Word of the Week: 245

In the language of libraries, MARC, 245 is the code for a title.

So if you’re looking through MARC records, full of indecipherable numbers and their corresponding entries, you might see 245 A wrinkle in time

MARC was created in the ’60s (“Machine Readable Coding) so it is quite dated nowadays, but it sticks around because it’s still doing the trick for libraries and has been the standard in the US since the ’70s.

Digitizing the Kim Wait Eisenberg

I’m a digitizer. I’ve been digitizing since I was ten years old and my mother told me to throw out some of the papers I had boxed (one file box for each grade, 1 – 4). I was instructed to snap photos with our bulky point-and-shoot and clear out the boxes. I’ve been doing that ever since, digitizing my own past once in a while (though I can’t say I’ve ever looked back at any of those photos). The key to any digitization that might happen through the KWE Collection, whether it be the covers of novels for images or texts of pre-1923 works for text mining (no, copyright does not and at this rate will not allow anything post-1923 to sink gracefully into public domain).

Some topics that have drifted across my radar in the KWE:

Digital Scholarship from the Digital Humanities

Digital scholarship is a reworking of the field digital humanities (DH), a retroactive fiddling to try and encompass more of fields like social sciences that were originally left out from DH. After working in these fields for the fair span of two days, one question has emerged most prominently for me about this field – what is digital humanities?

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Digitizing History: My First Thoughts on Digital Scholarship

What was the price of coffee in 1920? Today, for my second day as a Digital Scholarship Summer Intern at Amherst College’s Frost Library, I explored The New York Public Library’s digital initiative, “What’s on the Menu?”. Could questions like the coffee question be potentially answered through digital scholarship? “What’s on the Menu” is a crowdsourcing initiative that seeks everyday people beyond the NYPL staff to help transcribe menus from a vast array of historical periods from around the world. Eventually, scholars could easily look up specific dishes and prices in these menus rather than rely on the menu titles for their research. Evaluating “What’s on the Menu?” provided me with a platform for planning the digital program that I will work on along with other interns and library staff.

Our society seems to like binaries quite a bit, whether they are gender binaries or the academic binaries we artificially create between the humanities and the sciences. Before, I never considered technology and science as potential aspects of my professional life, confining myself in a self-imposed false binary of humanities versus science. Today, I’m starting to work with the humanities and technology side-by-side, learning to respect them as distinguishable but interconnected fields.

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