Building the Contemporary Composers Web Archive (by Samantha Abrams)

Building the Contemporary Composers Web Archive
by Samantha Abrams, Web Resources Collection Librarian, Ivy Plus Libraries

Ever-evolving, the Contemporary Composers Web Archive is an extension of an existing collaborative collection development agreement between Ivy Plus Libraries and music librarians at Brown University, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. The agreement identified approximately 1,500 globally based contemporary composers of sufficient importance, and underscored a shared commitment to have each composer’s published and printed works collected at a comprehensive level by at least one participating Ivy Plus Library. Under the agreement, contemporary composers are defined as: those twentieth-century composers still active in 1975; works by those composers deceased after 1975, but published for the first time in significant new editions after 1975; and / or composers active after 1975.

Now part of the Ivy Plus Web Collecting Program, the Archive exists to preserve official websites that belong to these notable contemporary composers in order to assure the continuing availability of the important, and potentially ephemeral, content they contain, including: biographies, discographies, recordings, writings, audio and video, photos, press notices, and everything in between. As it stands today, the Contemporary Composers Web Archive contains fifty-seven crawled, publicly available websites, and about nine-hundred and fifty websites in the process of being added to the collection. (The fifty-seven sites currently visible on Archive-It were part of the Archive’s pilot collection, and have each been crawled, on average, about eight times since 2014.)

http://philipglass.com/ in April of 2014

http://philipglass.com/ in August of 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curious about what goes into preparing a chosen website for the Archive?

Finding the right website. We all know that the web is as vast as it is cluttered, and part of our work involves finding the correct content we’re looking to capture. Because the Archive exists to collect only official webpages, there remains a lot of freely-available content that we don’t want. Take from our list Philip Glass, for instance, who has an official website — http://philipglass.com/ — as well as a Wikipedia page, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, an IMDb entry, and a fan site. Or, try to track down the correct Jon Nelson — who, according to a quick Google search, may teach at the University of North Texas, lecture at the University of Buffalo, lead the Jon Nelson Band, or produce music in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. This is when consulting with our music librarians — and checking our findings against their supplied definition of contemporary — helps. Another strategy involves turning to the Library of Congress, and its Name Authority Headings, for guidance; i.e., if a name in question reveals a birthdate of 1656 — so, the seventeenth century — we know we’ve got the wrong composer.

Which Jon Nelson do we choose?

Collecting metadata. All websites included in the Contemporary Composers Web Archive contain website-level metadata in Archive-It, including: the composer’s name (in the authorized heading from the Library of Congress) as the subject, the title of their website, and the language — or languages! — in which their website is written. It often takes a bit of sleuthing to compile this information accurately: the world of web archiving recommends no official metadata structure — yet! — so pulling, say, a title from a website is often a judgement call made by the archivist doing the work. Is the title the website’s header? Is it the text that appears on the tab of your Internet browser? Is it a combination of the two?

Communicating with composers. Before adding a site to the Contemporary Composers Web Archive, Ivy Plus Libraries contacts the composer — or estate, organization, etc. — it belongs to and informs them of our plans. (Composers are, at any time throughout the process, welcome to opt-out of the Ivy Plus Web Collecting Program, upon which Ivy Plus Libraries will either not collect their site, or remove public access to previous captures.) This gives composers the chance to receive more information, and ask questions, about the Program, and point us in the right direction should we link to an incorrect website, misspell a name, or make another similar mistake. Ivy Plus Libraries recently contacted — via email and, when necessary, by phone — all nine-hundred and fifty composers selected for inclusion in the Archive, to which an overwhelming number have responded favorably to having their website included. (“Sehr schön!” — ”How beautiful!” — one said.)

Testing, testing, testing. Before Ivy Plus Libraries adds sites to the Archive and makes them available publicly, the archivist runs a test crawl of the site (or larger collection) using Archive-It. This gives the Program a chance to run quality assurance and make sure we understand: how much data will be collected, what may prove difficult to capture (like interactive maps, or social media), and what may need to be collected in addition to what’s already been nominated (like a composer’s blog that lives on a different domain). Test crawls allow the archivist to identify problems that aren’t apparent by merely looking at the live site, and enhance the overall quality of the Archive.

What’s next?

The Ivy Plus Libraries Web Collecting Program is a collaborative collection development effort to build curated, thematic collections of freely available, but at-risk, web content in order to support research at participating Ivy Plus Libraries and beyond.

The Contemporary Composers Web Archive will continue to expand as those composers currently absent from the Internet create websites and / or new composers are added to the project by Ivy Plus Libraries Music Librarians. Ivy Plus Libraries is also focused on significantly expanding its second collection — the Collaborative Architecture, Urbanism, and Sustainability Web Archive, devoted to the related topics of architecture, urban fabric, community development activism, public space, and sustainability — and building new collections.

For more information about the Contemporary Composers Web Archive — or, if you’re a selector curious about building new collections in partnership with the Ivy Plus Libraries Web Collecting Program — please contact Samantha Abrams at sea2162@columbia.edu, or (212) 854-1482.

 

Welcome to the Libraries!

We all look forward to this time of year, when we welcome and introduce our university community to the extensive resources available in the Libraries. Here are some of our upcoming events and orientation sessions.

“Getting Your Bearings” for Graduate Students

The Libraries will be offering five “Getting Your Bearings” sessions to introduce graduate students to our collections, resources, and services.

The sessions begin with a 45 minute tour of key points and services in Butler Library, including an intro to our Rare Book & Manuscript library. The tours will begin in the lobby of Butler Library, just inside the main entrance.

The second half of the session, which will take place in Butler 306, will be devoted to an overview of the Libraries’ online information system and ways to get the most out of it, and would be of value to all graduate students.

If you don’t anticipate a great deal of book research in your work at Columbia, you may simply want to come directly to Butler 306 about 45 minutes after the beginning of the tour. (Note the alternate location for the Thursday afternoon session.)

Thursday, August 31 — 11:00-12:30
Thursday, August 31, 3:30 — 5:00 (NOTE: Part 2 meets in Butler Room 203)
Friday, September 1, 2:00 — 3:30
Tuesday, September 5, 11:00 — 12:30
Tuesday, September 5, 3:00 — 4:30

Welcome Week Table and Butler Library Tours

Please drop by our Welcome Week table in the lobby of Butler Library.
Tuesday, September 5- Friday, September 8, 12:00pm-4:00pm

Take a tour of Butler Library, led by our librarians. No reservation required; meet in the lobby of Butler Library.
Tuesday, September 5, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, September 6, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Friday, September 8, 11:00 am -12:00pm

We wish you a successful and enjoyable Fall Semester!

Borrow Direct Loan Period Expanded to 16 Weeks

From the Libraries Spotlight Blog:

We heard you!

The expanded 16-week loan period for materials requested via Borrow Direct begins July 1, 2017.

The new loan period will be 16 weeks – a full semester – with no renewals. This is a change from our current 6-week loan period plus one 6-week renewal.

Thank you for your feedback. You help to make a great service even greater.

Are there other ways for us to improve?  Please be in touch with your concerns, ideas, and questions.

Borrow Direct Staff

307 Butler Library

(212) 854-7535

borrowdirect@columbia.edu

Featured Resource: NAACP Papers

The NAACP Papers database (ProQuest) was added to Columbia’s resources in Fall 2016. It consists of six modules reproducing a wide range of primary source materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“Nearly two million pages of internal memos, legal briefings and direct action
summaries—the most widely used collection in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress—are easily accessed and searched, helping researchers chart the
NAACP’s groundbreaking efforts. With a timeline that runs from 1909 to 1972, users can examine the realities of segregation in the early 20th century to the triumphs of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and beyond.” From ProQuest brochure NAACP Papers.

Recently Added Resources

The following online resources have become newly available to Columbia University researchers since September 12, 2016. We hope that you may find something of interest here.

Arcanum digitheca

Archives unbound has been enhanced by the addition of the following modules:

Church Missionary Society periodicals has been enhanced by the addition of Module 2: Publications of CMS medical mission auxiliaries.

Colonial America has been enhanced by the addition of Module 2: Towards Revolution.

Donetsk and Luhansk newspaper collection

Early European books: printed sources to 1700 has been enhanced by the addition of Collection 4.

Flavius Josephus online

Women’s Magazine Archive

Redbook, June 1973

The Women’s Magazine Archive  provides full-text access to popular women’s interest magazines.  Collection 1 has just been published and includes Better Homes and Gardens (1925-1978) , Good Housekeeping (1885-2005), Ladies Home Journal (1886-2005), Parents (1949-2005), Redbook (1903-2002), and the Canadian magazine Chatelaine (1928-2005).   These publications chronicle women’s roles and family life with articles on child rearing, home economics, health, careers, fashion,  current events, politics, and social conditions.  When it is published, Collection 2 will include Cosmpolitan, Essence, Seventeen, Town & Country, Women’s Day, and Women’s International Network News.

 

 

Traveling abroad? The Columbia Libraries are still available to you…

All members of the Columbia community with valid UNI/passwords who are traveling (or are simply off-campus) can still access library resources. We are pleased to share the Columbia Global Library Services Research Guide, an overview of the electronic resources and services that you can access from anywhere in the world.

This guide is a work in progress and we’d love to include tips and helpful links from all of you Columbia scholars who have studied or done research abroad. Please email Meredith Levin, Western European Humanities Librarian, mjl2209@columbia.edu, with your suggestions.

Senior Thesis Forum, April 18

We would like to extend a warm invitation to you to attend this year’s Senior Thesis Forum, hosted by the Humanities & History and Global Studies Librarians in Butler Library Room 523 on Tuesday, April 18th, 3:00-4:30. This forum offers graduating Seniors the opportunity to share their research experiences and outcomes in an informal session.

The event is open to all faculty, students, and library staff and we hope you can join us. Light refreshments will be served.

Listed below are the names and thesis titles for our three student presenters:

Danny Echikson
“Sugar Traders, West Indian Slavers, and Corporate Financiers: The Economic History of an American Family at the Turn of the 19th Century”

Greg Momjian
Marketing the Armenian Massacres Door-to-Door: American Book Culture and the Commercialization of Calamity”

Martin Ridge
“The Romantic Consciousness: Marxism, Liberalism, and the Education of Marshall Berman, 1961-1970”

Please join us in celebrating the achievements of our graduating seniors!

Yale Haas Family Arts Library Joins Borrow Direct

The Haas Family Arts Library collection at Yale is now available for request in Borrow Direct. The Arts Library collection focuses on the study of art, architecture, and drama.

More info about the Haas Family Arts Library and its collections can be found at http://web.library.yale.edu/arts/collections.

Information about the Borrow Direct service can be found at http://library.columbia.edu/find/request/borrow-direct.html.

Butler Consolidated Circulation and Reserves Desk

Butler Reserves materials and the Media collections have moved from Butler 208 and now circulate from the Butler Circulation Desk on the third floor. This new single service point offers the convenience of one location for borrowing all circulating and reserve books and DVDs.

The Butler Reserves staff office remains in Butler 208A, and staff phone numbers are unchanged.

A few collection moves associated with this new service occurred in late Fall and during Intersession. The circulating collection formerly shelved on Stack 6 was moved to Stack 12 in November. During Intersession, the Reserves materials and DVDs were moved to Stack 6 into a now staff-only area.

There are still a few outstanding projects that will be completed in the coming weeks.

· The Reserve Reading sign hanging in the east corridor outside 208 will be changed to Reading Room (to match existing sign on the west corridor), and the “Reserves” signage above the alcoves behind the desk and above the bulletin boards will be removed.

· In February, the circulating collection on Stack 3 is scheduled to be shifted to fill in stack spaces that formerly housed the Reserves and Media collections. The existing doors of the Stack 3 cage that separated the former Reserves and Media collections from the circulating collection will be removed, making the entire stack level publicly accessible.

We welcome your feedback. Contact Bill Sees with any questions or comments.
Bill Sees, Head, Circulation & Support Services
bsees@columbia.edu
212-854-4734