Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books | Science

Abstract:  We constructed a corpus of digitized texts containing about 4% of all books ever printed. Analysis of this corpus enables us to investigate cultural trends quantitatively. We survey the vast terrain of ‘culturomics,’ focusing on linguistic and cultural phenomena that were reflected in the English language between 1800 and 2000. We show how this approach can provide insights about fields as diverse as lexicography, the evolution of grammar, collective memory, the adoption of technology, the pursuit of fame, censorship, and historical epidemiology. Culturomics extends the boundaries of rigorous quantitative inquiry to a wide array of new phenomena spanning the social sciences and the humanities.

Early Music Sources

“The aim of this website is to simplify the access to the vast amount of online early music sources. The sources database as well as the iconography database enable quick search and gateway to sources according to various categories. For further research you may refer to RISM (sources) and RIDIM (iconography).

In addition to the databases, Early Music Sources also features a youtube series dealing with various topics relating to early music….”

“Something Old, Something New , Something Bold, Something Cool: A Marriage of Two Repositories” by Carol Ann Davis and Jason Boczar

Abstract: “For the past several years, many libraries have been developing institutional repositories to house their open access publishing efforts to both showcase and preserve their faculty’s research. Some of those same libraries have been building sizable digital collections, often built from digitized versions of materials in their special collections. So what happens when you put these two groups together? The University of South Florida Tampa Library did exactly that by creating a new Digital Scholarship Services unit. The union of these two groups has created new synergies between staff in complementary areas of the library, as we combine unique skill sets from each group to offer new services to the faculty. This presentation will discuss why this change was made, examine some of the benefits and growing pains of this change, and showcase some of the unusual projects that have resulted. For example, a group of faculty from the College of Education has a multimodal project featuring new methodological approaches for analyzing various formats such as websites, images, and film. The library also has two research associates who are archaeologists creating three dimensional representations of artifacts for cultural heritage preservation that are now embedded with metadata in the repository. Creating such collections not only highlights the university’s work but provides materials professors can use to enhance their course curricula and use technology to engage students in new and innovative ways.”

Preserving Harvard’s Early Data and Research in Astronomy

“Material originally produced during the mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th century by researchers at the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) was recently re-discovered in the HCO Astronomical Plate Stacks collection. This material helps represent the history of the HCO and acts as an irreplaceable primary source on the evolution of observation methods and astronomy as a science. The material is also relevant to the history of women in science as the collection contains log books and notebooks produced by the Harvard Computers, women who have come back into the spotlight due to the recent release of a book by author Dava Sobel titled “The Glass Universe”.  Wolbach Library anticipates that this material, once preserved and made searchable, will enable research into early astronomy for future generations….”

Open Parks Network

“Since 2010, Clemson University and the National Park Service have collaborated on the Open Parks Network, an Institute of Museum and Library Services funded project that has resulted in the digitization of over 350,000 cultural heritage objects and 1.5 million pages of gray literature housed in the libraries, museums, and archives of our nation’s parks, historic sites, and other protected areas. More than 20 national parks and other protected sites are represented in these diverse collections, as well as 2 state park systems and 3 university libraries. The Open Parks Network provides public access to high-resolution, downloadable files….”

Making Early European Books Open Access | On the Trail of the Bianchi of 1399

“The Wellcome Library’s Early Modern European Book collection is currently accessible at Early European Books online. At the moment, you need a login and to physically be in the UK to see these books. The Wellcome are in the process of making 10% of these holdings open access, and I’m getting to choose about 200 volumes for this purpose. Incunabula, so books from the first 50 years of printing, will be automatically included, so I’m looking through the catalogue at books printed after around 1500.

[…]

I’m making a database of the books I’m choosing to show why I’ve selected them, so which criteria they fulfil as well as explaining why that particular volume is exciting. I’ll be blogging about some of the most exciting things I find. For now, I’ll have to go to the rare books room at the Wellcome library to take my own photos, but once this project is complete, you’ll be able to read the selected books online for free.”

Recording the past and the future in 3-D: News at IU: Indiana University

“The handheld scanner looks like an old-school video game controller, a clunky throwback to the early days of Atari. But these mobile 3-D scanners used by the staff in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis University Library Center for Digital Scholarship are actually very advanced technology, and they are changing the way we record recent history, ancient history and even the future….Proving its place at the front of the 3-D digital archiving crowd, the Center for Digital Scholarship recently received a grant from LYRASIS — a nonprofit organization for information professionals — to develop standards for how digital archives are recorded….”

Assisting living authors in opening access to their in-copyright works: a report from Iceland

Abstract: This article reports on a project, spanning the years 2013 to 2015, that assisted living Icelandic authors in opening access to out-of-print books that they wished to make publicly available. While this effort was small in scale, it sheds light on the complexities of releasing still-in-copyright works by living authors under a Creative Commons license. The project worked primarily with books that had been digitized by Google and included in HathiTrust’s collections. The project showed that Icelandic authors of older scholarly works were generally very interested in releasing them to the public at no charge by changing their rights status in HathiTrust. Meanwhile, authors who wished to release works that had not already been scanned were sometimes frustrated in their efforts to do so. The article concludes with some reflections on the benefits and drawbacks of author-by-author rights clearance, as compared to other ways of increasing the accessibility of out-of-print titles

Adding an OA Trust to the Google book settlement

From Hal Abelson, Harry Lewis, Lewis Hyde, and Charlie Nesson: “One wonderful promise of the Google Book Settlement is that it will bring back into circulation all the out-of-print books currently under copyright. An important subset of these works are “orphaned,” meaning that their legal owners have abandoned them, died, or simply cannot be located. These works have value, and renewed public access to them will create a stream of revenue.

To whom should that revenue be dedicated?

We argue that truly orphaned works should be thought of as a part of the public domain, and that any income generated from their renewed circulation should therefore be dedicated to the public good. Moreover, as this income has been derived from renewed access to printed books, the public good in this case can well be thought of as those institutions that are themselves dedicated to access to knowledge.

We therefore propose the creation of an Open Access Trust, funded by the revenue generated by unclaimed orphaned works.

Trusts are centuries-old institutions devised to hold and manage property for beneficiaries. The essence of a trust is a fiduciary relationship. Neither trusts nor their trustees may act in their own self-interest; they’re legally obligated to act solely on behalf of beneficiaries. These rules are enforceable by the courts.

Imagine a trust dedicated to access to knowledge. The beneficiaries of such a trust would be all living citizens, globally, and future generations. The trustees, in turn, would have as their primary duty the creation, encouragement, and maintenance of institutions that serve the goal of open access, worldwide….”