Special Collections Unbound

Parker 2.1 home page

Parker on the Web 2.1 Launches

March 3, 2021
by Benjamin L Albritton

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.

MSSMEDIA0029 tape back

Queerly Audible History: The Don Lucas Mattachine Society Tapes

February 12, 2021
by Franz Kunst

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.

Peter Blank

Peter P. Blank announces retirement as Photography Curator for Special Collections with the Stanford Libraries

February 2, 2021
by Robert G Trujillo

After a combined 21+ years of service with the Stanford Libraries, Peter P. Blank has announced that he will retire May 31, 2021. Peter was appointed to a three-year term appointment as the Libraries first Photography Curator in the Special Collections Department of Stanford Libraries on June 1, 2018. Prior to working in Special Collections, Peter served in a variety of professional positions in Stanford’s Art & Architecture Library, including as Head Librarian. He worked two terms with Stanford Libraries, first from 1993 to 1996 and more recently since 2005.

ePADD Version 7.3.5 Alpha now available

January 14, 2021
by Sally DeBauche

The ePADD development team is excited to announce the release of version 7.3.5 alpha!

ePADD is free and open source software developed by Stanford Libraries' Special Collections & University Archives that uses natural language processing and machine learning to support archival appraisal, processing, discovery, and delivery for email of historical or cultural value.

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