Final Entry

Well, it’s been a long semester, and I didn’t get as many entries in this research journal as I originally planned. But the research journal process has been interesting. It helped me gather my thoughts and know what I had to do next in the process of the research project. I can see that this tool will be useful in the development of future projects. In the mean time, I have developed a research proposal for a case study at an archive. I want to see what it would take to digitize successfully the audio/visual contents of an archive and to study how it would work. Going forward I can use the experience writing this paper when looking for grants and other funding in my professional career.

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Working hard…

I am struggling a little with this research proposal, but I carry on. There seems to be a limited amount available on digitization of negatives as a means of preservation. I will continue to research the area, and perhaps branch out a bit. The first draft is started on my work, and I am hoping to complete it this week, so that I can get some feedback.

I am currently planning to look at what standards are available for the preservation of negatives. Is it considered best to freeze negatives for example, or are acid free containers good enough by archival standards. There seems to be some argument on the matter. Regardless, digitization is a complex issue. It is surrounded by benefits of being able to access information at a distance, but there is the ever present argument that it is too expensive, and the continuing rapid evolution of technology makes formats unstable. Additionally, there are concerns about server stability. How much backup is enough? Should it be backed up to 2 or 3 places. Certainly the more copies that exist in different places, the less likely to lose all of your data. The digital age is one that we are all having to ease into for fear of both moving too fast, and being left behind and becoming irrelevant.

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Woops! Look how long it’s been.

I’ve let time get away from me with the semester, but I’m getting back on track now and updating my research blog. There will be a main post in the next day or so. But back to research for now…

My research project for 705 will consist of developing a project for a small, publicly funded archive that has recently acquired a collection of films. The collection spans a wide range of time, and many of the films in question are of the silver nitrate variety. The archive in question has not collected films in the past, but the nature of the film collection meets the new mission of the archive. As such, they do not currently have the facility to store volatile films such as silver nitrate on site. Currently the collection is being housed at another institution too far from the archive to make regular access to the collection feasible. The archivist has been tasked with researching the best option for storage (whether on-site, or at a local off-site facility) and being work on writing for grants to fund the project of moving the collection and funding the housing for the collection. Additionally, the collection was acquired with the intention of digitizing the contents, so the archivist will method that will be used to digitize the collection, by researching the current options available.

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Struggling

I’m still struggling to come to terms with a specific topic for this research proposal, which is not good for me, because there are portions of this project that will be coming due soon. Nevertheless I carry on. I am now leaning more towards a project regarding the digitization of photographs, negatives and films. This coincides with another interest of mine currently, namely, how to preserve the images on all of my negatives (yes, I had a 110 camera when I was small and a 35 mm camera later before digital became widely available). Even frozen, negatives will eventually break down, and the actual photographs will fade and color change as well. While I start a personal project, looking for the most cost effective way to digitize these items, while capturing the best image possible, I could cross my personal research into this project, looking at digitization options and practices in archives with regards to film. I plan to research the literature on this in the next day or so, looking at articles, and will post again soon.

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What should I read next?

My reading list has gotten really short recently. I’m in my final semester of graduate school, and the time it takes to do my courses well and look for a job, and run my business (I have a direct sales business), leave me with little time for personal reading. Another reason why I won’t be reading as much is because if I really like a book, I have a hard time putting it down and doing something else. I’m going to tell you what’s currently on my reading list, and also some of the things I like. In return, I’m going to ask you for recommendations for additional books. I’m going to spend at least some time this fall working on my sewing (I need some new clothes) and so even if I can’t find the time to read a book, I can get the audio version and listen while I sew. I tend to do better focusing on my projects when I have something interesting playing.

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Welcome to my new J705 research journal

Here you will find all of my research journal entries for the J705 research journal I am keeping this semester. I am currently considering a topic regarding digitization practices in archives and how those practices impact the business of archival science. I am a little concerned about my topic, because I am unsure how to gather all of the data that I want without a survey, and I’m not sure that I will have time to do a survey during the semester. I may have to narrow my topic down. I am going to start some preliminary research through journal searching and see what is available. I will post back once I have located some appropriate journal articles.

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Letter to the Honorable Joe Wilson

The Honorable Joe Wilson
House of Representatives
2229 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4002
Re: Amendment #35 to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution
Dear Representative Wilson:
This week, the House of Representatives will consider amendment #35 to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution. This amendment submitted by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ), seeks to zero out the Institute of Museum and Library Services, eliminating all federal funding specifically for libraries. Please vote NO on this amendment. 

Here in South Carolina, public libraries provide invaluable services to the communities that they serve. The American Library Association states that in South Carolina, the return on investment for every $1 invested in libraries, they return $4.48 to the community in services. Here in Richland County, in addition to the free Internet services provided to the public, the books, audio and video services provided at no cost to county residents, the library provides assistance in creating resumes, job training and even practice interviews at no cost. Professional resume services can cost over $200, something many residents would not be able to afford.

Please ensure that these and other invaluable services provided to our community by our libraries continue to be available. Vote NO to Amendment #35 to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution.

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Advocacy Matters

One of the most important things for any grad student to learn is how to advocate for his or her chosen profession. As an MLIS candidate I am calling on my blog readers to advocate for the profession today. US Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey, has put forth Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution. This amendment will zero out the funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The IMLS is a federally funded grant agency which provides money to libraries and museums throughout the United States to fund a variety of programs. For those of us who are students at University of South Carolina, it recently provided us a grant to give 7 doctoral candidates a fully funded 3-4 year program, including travel expenses for education and research. To view other grants that the IMLS has funded, head over to their website to search through the grants.

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Bookmarking with Diigo

When I posted about the major explosion of the blogosphere regarding the possible shut down of Delicious, I told my readers that I would be reviewing other bookmark sites to determine which I would be using in the future. (Full disclosure: although a group I volunteer with uses Delicious, I did not use it personally.) I’m starting with Diigo, because the online sites I looked at described features that I thought I would like. As a graduate student beginning research for a major paper this semester, the highlighting functions of Diigo could be useful. In addition, my volunteer group may be looking for a new bookmarking site, and Diigo has an opportunity for group creation, so we could build a group and then each member to add it to their own Diigo groups list for future use.

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Welcome to the Public Domain

We’re back to copyright today, because a new year welcomes a new group of people to the public domain. Works of authors who passed away in the year 1940 enter the public domain in many, but not all countries.

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