Stanford Libraries’ Department of Special Collections is excited to announce that the email archive of Ted Nelson is now available to researchers. Theodor Holm "Ted" Nelson is an information technology pioneer and systems humanist who began his work in these areas in the 1960s. Nelson founded Project Xanadu, a global hypertext system designed to permanently connect different types of documents. He also coined the terms hypertext and hypermedia. The Ted Nelson email archive contains 236,779 messages related to Nelson’s life and work between 2001-2019, covering his more recent work.
Blog topic: Manuscripts
Special Collections is pleased to have recently processed March Fong Eu’s archive, and to make available digitized recordings of her personal interview tapes. The papers of March Fong Eu are now open for research. The papers may be accessed here: https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/9378418.
The Stanford Libraries recently acquired a manuscript collection dealing with the planning and preparation for the California Himalayan Expedition of 1954, created by Stanford alumnus Dr. Lawrence Swan (1922-1999)
How many of us first developed an understanding of the Indian subcontinent and its peoples from the writings of Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie or Rohinton Mistry? Their stories, A Suitable Boy, Midnight's Children and A Fine Balance, introduced the rest of the world to the socio-political tensions fomenting in India since its independence from Britain in 1947.
We are delighted to join Harvard University and the University of Manchester again on a collaborative venture over the next 18 months (2021-2022) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community managed by the University of Illinois.
When Parker on the Web 2.0 launched in 2018, it was the culmination of a long-term development plan to host an international collaborative project on sustainable infrastructure at no cost to the user. The engineering effort was immense, and that effort paid off: we saw a nearly 10-fold increase in visitors to the site, and the incorporation of IIIF functionality to the Parker manuscript content allowed the digital objects to be used in a myriad of new projects, from AI-driven initiatives like handwritten text recognition and feature recognition, to crowdsourcing transcription projects, and aggregation and reuse across multiple platforms. While Parker 2.0 was a technical success, the intellectual content of the site - the painstakingly-crafted descriptive metadata produced in the late 2000s that drove Parker on the Web 1.0 - was not fully added to the new platform. Thanks to the encouragement of dedicated Parker on the Web users and scholars, we were able to prioritize a large-scale reassessment of the project descriptive metadata, identify gaps, and restore the manuscript descriptions to their full glory - improving the discovery functionality for the site and providing users with rich descriptions for every manuscript in the collection. Parker on the Web 2.1, released on March 3, 2021, finally completes the migration of the project from a stand-alone site built on bespoke software and using a customized and unique metadata structure to a sustainable and extensible collaboration built on open source software and common metadata standards.
Working in a large archive means you're always discovering collections - sometimes even collections that are already open and available. In this case, it was a group of audio tapes related to 1950s gay rights organization the Mattachine Society. In the midst of preparing for a vault move, we came across a tape labeled “Reel #6” which had been misfiled and listed as lost. After considerable sleuthing the reel was finally returned to its rightful box.