Archive for the ‘Preservation’ category

A Visit to Tierra Amarilla

April 25, 2015

These are photographs from a recent work trip to Tierra Amarilla in Rio Arriba County. It is about a two hour drive from Santa Fe. Four of us went out there last week on a site visit. I was really impressed with their Records Management Program. It was so touching to see the hard work that has been done.

That county is currently building an archive to preserve history. The county had a handle on security of their records and they were using biometric technology. I enjoyed some yummy udon noodle soup for lunch at a cute little coffee shop there. It was a good, informative trip.



Review of Preserving Complex Digital Objects

March 17, 2015

Recordkeeping Roundtable

Janet Delve and David Anderson (eds), Preserving Complex Digital Objects, London, Facet, 2014.

In Neil Grindley’s introduction to Preserving Complex Digital Objects he explains that it aims to set out what is currently understood about dealing with complex digital objects and offer a broad framework for starting to manage and address relevant issues. The book is the product of a number of symposia held in the UK in 2011-2012 on different aspects of the preservation of complex objects, funded by JISC, a charitable organisation originally set up by the UK government as the Joint Information Systems Committee in the 1990s. JISC now champions and conducts research and development in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in learning, teaching, research and administration. Formerly devoting much time to digital preservation research and information sharing, JISC is now more heavily focused on research data management and sharing for the universities and other higher…

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A New Archival Storage Medium

October 26, 2014

ARMA Live Conference
San Diego Convention Center

Best piece of information I received today was in a records management/digital preservation session this afternoon. It was new information to me. The storage medium is said to endure the toughest conditions, lasting hundreds and hundreds of years. It has been tested. Do you know what this is??


Carcanet Project shortlisted for international award

September 16, 2014


Rylands Blog

Our Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project has been selected as one of the finalists for the prestigious Digital Preservation Awards. Administered by the Digital Preservation Coalition, the awards celebrate people and organisations across the world who have made significant and innovative contributions to ensuring our digital memory is accessible tomorrow. We have been shortlisted for the Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy, which rewards projects focused on protecting ‘at-risk’ digital objects.

In our case, these objects were the emails of staff at premier poetry publishing house, Carcanet Press, which were languishing on hard drives and local networks at the Carcanet office. Carcanet’s hard copy archive – held at the Library – fills around 1,300 boxes, but the correspondence files have been dwindling in size with the shift to digital communication. Our project has rescued over 200,000 emails and 65,000 attachments, and we will be adding to this huge archive on an…

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#FollowBack: Issues Regarding Archiving Instagram

August 15, 2014

Very interesting read for archivists! This was a great post Kaufer!


NB: This was a paper I wrote for my library school course, LIS 647 Visual Resources on May 5, 2014. I have not made any revisions or updates since that time.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, our culture has become saturated with images, from advertisements to television to movies. With the proliferation of social media and cheap camera phones, that saturation has become all but complete. Images and photographs are hugely popular on social media. One of the most popular platforms, Instagram, revolves entirely around photographs created and shared by users. Instagram is a vibrant, information-rich record of contemporary history. It is used around the world by average people to celebrities to cultural institutions and captures anything from scenes of everyday life to world-changing events. It would not be outrageous to say that Instagram photos and other social media content will some day become part of the collections…

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Death by Curare: A Love of Blowguns

April 24, 2014


~“Blowing Poison in the Amazon” a digital rendering by Felicia Lujan~

For some time I have been fascinated with blowguns. These low tech tools or weapons used mostly by indigenous peoples in the rainforest are also referred to as blowpipes or blow tubes. A blowgun is traditionally made of a long tube of organic material such as bamboo. The tube is used to fire poisoned darts or other projectiles by blowing air by mouth into the tube.

I first became intrigued with the blowgun when one of my all time favorite fantasy films was released in 1985. I was a ten year old girl with a wild imagination. In Legend, a poisoned blowdart was used by the evil goblins to kill a unicorn in a dark fairy tale which I favor. I now own that movie and still watch it often. The blowgun made such an impression on me that I authored a poem titled “Blowdart” in February of 2013.


~The talking book and player on the chair in my office.~

For the last few days, I have been listening to a talking book while I work. This book along with a book my son and I read on poison dart frogs, made me want to research further into the history and use of the blowgun. After listening to my talking book, and doing some research, I am more fascinated by not only blowguns, but by medicine men.

Listening to Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice has been so interesting. The book was read and written by Mark J. Plotkin, Ph.D. Dr. Plotkin is a famous ethnobotanist who searches “for new medicines in the Amazon Rainforest and said “everytime a shaman dies, it is as if a library burned down.” This is a very sad realization. There is so much oral history to be lost with death.

Dr. Plotkin spent an amazing amount of time studying the shamans of the northeast Amazon and his book is indeed mind blowing. There is something about actually listening to him tell the story. I could hear his love and enthusiasm for the Amazon, nature and research in his voice. I was particularly struck by his interest in the indigenous use of blowguns.

The indigenous peoples of the Amazon, South and Central America, and South East Asia utilize blowguns as do the Native Americans of North America. These people have used both round projectiles as well as handmade darts for ammunition. I tend to favor those cultures which lace the tips of their darts with poison. This is done to cause paralysis and death.


~A Poison Dart Frog~

The type of toxins used on tipped darts to cause paralysis and death vary from culture to culture. Indigenous peoples use curare, a plant based extract or the frothy secretions of toxic frogs to tip darts. Native Americans have been known to extract toxins from the Golden Poppy. The amount of poison used, and the level of penetration seem to play key roles in the life or death of the receiver.


~The Golden Poppy~

On September 17, 1864, London’s Illustrated Times published a short piece titled “The Woorali Arrow Poison.” This historic news article says “from the fact that this poison, introduced into the system by the blood vessels, causes paralysis and death in the course of a few minutes, it has been erroneously inferred that death by curare is perfectly free from pain of any kind.” Dr. Claude Bernard’s experiments with curare showed that “one limb after another becomes gradually paralyzed…” He assumed death by curare was not painless as an animal retains intellect during the course of paralysis, which “gradually extended to the respiratory organs” causing suffocation.

On September 16, 1993, the Indiana Gazette ran an article on Dr. Plotkin by Nita Lelyveld, a writer with the Associated Press. He is truly an amazing man. The article was titled “Scientist Learns Healing Secrets from Rain Forest’s Medicine Men.” In this piece, there is a photo of the handsome scientist discussing “blow gun poisons with an En-Yeh-Pah Indian in central Venezuela.” What a great image! It was awesome to read this story. I’m in love with this ethnobotonist. Again, Dr. Plotkin’s professional passion was evident.


~The handsome ethnobotanist discussing “blow gun poisons with an En-Yeh-Pah Indian in central Venezuela.” ***Photo Courtesy of the Associated Press~

At the time of that article and the release of his book (1993), Dr. Plotkin was working with Conservation International. He is still on a conservation mission. That is commendable. Today he is president of the Amazon Conservation Team. His team is working with indigenous peoples in order to protect our magical rainforests. He is a very special man with a love of poisoned darts, blowguns, and medicinal cures.

When I first became intrigued with the blowgun, I was just a girl. I had and still have a wild imagination. As a young girl I could never understand the importance of conservation and preservation. If it were not for experts like Dr. Plotkin and the late Dr. Bernard, people like me would never learn about some things. I can only imagine what it is like to be a scientist studying in the rainforest. It must be an empowering, humbling and fulfilling experience.

I am not a scientist, but I am a writer. Through writing I can mentally experience those things I may never be able to do. Through writing, I can spread Dr. Plotkin’s message. Through writing, I can shoot a blowgun. Through writing, I can extract toxins and make curare. Through writing, I can become a poisoned dart. Through writing, I can administer death by curare.

Historic Photo Restoration

January 21, 2014

I have been restoring and enhancing photographs for people for many years. If I could make a good living doing so, I would do that full time. Recently I did some detective ghost work for a friend who has a sister who snapped photographs at the La Fonda Hotel here in Santa Fe on a recent visit. That specific hotel is said to be haunted and my friend Jackie from RMD wanted me to take a closer look at the photographs using Adobe Photoshop. I like to consider myself an expert user when it comes to all things Photoshop. If my friend gives me the go ahead, I will post the details about, as well as the images of the creepiness I discovered. It was rather scary actually~ or shall I say hair raising!!

I also do photo restoration for people and one of my regular customers is the former State Records Administrator. I have done many, many things for her over the years from enhancements to restorations. Below is my last restoration for her. She gave this away as a Christmas present. The original was a 20×18 convex, historic photograph which had suffered water and mold damage. I was very happy with the result and so was she. I took a high definition photograph of the convex image and then worked from that. If you ask me….Adobe Photoshop is the best software ever created!! If any of you are in need of my services, I can be reached at

~Historic photo restoration by Felicia Lujan~

~Historic photo restoration by Felicia Lujan~


NSA storing all your data for decades… on magnetic tape? Or million year disks?

December 2, 2013

Interesting and not that strange really. Makes sense from a digital preservation perspective.

Preserving A Historic Glimpse

June 23, 2013
Preservation Project Complete

~Supplies used for the
newspaper preservation project.~

A couple of weekends ago, I successfully completed the preservation of a newspaper which is over 100 years old. It was a really interesting and fun project for me. It did take a while, but I’m sure my girlfriend and her father will be happy with the results. It took me a little over a month to complete the physical and digital preservation of the 1897 newspaper.

The newspaper features a special illustrated history of the famous Battle of Puebla. The battle is the main reason that people celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the Mexican victory over France in 1862. Some of the accounts I read say that the battle lasted around four hours, but the Mexicans successfully defended their city and two forts against the French even though their troops were outgunned and outnumbered.

I preserved the newspaper by: removing it from an acidic enclosure; cleaning it and brushing off some mold; humidifying and flattening the pages; taking 25 HDR photographs; placing the pages in acid free, oversized bags; and housing the bagged pages in an acid free, oversized brief case with handles.

Tonight I created a short video so that you can see the lovely art work which was featured in this newspaper. It was well worth preserving the right way. I really enjoy helping people and was so happy and honored that my friend asked for my help.

C3PO and Digital Curation

June 9, 2013

I recently took some time to learn more about content profiling. It is very important to me to keep my digital skill set sharp and so I enrolled in a WebEx virtual training out of the United Kingdom. The training was on May 31 at 13:00 BST/14:00 CET (UK time), which meant I needed to be logged in by 5:30am (US/NM time). The training started at 6:00am in my time zone and ended at 7:00am. It was a Friday, so after several cups of coffee and a brain loaded with information, I made my way into work. I didn’t want to miss taking taking a closer look at C3PO, a contemporary tool being used for digital curation (collection, management and preservation).

My Computers

~~My true loves… My computers.~~
~~~Call this cross-platform and ready for training!~~~

This digital tool is supported by the Information and Software Engineering Group (IFS), Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems (ISIS), and the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. C3PO was developed by Petar Petrov of Creative Pragmatics. Petrov also delivered the virtual training titled C3PO: An Introduction to Content Profiling. Petrov studied Business Informatics and Software Engineering. The system he has developed addresses content profiling in three steps: the gathering of metadata; data processing and aggregation; and metadata analysis.

Content Profiling

~~One of Petar Petrov’s presentation slides.~~

  • C3PO is for content and planning- content means- personal content (documents etc.), cultural heritage (libraries, museums, archives, etc.) scientific data and government documents.
  • He says that the “future growth” of what happens in an “internet minute” is “staggering.” The question is “what do we preserve because we can’t preserve all of it. We need to evaluate what we can preserve.”
  • Preservation planning- identifying risks to digital objects and developing a preservation plan. This should describe content and describe how you will go about preserving that using a certain digital repository or software.
  • Plato~ supports the Preservation Planning Workflow. It was developed by the University of Technology in Vienna. This program will help through the process and enable the development of a real preservation plan.
  • Discussed how objects, technology, usage criteria, policies, and actions affect preservation environments.
  • Scout~ monitors interesting aspects of the world, notifies you when a certain important event happens, helps you know when you should reevaluate your preservation plan (format migration, current tools, trend watch on preservation and migration tools, notifications come through for a redeploy of software).
  • Content profiling~ Property (format), FileA (PDF 1.2), FileB (PDF 1.2), FileC (PDF 1.4). Example about which are similar. Not A and B, but a closer look at the metadata is required. After looking at page count, encryption, file size, and if the files are valid and well-formed it can then be determined which files are most similar. In preservation planning, this is a necessary evaluation. It is difficult to do this both on a large scale and in detail. We need to take more data out of the digital repository and secure a data characterization process to aggregate the data.
  • Heterogeneity: one size does not fit all”
  • He discussed how to perform a sample selection based on the metadata to experiment on.
  • QA and limitations~ “how do you know if your content profile is good or no good?” You need to understand the tools which provide the metadata so that your characterization data is clean and your content profiles are good.
  • C3PO~ how does it work? What does it do? This software merges several command line tools into one tool. This is one tool that does many things that several tools can do. Call it the “Swiss Army Knife of tools.”
  • v0.3.0~ it’s a Command Line Application and a Web Application. It is an open source Mongo Database and it stores documents differently than a traditional database. It uses Java technology and processes FITS (and Tika) files, stores them in the document store, XML Profiling and CSV Export. It can process close to 1 million (945699) objects in about 2 hours (1hr48m) and can define profiles in 12m. The web application provides an overview of metadata, to browse, filter, sample and export metadata.
  • Hands on C3PO demonstration~ very useful for data sampling. He started a terminal window to use the command line version of C3PO. He was demonstrating on about 2,000 objects. He ingested data using commands into the metadata database. He was then able to export the metadata to Excel for further sorting options and to detect problems with files and metadata. The web based app provides statistics using bar graphs of mime types, format versions, object validity, if the objects are well-formed, sizes.
  • Object can be filtered by format and other things to see detailed and regenerated tools to analyze particular sets of objects. For example you can see all “invalid PDFs.” You can then export any generated profiles to Plato to help you develop a preservation plan. He said “content profiling will never be completely solved, we can only improve the process.”

Still Working…

May 5, 2013


Ending the Day in Heaven

May 5, 2013
~Ending the day in heaven (oh, I mean the bathtub) surrounded by my beloved candles and bubbles.~

~Ending the day in heaven (oh, I mean the bathtub) surrounded by my beloved candles and bubbles.~

Today was a good day. I got a lot of things done. Hopping from one thing to the next I stayed busy all day.

I started by completing about half of a newspaper preservation project I’m working on. It took a few hours to photograph and encapsulate the pages of a newspaper that is over 100 years old. I also completed research associated with the Battle of Puebla and Cinco de Mayo. Maybe if I’m lucky, I will finish the entire project by tomorrow night for my friend and her family.

Now that it is starting to warm up it’s nice. It was the first day I was able to hang clothes out on the line. Clothes are softer straight out of the dryer, but it wastes so much energy. During the winter I wait patiently for the chance to use my clothes line.

After that I moved from: planting sunflowers in just the right spot; to filling up a swimming pool equip with toys for D; to listening to Tank while getting my tan on; to grilling it up; to cleaning up; and then to washing dishes. See? No liquor on Friday night and eating right obviously payed off today!

I ended the night in sheer heaven (oh, I mean the bathtub) surrounded by my beloved candles. I don’t use the tub often because I feel bad about wasting water. Once in a while it is a glorious treat! It was great to close the day listening to my chimes in the wind while emerged in luxurious bubbles.

Time for some sweet dreams.

Preserving History

April 20, 2013

~• 1867 illustrated newsapaper periodical (periodico ilustrado) titled “5 de Mayo de 1862” •~


“Any fool can make
history, but it takes
a genius to write it.”

••••» Oscar Wilde


I enjoy doing things for people. It makes me feel good to help others when I’m needed. Recently I was asked by two friends to help them preserve some newspapers. One had an awesome newspaper that is close to 120 years old. The other is former journalist with an accomplished record who is looking to preserve a historical first.

I take pride in being an archivist and I’m glad that my professional knowledge can extend beyond the confines of a repository. I spent the day preparing for preservation endeavors by picking up the supplies I need. Since newspapers are highly acidic, it is good to do whatever can be done to preserve them.

I had an idea last night with regard to the digitization of the newspapers. Hopefully the idea is successful. I will try a new technique to make an access copy. Indeed I was born to be an archivist. I do love what I do.

The Loss of Tradition

March 23, 2013
•Cherry Blossoms and The Acequia_3.23.2013•

•Cherry Blossoms and The Acequia_3.23.2013•

Today I participated in the annual cleaning of the acequia in Pojoaque. New Mexico’s acequia system is comprised of several communal irrigation canals. Some parts are dirt and some parts are paved. Some parts are narrow and some parts are wide. These canals or ditches play an essential role in the community I grew up in.

The mayordomo (water master or “ditch boss”) of the acequia is trusted by his neighbors to make critical decisions. The ditches are governed by the boss and by the community members. Mayordomos oversee the distribution of and rights to water. The boss also plans meetings, in addition to coordinating repairs and the annual cleanings.

This year my participation was bitter sweet. For centuries acequias have been cleaned and repaired almost exclusively by men. I was the only woman on the crew today. I am good with a shovel and I’m not scared to break a nail. There is only one other woman I know who cleans the ditches each year. Why does it have to be that way? More women should take pride in their traditions. While most people would opt to pay– we decided to work. It was not an easy task but it did make me feel good.

I was also disappointed to see that there were only three young men on the crew (one was my son). These days it is rare to find parents who want to pass on traditions. Most children are not willing to participate. It made me proud to see my son under bridges and in the mud with his mini shovel. My son was the youngest worker. It was his 1st time cleaning the acequia. He didn’t complain for several hours. At the very end we all grew tired and he said he wanted Subway.

I don’t want to see another casualty in our traditions. More people, young people, and women should take pride in preserving our acequia system. I was told that less than 10 representatives of at least 60 properties showed up for the cleaning. Water is a sacred resource. Ditches have been used communally for so long that they are now part of us.

•Daryn in part of the Acequia_3.23.2013•

•Daryn in part of the Acequia_3.23.2013•

•Pojoaque Acequia Crew_3.23.2013•

•Pojoaque Acequia Crew_3.23.2013•

A Digital Preservation Powerhouse

December 6, 2012

digital preservation

Wow~ what an amazing presentation just made by the inspiring “digital pioneer” Martha Anderson. Ms. Anderson is a powerhouse with the Library of Congress who will be retiring in a few weeks. I am sure she will still be active in my realm because she is so passionate about what she does. In a December 4, 2012 article on a Library of Congress blog, Mike Ashenfelder referred to Ms. Anderson as a woman “who is one of the driving forces behind American Memory,” the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA). Mr. Ashenfelder is right about this woman having “an effect on most people she comes in contact with,” when you “watch her work a room at a conference.” I plan on writing more about her presentation when I return to New Mexico. Following are a few of her most powerful quotes and a great proverb she noted.

When spiders unite, they can take down a lion.”
~African Proverb

Never underestimate a community who is dedicated to a cause, works together, shows support, and learns from one another.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

When a bunch of spiders get together, they are seen as a coherent whole.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

Metadata is currency. It is touched more than you think and it is a living thing.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

There is a lot of stuff endangered while we wait for the perfect access.”
~Martha Anderson, Library of Congress

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