Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Digital Collections

Today I went to the Center for Jewish History http://www.cjh.org/ for the formal launch of the digital archives of the Leo Baeck Institute. http://www.lbi.org/digibaeck/ There's actually a video of the 2 hours of presentations. Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive http://archive.org/ spoke about making the knowledge of the world freely accessible to everyone. Here's his TED Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/brewster_kahle_builds_a_free_digital_library.html
   where he talks about digitization, the book, and the idea of collecting all cultural materials of our societies. The talk here really duplicates what he talked about at the symposium.

The Leo Baeck Institute digitized 4000 linear feet of archives (all their collection) and made it freely accessible to the world. There are documents, translations and transliterations of materials. Photographs, videos, and sound recordings. Here's an example of an early printed book Augenspiegel (1509) that promotes printing in Hebrew http://digital.cjh.org/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=431433  What do you think about the viewer? the metadata? and the text itself?

I also learned a lot about how the Internet Archive and the Center for Jewish History are digitizing materials.  

Tell me what you think?

Oh yes, they have an amazing wall called "Luminous Manuscript" which imitates a page of glossed text. Here's the site http://www.cjh.org/p/89, (there's not great image of the wall on the site) and here's a link to the video about the wall http://www.cjh.org/programs/programarchives.php?vid=luminousmanuscript.flv   

All in all, a great experience. Tomorrow I'm off to Columbia University to see one of their rare book collections. I'll take photos and share.

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