New Magazine & Video Archives Coming Online

Lots of new archives have been com­ing online late­ly. So, why not give them a quick men­tion.

CSPAN: This week, the Amer­i­can cable net­work final­ly com­plet­ed the dig­i­ti­za­tion of its vast video archive. What does that mean for you? It means you can access online every C‑SPAN pro­gram aired since 1987. 160,000 hours of video in total, cov­er­ing 23 years of Amer­i­can polit­i­cal his­to­ry. The Times has more on this sto­ry.

Pop­u­lar Sci­ence: Thanks to Google, you can now freely access a 137-year archive  of Pop­u­lar Sci­ence. As Pop­Sci, found­ed in 1872, writes, “Each issue appears just as it did at its orig­i­nal time of pub­li­ca­tion, com­plete with peri­od adver­tise­ments. It’s an amaz­ing resource that beau­ti­ful­ly encap­su­lates our ongo­ing fas­ci­na­tion with the future, and sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy’s incred­i­ble poten­tial to improve our lives.” If you spend some time with Brain Pick­ing’s recent post, you’ll see why the Pop­Sci archive holds so much inter­est. As a side note, you can also find a vast archive of Pop­u­lar Mechan­ics via Google Books. Just click here and, as Wired put it, “let the nerdgas­mic loss of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty com­mence.”

Spin Mag­a­zine: Google Books has also added to its vir­tu­al mag­a­zine shelf every issue of Spin, the music mag­a­zine Bob Guc­cione Jr. found­ed in 1985. As Boing­Bo­ing men­tions today, it’s inter­est­ing to see “how awful­ly dat­ed the design of the mag­a­zine is.”

Salman Rushdie: Now this isn’t a pub­licly avail­able archive, but it’s worth know­ing about. Archivists at Emory have been work­ing with the dig­i­tal assets of Salman Rushdie and devel­op­ing a new field — “dig­i­tal archae­ol­o­gy” — that will help schol­ars pre­serve and method­i­cal­ly study the dig­i­tal remains (text doc­u­ments, emails, brows­er logs and files) of writ­ers and artists. You can watch Rushdie talk about the project, its chal­lenges and ben­e­fits. (There’s anoth­er clip of him speak­ing here.) Then you have the archivists them­selves talk­ing about how they’re pre­serv­ing Rushdie’s lit­er­ary remains, down to the yel­low sticky notes he attached to his com­put­er. (Note: The Times has a piece on this project this week.)

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  • Great round-up, Dan. One more to con­sid­er, which was among the first to strike a Google deal in 2008 – LIFE, which released mil­lions of nev­er-before-seen pho­tos dat­ing as far back as 1750.

    Which brings me to anoth­er thought – I won­der what iPad app Google Books will come up with. Because one is sore­ly need­ed, if only to explore these fan­tas­tic archives in the full neo-mag­a­zine glo­ry that the iPad lends itself to.

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