Month of July, 2008
We've got a special treat in store for the month of August with a very special blogger of the month. I'm not going to tell yet, but suffice it to say, it's gonna be BIG! So stay tuned :-)
US Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security Countermeasures Directorate has recently launched a new public exhibition on cold-war era eavesdropping gadgets entitled, "Listening In: Electronic Eavesdropping in the Cold War Era." Scientific American posted a slide show ("Spying on the spies") of the exhibition and much of the text written about the devices, from old-school keyloggers to phone tap detectors. The permanent exhibit is located in the lobby of a State Department building in Rosslyn, Va.
Perhaps one of our DC readers can help us out and confirm the location. According to the State Department's list of field offices, there are 2 buildings in Rosslyn within a few blocks of each other: 1400 Wilson Boulevard and 1801 North Lynn Street.
MASON A3B RECEIVER: U.S. State Department engineers working for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security needed a receiver in order to find devices subversively transmitting signals to the enemy. The best kind of receiver was one that could be moved from room to room without looking like a radio, and the Mason A3 more than fit the bill.
A week from today, I (Daniel) will be attending the Reference Renaissance conference in Denver. If you're attending, let's talk. If there's enough of us, maybe we can do a meal or something.
I'm attending for my library and I'm mostly looking for ways to better serve our large number of remote users. But I'm sure there'll be something that can be put to documents use. Assuming there is, I'll do my best to blog about it here.
Do you know your SIC from your SITC? Do you know where to find foreign trade statistics? How about where to look up an unfamiliar term from international trade? Let this week's ALA GODORT Handout Exchange guide help you:
International Trade (Ed Herman, University of Buffalo, 2007) CC
This guide is part annotated bibliography and part explanation of different trade classification schemes. It is broken down into the following areas:
Background Information for Foreign Trade
Trade Statistics-United States
Trade Statistics-Other Countries
Background Data About Foreign Countries
Trade Treaties, Laws, and Regulations
Key Government Agencies Supporting Foreign Trade
The CC next to the guide name above means that this particular guide is available for noncommercial copying and adaptation if the original author is cited as stipulated under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. So as long as you provide credit to Ed Herman, you could change his library's call numbers to your own, and print out as many handouts for your students as you like.
Check out the rest of this guide. Then see what else is available. Are you a librarian with a govdocs handout to share? Add your handout to the Exchange Wiki by either linking your handout to the wiki or typing the handout into the wiki. Need help? Ask Daniel at dnlcornwall AT alaska DOT net.
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.
As part of the fruit of the ALA GODORT State and Local Documents Task Force's State Agency Databases Across the Fifty States project, I used the project blog to create a listing of state-level campaign finance databases.
So far I've got nine states: Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio. Do you know of other state campaign finance databases? Either leave a comment below of drop me a line at dnlcornwall AT alaska DOT net.
And if you use any of the databases listed above, I'd really love to see your comments on the project blog entry for that database.
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.