Facts are chiels that winna ding

Perhaps one reason why Scotland has produced more than its proportionate share of scientists and lawyers [1] is because of the hard-headedness of a nation which gives great respect to factual knowledge. The lines ‘But facts are chiels that winna ding,/An downa be disputed’ appear in Burns’ poem A Dream from 1786. The English translation …

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Libraries, Archive and Museum convergence

We’re still on the LAM! At this point, we have received guidance from thought leaders, conducted phone conversations with interested RLG program partners, and visited 5 sites to hold a comprehensive library, archive and museum workshop with participants from all constituencies. Our site visits were (in chronological order) at the Smithsonian and Yale (

Making progress on orphaned works

John Wilkin wrote a long and interesting post on the University of Michigan’s efforts to identify works out of copyright from the pool of works published in the US between 1923 and 1963. In this post, he talks about the research and investigation process as being amenable to “group sourcing” (his term) and as being …

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Metadata Tools Forum: All came together

This was our first try at a forum like this, bringing tool developers and their intended user communities together, and focusing most of the forum on the tool developers showcasing their work that people could attend as their interests led them. I blogged earlier on the inspirations for the forum. So most of the day …

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Have you noticed? Many more controlled headings in WorldCat

Three weeks ago my colleague Thom Hickey blogged about a project he started to control names in WorldCat. This is another example of leveraging the work done in WorldCat Identities to bring more headings under control in WorldCat itself. Rather than individual catalogers updating headings in a record manually, Thom describes a process where 8 …

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Collection Analysis of Art Libraries

Just in time for the annual ARLIS conference, we’ve published the study An Art Resource in New York: The Collective Collection of the NYARC Art Museum Libraries (.pdf: 136K/18 pp.), which characterizes the overlap and uniqueness of the Frick Art Reference Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Thomas J. Watson Library, and the libraries of …

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Fore-edge books

During Merrilee’s and my visit to the Boston Public Library last Friday, Tom Blake and Maura Marx introduced us to the results of the BPL’s digitization of its fore-edge books—books with paintings on their edges that can be viewed only by looking at the sides of the book. Some are “double fore-edge” books – one …

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Unicode milestone

Mark Davis blogged today on the Official Google Blog that Unicode passed a new milestone last December: For the first time Unicode became the most frequent encoding found on Web pages “overtaking both ASCII and Western European encodings—and by coincidence, within 10 days of each other.” The accompanying graph shows the speed of the Unicode …

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