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Blog topic: Digitization

Fuller wire

Buckminster Fuller on a long thin wire

July 31, 2020
by Geoff Willard

Buckminster Fuller has loomed large over the Stanford Media Preservation Lab ever since his archives were fully processed and described in the mid-2000s. Over the past eight years we've been slowly reformatting the extensive media component of this collection, but there was one media format that remained elusive: wire.

Natasha Porfirenko, Slavic and Eastern European expert and contributor to Stanford’s Special Collections

Irina and Leonid Yakobson: Fear, art, and "realism"

July 1, 2020
by Annie Schweikert

This guest blog was written by Natasha Porfirenko, PhD. Natasha is a long-standing and valued contributor to Stanford’s Special Collections for her expertise in Slavic and Eastern European materials. Her work in Special Collections has included processing a large volume of Slavic and Eastern European letters, postcards, objects, and ephemera preserved in Stanford’s archives of material from the committee to free Angela Davis. She is currently hard at work delving into the descriptive metadata of tapes depicting works of famous Soviet choreographer, Leonid Yakobson.

Glynn, Sally, Christy, Alyssa, Gurudarshan, David, Franz, Ann, Annie, Brian, and Laura

Special Collections in Redwood City pivots to digital projects during COVID-19 shelter-in-place

In the beginning of March, managers at Stanford Libraries began talking about working remotely and decided to set up shifts in each department – half working two weeks on site and half two weeks remotely. By the 6th of March the teams for our Collection Services group out in Redwood City were assembled, and the first group – Aries – stayed home for their first week. The Libraries were only one week into that first shift, when the state of California and Stanford decided that everyone should shelter at home starting on the 16th. The Aries team was taken off guard - we all were. Although we had discussed and lined up remote projects, not everyone had taken their computer and ergonomic equipment home with them. A few of us went in to grab equipment (desktop computers, monitors, etc.) and forgotten items (like reading glasses!) and drove around making deliveries – not everyone in the Bay Area drives a car! 

Roman Republic, imperatorial issue by Julius Caesar, silver denarius, 48–48 BC, military mint moving with Caesar. Obverse: CAESAR; elephant r., trampling snake.

Stanford Libraries and the Cantor Arts Center collection of ancient coins

April 15, 2020
by Glynn Edwards

I would like to share the behind-the-scenes story of a recent project at Stanford Libraries: we received a sizable coin collection from the Cantor Arts Center and have been working over the past year and a half to make it accessible for use. In honor of its origins, this collection is called the Cantor Arts Center collection of ancient coins and it contains approximately 8,700 coins from the ancient world. Currently there are circa 300 coins fully cataloged that feature digital images online and three preassembled study sets for use in the Barchas Room in Special Collections at Green Library.

Chart of accessioned media measured in TB deposited over time

Major progress on AV media accessioning

March 29, 2020
by Hannah Frost

TL;DR: The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) and the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) have together reached a major milestone with over half a petabyte of preserved AV media content accessioned in the repository. This summer, SMPL expects to complete working through the backlog of digital audio and video files accumulated over the past decade. 

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