According to a press release, NASA and Internet Archive on Thursday "made available the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video.... [T]he Internet site combines for the first time 21 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource."
- NASA and Internet Archive Launch Centralized Resource for Images, PRNewsWire, July 24, 2008.
- NASA Images
The Internet Archives says that it entered into an agreement with NASA in 2007 to create this service, but that the it receives no financial support from NASA. The project is currently funded through a grant from the Kahle-Austin Foundation and and IA is encouraging users of the site to help support this project.
Anthony Clark, an independent researcher writing a book on the politics and history of presidential libraries, has written a provocative piece on access to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) records about administration of Presidential Libraries:
- Why Is It So Hard to Get Documents from the National Archives About the National Archives?, By Anthony Clark, History News Network, July 21, 2008.
Clark claims that NARA is "improperly withholding its own records." He says that as part of NARA's job of overseeing the twelve presidential libraries, it has records that detail the development of the libraries through 1964, when NARA created the Office of Presidential Libraries (NL), but none of NL's records are available. NARA is calling these records "operational," which makes them available only through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Clark quotes Patrice McDermott, Director of OpenTheGovernment.org, as saying, "It is hard to understand how records that are old enough to have been destroyed if the records schedule had been followed can be considered 'operational.' Presidential libraries are an area of keen congressional and public interest and information about them held by NARA should be affirmatively disclosed to the greatest extent possible."
Kate at ArchivesNext has posted a thoughtful response after talking off the record to archives staff: Access to records of the National Archives, July 24th, 2008.
One of my favorite web sites is The Memory Hole, which exists "to preserve and spread material that is in danger of being lost, is hard to find, or is not widely known." It has been offline for a while, but is back with a new URL. This is a project of one person, the dedicated Russ Kick, winner of the Project on Government Oversight’s “Beyond the Headlines” Award 2005. Check out his first new post.
We have updated the FGI blogroll with the new addresses and items from the Memory Hole feed appear again in the FGI aggregator of feeds and in the category of Blogs from organizations of interest to FGI.
Fire and Smoke, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
NASA satellites, aircraft, and research know-how have created a wealth of cutting-edge tools to help firefighters battle wildfires. These tools also have helped scientists understand the impact of fires and smoke on Earth's climate and ecosystems. This Web site brings together NASA's latest images, research news, multimedia and other resources pertaining to this ongoing effort.
Official government publications, reports, laws, hearings, and judicial decisions are only a part of the collection of the University of Georgia's Civil Rights Digital Library. The collection includes a variety of audio visual media, most notably historical news film of a broad range of key civil rights events. In addition to the news film, the digital library provides a seamless virtual library connecting related digital collections from 75 libraries, archives, and museums across the nation. Most are original documentation of the period, such as oral histories, letters, diaries, FBI files, and photographs. It also has instructional materials to facilitate the use of the video content in the learning process.
See also: History comes alive, by K.K. Snyder, The Albany Georgia Herald July 20, 2008.
MultiMedia RSS Feeds - State of California State of California.
From the Air Resources Board to the Legislative Analysts Office, to New Opinions from the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, lots of RSS feeds!
The George W. Bush Library at at Southern Methodist University has been a source of controversy for some time. Now, a new story and video by the Times of London suggests more trouble.
- In New Headache for SMU's Bush Library, Lobbyist Hints at Cash-for-Meetings Deal, Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, July 14, 2008
Do you want Vice President Dick Cheney’s undivided attention for an hour? Stephen P. Payne, a Texas-based lobbyist, has some advice about how to grease the wheels for such a meeting: Make a six-figure donation to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a library and museum complex that is scheduled to be built at Southern Methodist University.
In a new report, the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation of the Department of State reports continuing problems with the essential series: Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS).
- Report of the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation,
January 1-December 31, 2007 [early release available from the Federation of American Scientists]
The publication of the Foreign Relations series stands as a symbol of commitment to openness and accountability. It is recognized as such throughout the world. The Historical Advisory Committee believes the series is at a critical turning point. The momentum it had acquired in recent years, largely from the increase in staff and resources, has now stalled. Rather than reinvigorating its commitment to reaching the 30-year deadline, the Historian now provides reasons for why that deadline cannot be met.
Read a summary by Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News: Foreign Relations Series Still Fails to Meet Legal Deadline.
E-mail public documents get erased, disappear, by Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2008.
A 50-state survey by the Associated Press of government e-mail retention earlier this year found a wide variety of laws and practices, with the vast majority of states officially treating e-mail like printed documents. But most of the states with e-mail laws allow officials to choose which ones to turn over in Freedom of Information requests and to decide on their own when e-mail records are deleted.