Photo from the Fly Away Zine Mobile blog

The idea is that on Friday July 11 we’ll ride the F-train to the end of the line and back a few times, focused mostly on writing and drawing. MEET: 12 noon on the 4th Avenue & 9th St. stop on the Queens bound F train, rear of the platform. We’ll board as a group at 12:15.

Folks can do editing and layout work on their own over the weekend, if they’re so inclined.

On Monday July 14 we’ll ride the Staten Island Ferry back and forth as many times as it takes to assemble our zines. MEET: 12 noon on the Manhattan side of the Staten Island Ferry. We’ll board the boat that leaves closest to 12:15.

BRING: art materials, office supplies, snacks, tunes and decorations to share.

Contact zines@barnard.edu to RSVP (if you want), ask questions or make suggestions.

PS: People in other cities are welcome to riff on this idea!

Among the other collections that have been digitized are 3,400 glass plates documenting the daily lives of African-Americans in South Carolina and Alabama, immigrants at Ellis Island and Seminole Indians in Florida in the late 19th century; records of expeditions by Carl S. Lumholtz, an ethnographer, to Mexico during the same period; lantern slides of plants, animals and people around the world; and programs for school children during the 20th century. “We constantly find things that surprise us, even pictures of the museum,” he said. “Looking at an image that looks pretty regular, we look a little closer and there’s a doorway or a window that we didn’t know was there. We recently rediscovered a panorama photo print that had been rolled up like a little white cigar. It wasn’t from Asia or Africa. It was on Central Park West, shot in 1922 to 1924 from the steps of the New-York Historical Society looking due north. ”

The future of digital preservation is less about defining a hegemonic set of best practices than it is about scholars, curators, conservators and archivists working together to define what it is that they value about some kind of digital content and to then go out and collect it and make it available for use to their constituencies. It is about setting definitions that are often at odds with each other but that are coherent toward their own ends.

Ruth Asawa and her work (1926 - 2013)

Whether it’s a craft or whether it’s art. That is a definition that people put on things. And what I like is the material is irrelevant. It’s just that that happens to be material that I use. And I think that is important. That you take an ordinary material like wire and you make it, you give it a new definition. That’s all.

—excerpt from oral history interview with Ruth Asawa and Albert Lanier, 2002 June 21-July 5, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
image via: jesuisperdu
Ruth Asawa and her work (1926 - 2013)
Whether it’s a craft or whether it’s art. That is a definition that people put on things. And what I like is the material is irrelevant. It’s just that that happens to be material that I use. And I think that is important. That you take an ordinary material like wire and you make it, you give it a new definition. That’s all.

image via: jesuisperdu

Ask any archivist — or most anyone for that matter — what the importance of historical materials held by archives is and they will likely tell you that it is so large it is immeasurable, assuming that that is true and flattering. True, yes, to a degree, but definitely not flattering. In fact, that is one of the big problems with archives — that their value or impact is not directly measurable. We try to measure, and, despite the strength of the adverbs we use (very, extremely, critically, etc.), the measurement is soft because it lacks numbers.