Digital library services news - spring 2019

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Digital Library How-to Guides

Have questions about how to get your content digitized? Need help with Argo, JIRA, or metadata for your digitized content in the Stanford Digital Repository? Looking for a glossary of digital library acronyms? Please check out the newly revised Digital Library How-to Guides. Many thanks to our colleagues across SUL who provided input for improvements via focus groups.


 Son House analog tape

Son House's 1969 Stanford performance discovered and preserved
In audio archiving, sometimes you just don’t know what you are going to come across. Imagine the delight when Daniel Hartwig, University Archivist, found a tape inside a box marked with the name "Son House" on the outside. Hoping that it contained a recording of the legendary blues artist Son House, he sent it to Geoff Willard, Production Coordinator for SMPL. Geoff digitized the tape and confirmed it was Son House, performing in Cubberley Auditorium in 1969! The concert (apparently a benefit, according to the The Stanford Daily ad that was published the day before) starts with the announcer who introduces House by saying, "Anyone can sing like Son House, anyone can play like Son House, but nobody can sing and play at the same time like Son House.” The tape is part of Stanford’s KZSU tape archives; the station is partnering with University Archives and the Stanford Media Preservation Lab to digitize and preserve its unique recordings. The Son House performance now streams from the Stanford Digital Repository: (Stanford log-in required).

Digitization Project Updates
Spring looks to be a busy quarter for the digitization program at Stanford Libraries. The Digital Production Group is starting new projects including the Lahiton-Cinema World photograph collection, posters from the Stanford University poster collection, and meeting minutes from the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District records. Meanwhile, the Stanford Media Preservation Lab is continuing ongoing work to prepare for the move to Academy Hall at Stanford Redwood City, as well as processing born digital collections, such as the KZSU recordings for Wednesday Night Live and Day of Noise, as well as the Tibetan Oral History Project, a collection of 300 oral history videos with Tibetan refugees. SMPL is also sending out wire recordings from the Buckminster Fuller collection for digitization by a vendor, an effort supported by the Preservation Department.
Photograph of a KryoFlux
KryoFlux - a tool to preserve obsolete computer media
For a number of years the Born-Digital / Forensics Lab has been utilizing a nifty gadget called a KryoFlux to help us capture the data off of old and obsolete computer media. KryoFlux was developed by the Software Preservation Society and allows us the ability to do a low-level read of the contents contained on obsolete media and to save the underlying data, even if we can't identify the filesystem.  What this means in practice is that with the help of KryoFlux we have the ability to preserve the data off of obsolete computer media without having to know or guess the underlying file system in which the data is stored. This is a huge benefit to us in the lab as many of our collections contain computer media where the filesystem used to store the data is unknown. Using the KryoFlux allows us the ability to preserve the data without having to decipher the underlying method used to store the data.

Social Feed Manager pilot

SUL has recently launched a pilot instance of Social Feed manager (SFM), an open-source software application that simplifies harvesting and management of social media data from Twitter and other popular services. Currently limited to SUL internal use, we are using this opportunity to elaborate use cases, benchmark infrastructure, and take stock of service management requirements. Special Collections and University Archives, Government Information, and several other library units have participated in the pilot so far. Learn more about the software and how it has been used via the SFM pilot service portal. Please send any questions, support requests, or feedback to
2019 Campus IT plan
Latest Campus IT Plan features 22 SUL initiatives and activities
The 2019 Campus IT Plan was published this week by University IT. SUL is represented well in the plan with a total of 22 entries, including highlighted efforts such as the up-and-coming 3D scanning program, the LOCKSS re-architecture, the Library AI Initiative, the RIALTO beta, and exploring what it means for DLSS to be "a great place to work". Now in its second year, the resource offers a campus-wide view of technology efforts currently planned at Stanford and serves as a foundation for closer collaboration and alignment across our IT Community.

Farewell to Stu Snydman and Ben Albritton

It is with mixed feelings that DLSS bids farewell to two long-time team members, Stu Snydman and Ben Albritton. Stu is moving to Harvard, where he will assume the role of Managing Director, Library Technology Services, in the Office of the CIO. The new role clearly falls in step with the logical progression of Stu’s accomplished career in digital library technology. Ben is moving just across the way from Lathrop Library to Green Library, filling the seat of Rare Books Curator in SUL’s Special Collections. This is a natural move for Ben, who has been recently serving as a part-time Associate Curator for Paleography and Digital Medieval Materials while masterfully developing and managing core repository services and major digital projects in DLSS for a decade. While DLSS will never be the same without Ben or Stu, we are collectively excited about the professional adventures they each have ahead and are certain they will continue to make great things happen. Kudos to these great colleagues!
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