Are you an emerging technologies librarian? A helpful flow chart

May 30, 2014

I hope this settles things.

Unless you're a transforming alien robot...you're probably not an emerging technologies librarian.

Unless you’re a transforming alien robot…you’re probably not an emerging technologies librarian.

Will digitization solve my problem? A helpful flow chart

March 7, 2014
I'm not even sure how to describe this except to say that whatever your problem is, digitization probably won't solve it.

I’m not even sure how to describe this except to say that whatever your problem is, digitization probably won’t solve it.

Master and access copies of thanks to @herodotusjr, @kellyannewithe, and @krispymerryman for their assistance!

More valentines for archivists

February 13, 2014

Last year I made valentines for archivists, and here are some more!

Red rot is red, DACSes are blue, Nothing's obsolete about my love for youPhoto credit: Jas. Heekin & Co. from Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections

"We make a great pair" under a pair of white gloves.

"Let's fox" over a foxed paperPhoto credit: The title page to the 1832 third edition of John Lee Comstock’s ”A System of Natural Philosophy” from Wikipedia

Get Dusty

January 16, 2014

Archivists, man. They sure get mad when you call their workplaces dusty. Maybe we could channel our collective frustration into a musical number?

Get Dusty (music from Get Lucky [lyrics, video])

So you say you’re a journalist
What story are you spinning?
What cliche are you bringing
To your article’s beginning?

You’ve come so far, to report who we are
So let’s raise the bar, let archives be the stars!

We keep things safe from the sun
We live for preservation
We think that history’s fun
Just please don’t say we get dusty

Sometimes we deaccession
White gloves are so overdone
And yes, we love cardigans
Just please don’t say we get dusty
Just please don’t say we get dusty…

We cataloged these boxes
Spent hours on description
So when you find something
You’re not discovering it

You’ve come so far, to report who we are
So let’s raise the bar, let archives be the stars!

We keep things safe from the sun
We live for preservation
We think that history’s fun
Just please don’t say we get dusty

Sometimes we deaccession
White gloves are so overdone
And yes, we love cardigans
Just please don’t say we get dusty
Just please don’t say we get dusty…

Do I need to wear gloves in the archives? A helpful flow chart

January 13, 2014

Feel free to print this out for your archives or send a copy to every journalist you know. Click through for a high-res version.

Will you be handling photographs? You might need to wear gloves. Are you a bandleader, performing a medical procedures, or Mickey Mouse? You are already wearing gloves. Otherwise? Go crazy with those naked fingers (but not too crazy, you're in an archives!)

Will you be handling photographs? You might need to wear gloves. Are you a bandleader, performing a medical procedures, or Mickey Mouse? You are already wearing gloves. Otherwise? Go crazy with those naked fingers (but not too crazy, you’re in an archives!)

Holiday cards for archivists

December 24, 2013

Yay, holiday cards! Please share them with your favorite archivists (and even your not-so-favorite archivists, ’tis the season for that sort of thing).

Hark! the herald angels sing, No, we can't digitize everything!

Hark! the herald angels sing, No, we can’t digitize everything!

Photo credit: Book of Hours, f.58v, (184 x 133 mm), 15th century, Alexander Turnbull Library, MSR-02 from the National Library NZ on The Commons

May your days be filled with More Presents, Less Process

May your holidays be filled with More Presents, Less Process

Photo credit: MCCALL HOMEMAKING COVER, XMAS TREE from the George Eastman House

Warmest wishes for the holidays [over an image of a cardigan]

Warmest wishes for the holidays [over an image of a cardigan]

Photo credit: vintage 1970s Rainbow Sorbet Cardigan Sweater from Huzzah Vintage

O tidings of cardigans and joy

O tidings of cardigans and joy

Photo credit: vintage 1970s Rainbow Sorbet Cardigan Sweater from Huzzah Vintage

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow [over an image of a flaking document]

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow [over an image of a flaking document]

Photo credit: Kate C. Lang (thanks, Kate!)

And so it was that the Three Wise Dutchmen recognized the importance of provenance.

And so it was that the Three Wise Dutchmen recognized the importance of provenance.

Photo credit: Image taken from page 23 of ‘The Coming of Father Christmas’ from the British Library

More fun with Archivist on the Roof

November 26, 2013

Another song! Last week’s is here if you missed it.

Electronic (music from Anatevka [lyrics,video])

What do we leave
to archives?
Only electronic

Before we had electronic
Boot it up, back it up, electronic
Those paper days were pretty sweet

Electronic, electronic
Flip a bit, guess that’s it, electronic
So quickly becomes obsolete

Soon digital archives will be commonplace
And we’ll worry about server space
For electronic

We acquire electronic,
Mi-igrate, duplicate electronic
Let’s save e-records while we still have time!

Let’s make an archives musical; or, An Archivist on the Roof

November 19, 2013

In my copious free time I have been plotting an archives musical based on the Broadway classic Fiddler on the Roof. Maybe it won’t go anywhere, but I think we should all enjoy whatever I end up with. I’ve heard that the creators of Fiddler don’t take kindly to parody, so good luck getting permission to actually perform this thing, but I aim to misbehave.

The Archives (music from Tradition [lyrics, video])

The archives, the archives! The archives!
The archives, the archives! The archives!

Who, day and night, must generate the records
Papers, correspondence, even photographs
And who has the right as owner of them all
To designate their final home?
The donor! The donor! The archives!

Who must know how to use history sources
Primary and secondary
Who must know her way around the reading room
And fill out call slips for ev’ry request?
The user! The user! The archives!

I have my MLS degree and passed the ACA
I hear we’re going digital, but I–keep printing
The staff! The staff! The archives!

And who has been obsessed
Since Roots came on TV
With finding every branch
On my whole damn fam’ly tree?
The genealogist! The genealogist! The archives!

Let’s resurrect Raiders of the Lost Archives

September 16, 2013

Before there was Derangement and Description–in fact, before there was me–there was Raiders of the Lost Archives. Intrepid archivists got together at SAA and MAC to put on live shows, with singing, sketches, and oh-so-many archives jokes. A few scripts are preserved as part of the Midwest Archives Conference records, and UWM Archives was kind enough to scan one of them for me. You can read the whole thing here (PDF link). Many thanks to Marion Matters and the other original authors for their fantastic script, and to UWM Archives for preserving it for future generations to enjoy. (I’m hoping none of you authors are the litigious type, but if you really want to sue someone for copyright infringement, leave MAC and UWM alone–I’m the one you’re after.)

A page from the 1983 script for Raiders of the Lost Archives

A page from the 1983 script for Raiders of the Lost Archives

Derangers, I think it’s time we resurrect Raiders of the Lost Archives. And there are a few ways to do this. We could take one of the original scripts and update it; archives have changed just a little bit since the ‘80s. We could write an entirely new script, in the style of the old ones. Or we could do something completely different, taking RotLA as our inspiration.

SAA is open to the idea, but we need to submit it as part of the education session proposal process, which ends on September 30th. That gives us just about 2 weeks to get this going. And I need your help!

Can you write? We need to write a proposal, to get this thing off the ground, and then write scenes and songs.

Can you act, sing, direct, or play music? We need people to perform this thing.

Can you tell us about the good old days? We need people who participated in the original Raiders of the Lost Archives, as performers, writers, or audience members, to help us remain true to the spirit of the original.

Can you herd cats? We need a few people to help organize this thing, and to put their names on the proposal.

If you’re interested in helping out with this project–even if you’re not sure about going to SAA14–please join this Google group. If you have ideas, you can also comment here.

Let’s make this happen!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,999 other followers