an explanation of APIs I can get my head around. This item from the Library of Congress blog uses examples from The World Digital Library, HathiTrust and OpenSearch to illustrate how APIs work in digital collections.

The Big Idea: “Offering an API allows other people to reuse your content in ways that you didn’t anticipate or couldn’t afford to do yourself … That’s what I would like for the library world, those things that let other people re-use your data in ways you didn’t even think about.”

The Revelation: a demo of the International Image Interoperability Framework in action as a research tool. See for yourself how to compare and annotate side-by-side digital objects from Harvard, Yale, the National Library of Wales and other participating partners.

The Strategy: Besides the API explanation, what I appreciate about this post is how LOC is using journalism practices by interviewing people who work their about their areas of expertise. A great tactic for deepening and sustaining content on an institutional blog!

2: ActionShow App Blog on Mobile Tours

For all the years I’ve worked in cultural heritage, there seems to always be one more tour app provider I never heard of. ActionShow is the latest. And though their blog looks a little spammy at first (and indeed, does sell a product), it hosts some good, clear-eyed analysis of the issues.

The post that drew me to the site was Who Wins? Mobile Apps vs. Mobile-Friendly Websites. The topics are a virtual FAQ for cultural heritage sites considering such a tool (i.e. all of them): how much does it cost, which is easier to use, what if you have inconsistent wi-fi, etc. Use them as a guide on the issues; just keep in mind they have an app service to sell.

Here’s a useful graph on their site I’m embedding from the post Custom Built Apps versus Platform Apps:

Tour Guide App Comparison

3: Preserving Social Media Tech Watch Report

This came by Twitter:

If you haven’t been to visit the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Technology Watch Report page, now’s the time to discover it. DPC has published a 42-page “Preserving Social Media” report that should have a lot of cultural institutions thinking about why they aren’t preserving this growing part of their legacy. One reason is that it’s very hard, with rapidly shifting targets of technology, platforms and service agreements.

The Big Idea from this report (for now): “…the preservation of social media may best be undertaken by a large, centralized provider, or a few large centralized providers, rather than linking smaller datasets or collections from many different institutions.”

The Revelation: The North Carolina State University, Social Media Archives Toolkit is “a freely available web-based documentary toolkit that publicly documents our own effort to develop a sophisticated social media archival program in a way that may help guide cultural heritage organizations that are interested in collecting and curating social media content.”

Due to the complexity of these issues, it looks like we’re heading down a road where the archives profession will be start turning out specialists to deal with this ever-shifting landscape.


That’s it for today’s #digitalheritage stories. Feel free contribute your thoughts for a future edition through the comments, Twitter or email.


A facelift, an auction and an award for most likely to survive a fire

By Kevin Clarkston

A facelift, an auction and an award for most likely to survive a fire are in order for three buildings featuring historic architecture.

Michigan’s historic Howell building, currently home to a Dairy Queen and Skater’s Advocate, was recently purchased by three investors seeking to renovate the site. The building, a shining example of Victorian Era-style architecture, is currently in disarray with three upstairs apartments in serious need of updating, according to Rencsak.

In addition the upstairs windows will be replaced to meet the Downtown Development Authority’s standards, and the State Street portico will also be repaired, with the side and the back areas also being restored. Rencsak said completing the project may take severals, as the new owners want to be careful in maintaining the building’s true architecture.

“The thing is with an old building like that you kind of have to take time to see what’s where and figure out how you can maximize what the building was but still make it suitable for modern uses.”

While the Howell building’s new owners are giving their estate a makeover, Jerraine Long is selling hers. The estate, a two story, three bedroom, four and a half bathroom house nestled in New Orlean’s historic French Quarter will go on sale at a real estate auction Thursday, November 13 at 2 p.m. The sale will be managed by J.P. King Auction Company, a leading national firm that specializes in luxury properties.

The estate, built in 1817, is certainly full of both luxury and historical architecture:

  • In the mid-1900’s, it served as a Gallery Circle Theatre
  • The estate’s centerpiece is a private courtyard with a pool tailor made for entertaining
  • The courtyard’s garden section contains both a sprinkler system and fertilizer
  • The estate boasts hand painted murals, two kitchens, beautiful copper ceilings, cypress flooring, exposed brick, granite countertops, a spiral staircase, theatre room, and an antique bar area

The house is also ideal for those who want to experience the excitement of Mardi Gras firsthand. Long sums up the estate’s appeal:

“This is the type of house you never get tired of, a home that makes you love it even more over time. “It’s truly un-describable. It has a personality all of its own, where each room has its own theme.”

However, the future of the McLauchlan building, a 130-year-old historic structure, is uncertain. The Italianate building, built in New Brunswick’s historic Woodstock downtown area, was designated a Historic Local Place on July 7, 2006. It was chosen partly for its Italianate architecture.

Built after a horrendous fire in 1877, the building’s history has been marked by brushes with fire. The building was nearly destroyed twice in the 1960s, with two separate incidents in 1960 and 1968 that demolished many surrounding structures. However the McLauchlan building’s luck may have run out, with an Oct. 29 fire that left severe damage.

While numerous renovations, such as the covering of the original brick storefront with grey plaster, have taken place over the years, it is unclear if the building will survive or meet its demise at the hands of the wrecking ball. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Related Links:

Faubourgs Tremé and Marigny Are French Quarter Neighbors Rich in History and Architecture

French Quarter Architecture Photo Gallery

Downtown Howell History Tour

Featured photo on Flickr by Luke Robinson

8/08 NPS Heritage News Rundown

The August 08 edition of the National Park Service’s Heritage News reports the following:

The National Geographic Society is working with federal agencies to adopt the principles for promoting tourism that helps sustain and enhance visited places. A July 8 MOU created the “Geotourism Working Group.”

The World Heritage Committee adds 19 cultural sites and 8 natural sites to UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its recent meeting.

U.S. State Department’s eJournalUSA focuses on “National Parks, National Legacy.” Features interviews with Mary Bomar, NPS director, and legendary filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan who are working on a documentary about U.S. National Parks to be broadcast in fall 2009.

The Lebanese Ministry of Culture is sponsoring an international architecture competition for the House of Arts and Culture of Lebanon in Beirut. The project is funded by a $20 million donation from the Sultanate of Oman.

“American Place: The Historic American Buildings Survey at 75 Years” is a public exhibit about the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey Runs through Nov. 14 at the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum in Washington, D.C.

A 1939 auto repair shop in Missoula, Mont., recently underwent a $866,474 rehabilitation. The rehab was supported by National Park Service Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

The National Park System Advisory Board met July 21-22 to recommend that the Secretary of the Interior designate the 19 sites as National Historic Landmarks.

In June, 69 listings were added to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places, including 2,964 buildings, 27 sites, 28 structures, and 7 objects.

Wooden catboat “Gypsy” was among the new listings for the National Register of Historic Places in June.

The NAGPRA Review Committee will meet in San Diego Oct. 11-12 to consider disputes and requests for recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior for disposition of culturally unidentifiable, Native American, human remains.

Lisa Ackerman is the first recipient of the Ann Webster Smith Award for International Heritage Achievement. The US/ICOMOS award honors those who exemplify the role of the U.S. as a trusted partner for cultural heritage efforts in all parts of the world.

The Arizona State Museum and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners have been selected to receive the 2008 Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections from Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Nominations for next year’s award are now being accepted.

Preservation Today Netcast: Iowa Floods, Blogging Museums, Safety on the Net

August 2008 Contents include:

Archeologists confirmed that Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia is the site of President George Washington’s boyhood home. The site was found after a seven year search and more than 500,000 artifacts from 11 time periods have been found.
National Geographic

Fox News

New York Times

RMJM Hiller has been hired to complete an independent evaluation of Charity Hospital in New Orleans. The report should play a major role in decisions concerning the construction of new hospitals in the area. Charity Hospital is the most prominent example of art deco architecture in in New Orleans and it has a history that goes back more than 250 years.

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Building Design and Construction

Next American City Magazine

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has acquired 189 acres of one of the nation’s most endangered battlefields. The acquisition will protect Cedar Creek Battlefield for the controversial expansion of a nearby limestone quarry.

Shenandoah Stories

Washington Times

National Park Service Digest

Record-breaking floods across the Midwest have destroyed or damaged numerous cultural institutions, public buildings, rural landscapes and historic districts. Brucemore, a site owned by the National Trust, has become a hub for recovery efforts. Several organizations are heading up recovery efforts including Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area and The American Institute of Conservation.

Iowa Floods

The National Trust Weblog

The 9th annual VAST International Symposium on virtual reality, archeology and cultural heritage will take place in Portugal this December. The symposium will present a dialogue on the present and future of archeology in the 21st century.

VAST Symposium

Only 1,800 gingerbread houses remain in Russia as the country struggles to balance preservation with the demands of development. In Tomsk, Russia, $3 million from the city treasury is being used to restore these buildings.

International Herald Tribune

The New York Times

More than $165,000 have been awarded to fund research projects that use technology to advance preservation. Four projects were funded as part of a grants program administered by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Those receiving funding include The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Tulane University.

David Morgan, Chief of Archeology and Collections at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, gives information on what the center looks for in a grant proposal and how to apply.

Morgan also speaks about the upcoming “Prospection in Depth” workshop in San Francisco.

Prospection in Depth Archaeology Workshop

Museum 2.0 is a blog by Nina Simon on heritage issues. The site explores how museums can apply social media principles to become more engaging, community-based and vital to society.

Museum 2.0

Jonathon Bailey, creator of Plagiarism Today, one of the web’s top resources for content and privacy issues, talks about how to protect your content online. Bailey discusses the importance of monitoring your content and how to license your work under Creative Commons.

Jonathan Bailey on the web:

Site: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/plagiarismtoday

Podcast: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/

Email: jonathan@plagiarismtoday.com

Online content and Identity protection resources



http://www.bitscan.com and http://www.copyalerts.com






Cast and Crew:
Jeffery K. Guin, executive producer

Brittany Byrd, producer

David Antilley, director

Adam Caldwell, assistant director

Farrah Reyna, anchor

Lane Luckie, anchor

Partners in this production:

City of Natchitoches, La.

Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area

National Center for Preservation Technology & Training

Northwestern State University of Louisiana