Archive for the ‘Digital Humanities’ category

Caging the Intellectual Bird

April 30, 2013

“The binary world has given
radiant wings to knowledge
and information. Those who
support the infringement of
cyber freedom cage the
intellectual bird.”

••••••» Felicia Lujan
••••••» 4.30.2013

Collection of Links: Resources for Libraries

March 6, 2013

Virtually Pop Your Top

July 24, 2012

A virtual collection of electronic records which can be sorted using your fingers and a touch screen the size of a movie screen. The data can also be manipulated in various ways to improve collection control. This image was taken at the 2012 E-Records Forum in Austin, Texas. An Open House at the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Visualization Lab was apparently a “highlight” of the forum.

As promised, it is time to mention the most interesting person I had the chance to talk with at the NAGARA/CoSA Conference in Santa Fe last week. I guess when you ask the right questions “they” will come! By they I mean the smart people… 🙂 After one of the sessions, Mark Conrad an Archives Specialist working with the Applied Research Division (Office of Information Services) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approached me. He said “aren’t you the one asking about open source solutions?” But of course I was the one! I was so excited to here that NARA is going there!!! I also had the chance to attend a session titled ISO 16363 Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories. The session was delivered by Mark and Technology Specialists from Kentucky. This “Archives Specialist” slash technical guru immediately started rattling off a list of tools and projects that I should take a closer look at. Using his tricked out iPad he started prompting his screen to pop my top. Mark works in the Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies (NCAST). In his position with NARA, he works with computer scientists and engineers from all over the world “to leverage new theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques to advance the lifecycle of electronic records.” Part of the mission of his division includes looking into “emerging technologies.” I must say I about did a back flip when Mark pulled up images of a Visualization Lab in the works. Simply mind blowing! There it was— a virtual filing cabinet. As an archivist, I would be able to process or arrange and describe electronic records by using my fingers and a touch screen. Yes- a touch screen- a virtual system used to arrange collections and sort data- with color codes and all. The volume of records in a particular series is proportional to the amount of data within a particular sector of the collection. In January of 2011, the web administrator of NARAtions: The Blog of the United States National Archives interviewed Mark Conrad. She asked him what he was working on and he said “with the assistance of 17 student interns, I am collaborating on a number of projects. For example, many of the students are currently loading large numbers of files into a testbed that is being used by the computer scientists working on the CI-BER project. The purpose of the project is to provide insights into the management of very large data collections. As the number of files and bytes in a collection goes up some of the systems used to manage the collection break down. This project will help us to identify some of the bottlenecks and look for better ways to build systems that don’t break down as the volume picks up.” He also said he was working with the “Department of Energy, NIST, Naval Sea Systems Command, Army Research Lab, and other Federal Agencies on ways to share information about current and emerging practices for managing and preserving engineering data for as long as it is needed.” Sometimes I am glad that I ask a grippa questions— if I didn’t care about open source solutions, I would have never met one of the most interesting archivists with a technical background ever.

An Archivist Eating Acronym Soup

July 11, 2012

I am about ready to sip on some acronym soup at the 2012 NAGARA/CoSA Annual Conference. The soup is on with some PhDs, JDs, MAs, MLSs, JDs, BAs, CAs, CRMs, and CDIMs. There may even be a few mystery acronyms in there? I am hungry already!! Eating knowledge— one of my specialties. Yum! Haha… Next week I am attending the joint conference put on by the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators and Council of State Archivists. It will be a fine time to see what other archivists and records managers are up to? The 2012 NAGARA/CoSA Conference will be held in my city (Santa Fe, New Mexico) at the Inn at Loretto from July 18-21. The Diamond Sponsor for this conference is and the Platinum Sponsors are Family Search and Tessella. I am excited to learn, network with like minded people, and share information with anyone willing to learn before or after the conference. Some of the speakers will be from my agency, but the vast majority are traveling from all over the county to present here. The conference will open with a welcome from David Coss, Mayor of the City of Santa Fe. There will also be a “Greeting from the Archivist of the United States,” David Ferriero (NARA) followed by a session on the President’s Directive on Managing Government Records. Steve Adams, a Senior Records Analyst with NARA will speak, as will Albert Lama, the Chief Deputy Attorney General here in New Mexico. I am sure I will come away with some great information. It is sure to be outstanding.
Soup anyone?

Some of the conference sessions will include:

Archives 101
Collaboration of Native and Archival Communities
Fundamentals of Records Management
County Records: Access to Local History
A Thin Black Line- Researching Confidential Records
Who Controls Where the Governors’ Papers Go?
Records Management in the Cloud
Hiring Electronic Records Archivists
The Civil War Sesquicentennial
The Records Manager’s Role in E-Discovery
Archives, Agreements, and Access
Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories
The Future of the Past: A Report to the President
Use of Public Records Laws to Bypass Discovery Rules
SERI – State Electronic Records Initiative Update
Picture This! – Using Social Media to Feature Archival Collections
Judicial Records Management vs. Technology
1940 Census: The Next Generation
Essential Records and Emergency Planning
Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders
Alternative Rural Hispanic Health Beliefs and a Dance and Music Video
Preserving Non-Written Ethnic Immigration Stories
Archives and Access Tools: Patron Response to Investment
The Digital Public Library of America
National Collections in a Digital Environment
Redaction, Expungement and Sealing of Electronic Records

A Lasso and An Electronic Bull: the Media Rodeo

April 23, 2012

Electronic bull digital composite by Felicia Lujan. Image includes a video still from Ciara's Ride video featuring Ludacris, and a photograph of an electronic circuit. The composite was created in Adobe Photoshop using a darkened layer and a layer screen, as well as an artistic fresco filter.

Today I attended a Media Rodeo here in Santa Fe. This was the title of what I am sure the organizer would call an “unmeeting.” The phrase Media Rodeo is rather catchy, and it likely coincides with an attempt to lasso ideas and information. We discussed all things digital, exploring issues, programs, and trend setters. I found the session rather useful. It is always good to meet with other professionals to purge and regurgitate the bits and bytes in the dark recesses of my mind. Hopefully I will remain on the “invite” list, as I feel that I have much to contribute. Following are a few of the programs featured in a demo, and one site that I found particularly useful.



This program features the use of Google Maps. The maps are basically an underlayer for the web site administrator to pin images/photographs on. This is a very cool program. When pinning images to the map, you can be as specific or general as you would like. In other words, you can post images to a specific address on the map, or maybe to a particular town and/or site. The software also provides a section to control copyright over the images posted by the administrator. The copyright information can include the author of the image, a caption, a link to the repository and/or archive, and the contact information for the repository and/or archive. There is also a “street view option,” which allows the end user to have a digital stroll down selected streets on the virtual maps. In History Pin, the administrator can upload videos, text, audio, and timelines for specific sets of images.

From the web site…..

Historypin is a way for millions of people to come together, from across different generations, cultures and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history. Everyone has history to share: whether its sitting in yellowed albums in the attic, collected in piles of crackly tapes, conserved in the 1000s of archives all over the world or passed down in memories and old stories. Each of these pieces of history finds a home on Historypin, where everyone has the chance to see it, add to it, learn from it, debate it and use it to build up a more complete understanding of the world. Historypin has been developed by the not-for-profit company We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google.”

Felicia's Media Rodeo notes with a glowing edge filter in Adobe Photoshop.



We had a look at the dashboard of Tumblr. In Tumblr you can insert text, photos, quotes, link to items, chat, and upload audio and video. The program also offers a “queue” option. The feature is particularly handy for busy people (who isn’t?). This allows the administrator to set automatic posts. The posts can be automated for daily, weekly, or monthly content uploads. It can also be queued for specific dates. The items in the queue can be programmed for a year or more in advance if necessary, and if you are sure which content you would like to go up regularly.

From the web site…..

Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors, to your theme’s HTML. Collect Every Moment Wherever You Go. Browsing through various tumblelogs is like sifting through the Lost and Found Department of the entire Internet. It’s a beautiful mix of everything and anything, from the shocking to the spectacular.”



For me, Pinterest just seemed like a fun way to show people what you are interested in. I know that recent digital trends have shown that this program is on a steady rise with a huge amount of women. These women are actively contributing to the site by “pinning” and “repinning” content. Some of the stuff from this web site (My Voyage Through Time) has already been picked up by Pinterest users, and some of my digital composites and quotes have been repinned. That’s kinda cool!

From the web site…..

A Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.”

Presentation of Tumblr Dashboard during the Media Rodeo.



We talked a little bit about this web site, which features free manuals available for daily download. There are several kinds of manuals, and it was mentioned that the manual featured today was “Your Guide to Social Media Marketing.” The manuals on this site are said to be well written, free, and useful. I took some time to check out the web site tonight, and it looks like it is sure to be a good tool in the digital arsenal.

From the web site…..

A booming daily blog that features cool websites, computer tips, and downloads that make you more productive. The aim of MakeUseOf is to guide you through the web and tell you about hot websites that you have never heard of, best software programs, and all kinds of “how to” tips for Windows, Mac and Linux computer users.”


What is the Digital Humanities and Where can I get some of it?

April 22, 2012


Peter Kerry Powers

As I’ve started listening in on Digital Humanities conversations over the past 12 to 18 months, and especially in the last three or four months as I’ve gotten more fully onto Twitter and understood its potential for academics, I’ve realized that I am mostly just a bobbing rubber duck in a great wave of ignorant interest in Digital Humanities.  “What is this thing, Digital Humanities, and where can I get some of it?”  seems to be a general hue and cry, and I’ve added my own voice to the mix.  Some of that wave is no doubt driven by the general malaise that seems to be afflicting the humanistic ecosystem, and mid-career academics look back with rose-colored nostalgia to culture wars of the 80s when our classes were full and our conflicts were played out in middle-brow journals so we could feel self-important.  Maybe digital humanities will make us…

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