Internship at American History

December 4, 2008

Lemelson Center Special Project: Online Archival Practices Internship, Summer 2009

The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, offers a full time (40 hours per week) for ten weeks, special project internship opportunity. The internship stipend is $6,000. Housing and benefits are not provided.

Scope of Internship:
The internship is located in the Lemelson Center, an interdisciplinary unit dedicated to documenting, preserving, and disseminating information about the history of invention. The intern will collaborate with the Lemelson Center archivist and historians to develop the Documenting Invention section of the Lemelson Center’s Web site ( Documenting Invention will serve as a guide for archivists, museum curators, oral historians, and other researchers studying or collecting in the field of the history of invention. The site will disseminate information about the Center’s ongoing work, findings, and resources on documenting inventors and the invention process; will offer guidelines and present current thinking on documenting invention beyond the paper record; and will bring together diverse sources relevant to the Center’s documentation work in an easy-to-navigate site.

•Knowledge of archival theory and practices;
•Experience organizing, writing, and preparing materials for the Web;
•Knowledge of most of the following: Abobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop CS3, Acrobat, Adobe Audition;
•Experience with databases;
•Experience with handling audio-visual materials and editing video a plus;
•Experience with blogging or setting up a blog; knowledge of TypePad a plus;
•Ability to work in both PC and Mac platforms;
•Ability to work independently, take initiative, and problem solve; and
•Must be hardworking, meticulous, dedicated, accountable, and time-conscious.

•Apply archival concepts to establish an intellectual framework and organize materials for presentation on the web;
•Format, edit, and prepare documents and images for web;
•Assist in laying out the web site; and
•Other duties as assigned.

Application Process:
Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate degree program and have completed graduate course work in archival, library, or information management, and/or graduate course work in American history, or another area that relates to the history of invention and innovation in American society.  Coursework or relevant experience in graphic design a plus. Recent graduates may also apply.

Applicants should submit one copy of the application form, available online at:; two letters of recommendation; official academic transcripts (undergraduate and graduate); example(s) of Web work, including writing, information design, and/or graphic design, with the URL; and an essay discussing their interest in this internship and how it will benefit them.

Mail or email completed application form and all materials requested to Alison L. Oswald. All materials must be postmarked by March 2, 2009 for consideration. Offers will be made by April 6, 2009. The internship begins on or after June 1, 2009.

Contact: Alison L. Oswald, Archivist
National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Institution
Archives Center
P.O. Box 37012
Room 1110/MRC 601
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Phone: (202) 633-3726
Fax: (202) 786.2453


The ARCHIVES & ARCHIVISTS (A&A) LIST is sponsored by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The opinions expressed on the A&A List do not necessarily represent those of SAA and are not endorsed by the Society.

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Meghan Petersen


Canned Libraries

December 2, 2008

I don’t know if anyone is still reading the blog but here is a good read:

Archiving 2009

December 1, 2008
The deadline for submitting presentation abstracts for Archiving 2009
to be held May 4-7, 2009 in Arlington, VA., is December 21, 2008. A PDF
of the Call for Papers can be found at 

Paper proposals should be submitted according to the process described at 

The IS&T Archiving Conference brings together a unique community of 
imaging novices and experts from libraries, archives, records management, 
and information technology institutions to discuss and explore the expanding 
field of digital archiving and preservation. Attendees from around the world 
represent industry, academia, governments, and cultural heritage institutions. 
The conference presents the latest research results on archiving, provides 
a forum to explore new strategies and policies, and reports on successful 
projects that can serve as benchmarks in the field. Archiving 2009 is a 
blend of invited focal papers, keynote talks, and refereed oral and 
interactive display presentations. Prospective authors are invited to submit 
oral and interactive presentations by the December 21st deadline. 

Proposed program topics include:
*	Creating and Managing Digital Collections
o	Metadata and data retrieval
o	Large scale collection management
o	Business cases and business models for economic sustainability
o	Ingest and export of digital content packages
o	Strategies for selecting and archiving specific kinds of digital content
o	User needs and access to digital collections

*	Imaging and Image Workflow Processes
o	Image acquisition and digitization workflows
o	Image capture and quality assurance
o	Color management
o	Compression: JPEG2000 and other audiovisual formats
o	Digital collections scanning standards
o	Image discovery and access

*	Digital Preservation Strategies
o	Reliability of storage solutions
o	Archival formats (PDF/A, JPEG 2000, Open XML, RAW etc.)
o	Microfilm as storage solution for digital data
o	Conservation and stability of computer output media
o	Repository models and workflows
o	Compliance with copyright law and policy
o	Tools, services, and resources for use in a distributed environment

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. We hope to see you there.

Best regards,
Diana Gonzalez
IS&T Conference Program Manager
703/642-9090 x 106

SAA Listserv

December 1, 2008

It occurred to me as I was replying to Holly’s comment to one of my posts that others in the class may be interested in archival work or in archives. So I thought I would post this to the class. You do not have to be a member of SAA to join its listserv. The various organizations do post job offerings on it also. Here is the information:

The ARCHIVES & ARCHIVISTS (A&A) LIST is sponsored by the Society of American Archivists. The opinions expressed on the A&A List do not necessarily represent those of SAA and are not endorsed by the Society.

To post to the list, send messages to

To unsubscribe or to modify your subscription settings, log in at:

To view the A&A List Terms of Participation, visit:

A&A List Coordinator:
Meghan Petersen

Update to Project

November 24, 2008

Here is the link to my updated project for tomorrow:

Life Photo Archive Goes Live On Google

November 24, 2008

Washington State names new digital archivist

November 24, 2008

Nov 18 2008

Kerry Barbour is taking the reins of the state’s Digital Archives office in Cheney, bringing with her nearly 20 years of information technology experience.

“I am excited that Kerry Barbour has agreed to join our Digital Archives team,” said Washington State Archivist Jerry Handfield. “Kerry has managed many successful technology projects in state government. She will take us to the next level in our mission to preserve Washington’s legal and historical records and make our documents of democracy accessible to our citizens.”

In her role as digital archivist, Barbour will manage the operations of the state Digital Archives, located at Eastern Washington University in Cheney. Digital Archives is a branch of the Olympia-based Washington State Archives. Regional branches are found in Bellevue, Bellingham, Cheney and Ellensburg.

“I’m thrilled and excited to become the digital archivist,” Barbour said. “My initial goal is to educate state agencies about digital archives and our infrastructure. I want to let them know we are here and what we can do for them.”

Before starting her new job, Barbour was the information services director for the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission in Olympia the past three years. Before that, she was an information technology manager with the Department of Social and Health Services for about 12 years.
The mission of Digital Archives is to collect, index, store and make accessible electronic records created by state and local government agencies of Washington State.

Since launching in October 2004 as the first of its kind in the nation, Washington’s Digital Archives is the lead partner in a multi-state project funded by the Library of Congress to demonstrate the requirements of building a digital archive system in states around the country.

More than 74 million items can be accessed online at the Digital Archives. Visit for more details.

Webpage Update

November 17, 2008

So I spent the week researching into Filipino immigration and have updated my webpage a little.

On Readings

November 10, 2008

(Sorry my antivirus program picked up two, two!, viruses on my computer yesterday so spent the day scanning and thus did not get this written.)

Okay, obviously the readings were highly technical and in the case of Moretti, somewhat confusing. I know what all of the authors were trying to get at but I believe most of the readings were directed to techies. All of it relates to data mining but I believe that the software that was discussed is not available to most of us and thus not applicable to our projects. Possibly the readings were trying to tell us how to formulate our projects so that the mining software could pick them up. That would make sense.

In the case of Moretti, I believe he discussed how certain historical events could influence novel writing. I know that this is true in the Fine Arts field. How important a factor this is I’m not sure. And it may be a more important factor in the fine arts realm than in the field of literature. But it wasn’t made clear to me what caused the extinction of one genre and the growth of another. Although I believe that he did say that most genres lasted for about 30-35 years, a generation. That could be a large factor in the analysis.

His Marxism shows in his map circle. It reminds me of the Wittgenstein Marxian chart (if I remember the name correctly). I tried to find one on the Net but apparently this is a more obscure chart than I thought. Basically, it’s the same type of circle, only using the Marxian theory of production.

Of Interest

October 28, 2008

Press Release
Documents Compass ( receives Mellon grant for Founding Era Prosopography

October 25, 2008
Charlottesville, VA

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities announces that it’s newly formed service provider, Documents Compass, has received a $327,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create People of the Founding Era (PFE). The grant will allow Documents Compass to explore the feasibility of creating a biographical data source that will be a resource for scholars of the American Founding. It will include native-born and naturalized Americans born between the end of Queen Anne’s War (1713) and the Napoleonic Wars (1815) – and their children and grandchildren – and will be grounded in the existing documentary editions of the past half century.  It will begin by working with the Papers of the Founding Fathers and the Dolley Madison Digital Edition.

Lawrence Stone, in his now-famous 1971 essay in Daedalus, defined prosopography as “the investigation of the common background characteristics of a group of actors in history by means of a collective study of their lives.” Historians continue to debate the definition of prosopography, and this dispute may never be resolved: prosopography is a methodology and thus reinvented by every scholar who uses it in their analysis.  Even so, all prosopographical studies involve collecting and categorizing biographical information about a group of individuals.  Therefore the PFE is both a resource and a tool for future prosopographers.

The PFE will be the first electronic prosopography of the modern era and serve as a model for the over-documented 20th and 21st centuries. It will enable scholars to explore individuals and/or select groups of people, making it a crucial research tool in fields as diverse as political history, local history, social history, demography, biography, institutional history, and genealogy.

Documents Compass (DC, established in January 2008, is an  intermediary resource for publishers and scholar/editors. Created to help plan and develop documentary editions, the service locates, develops, and employs the tools best suited to each project’s needs, and facilitates transcribing, proof reading, tagging, and copy editing.

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities announced the new organization in August. Rob Vaughan, President of the Virginia Foundation, is enthusiastic about the project’s potential to transform and streamline digital editing. “We are excited to host Documents Compass. The time is right to create such an organization.”

For additional information:
Susan Severtson
Director, Communications