• Harvard University
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  • Library Notes
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  • December 2010
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  • No. 1357
Staff Activities Print

In honor of World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, October 27, the Smithsonian Blog featured a video by staff from the Audio Preservation Studio at Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library. David Ackerman, Darron Burke, Marisa Dery, and Bruce Gordon talk about the pleasures and challenges of audio preservation.

Mary Kocol
, digital imaging technician in HCL's Preservation and Imaging Department, recently wrote an essay, "The Garden in Early Art Photography," that was published in the November 2010 issue of Gardens Illustrated magazine. Kocol, in addition to her job at Harvard, is an art and editorial photographer. The article features early photography pioneers Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Anna Aktins, describing how elements from their gardens were used directly in their pictures and photographic experiments, and mentions various contemporary photographers who work in a similar fashion with modern processes.

Spencer McEwen, digital library software engineer in Harvard University Library's Office for Information Systems, recently attended two digital repository associated conferences. At Best Practices Exchange 2010: Libraries and Archives in the Digital Era, held from September 29 until October 1 in Phoenix, McEwen presented a paper on the File Information Tool Set (FITS), an open-source application, developed by the Harvard University Library, that identifies, validates, and extracts technical metadata for a wide range of file formats. McEwen also attended the Curation Technology Camp (CURATEcamp), an "unconference" on curation micro-services for digital repositories, which took place at University of California, Berkeley on August 16 and 17.

In Aug 2009, Pamela Spitzmueller, James Needham Chief Conservator in HUL’s Weissman Preservation Center, taught an early binding structure course in Montefiascone, a small town two hours north of Rome, to a group of international conservators and binders from Italy, Egypt, England, Ireland, and the US. The course was titled “The Multi-Quire, Wooden Boarded Codex from Egypt,” or MQWBCFE. The MQWBCFE is a small family of bindings that structurally predate the familiar sewn-through-the-fold, laced-on-wooden-board, leather-covered bindings of later eras. The model made in this class is based on a reconstruction by Charles Lamacraft, restorer at the British Museum in the early decades of the 20th century. The course consisted of lectures, demonstrations, and slide shows during an intensive week with an excursion to the historic Barbarigo library of a local seminary, filled with Italian period bindings.

Spitzmueller also had an article, “Wood and Other Organic Material Stiff Leaf Books,” published in a festschrift for Hedi Kyle. Ms. Kyle recently retired as conservator at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. A wide variety of topics and authors in the celebration indicated the depth and breadth of Kyle’s influence through teaching, personal work, and innovation/invention of book forms.