Social media platforms are venues for serious and diverse discourse. If only a few institutions are systematically collecting and preserving this critical, but ephemeral, content, this discourse is in danger of being lost.
By harvesting social media data (such as Tweets and Instagram photos), based on tags, accounts, or locations, researchers and cultural heritage professionals are able to develop accurate historical assessments and democratize access to archival contributors, who would otherwise never be represented in the historical record.
To address these issues, the NCSU Libraries recently completed their “New Voices and Fresh Perspectives: Collecting Social Media” initiative. With the support of a North Carolina State Library EZ Innovation grant, the project team created a free web-based documentary toolkit and an open source virtual software collecting environment. This initiative builds on the NCSU Libraries’ leading role in this area of work, established, in part, by its recent development of Lentil—an award-winning open source social media harvesting and presentation tool.
This toolkit addresses curatorial, legal, and ethical issues associated with archiving harvested social media data. Reflecting what the Libraries has learned while establishing a social media archiving program, the toolkit includes an environmental scan of work being done in the area; documentation of collecting criteria and strategies; a discussion of potential legal and ethical concerns; attempts to address the archival research value of social media; and results from two surveys—one with archival researchers and one with cultural heritage professionals—conducted to determine the value social media data adds to their respective fields. The toolkit includes materials to help other institutions design and document criteria for what they collect and strategies to begin collecting social media. It will serve as the foundation of future explorations of archival best practices and guidelines for handling social media data.
While tools for collecting social media materials are becoming more sophisticated and less expensive, very little has been done to help libraries and others deploy them in thoughtful, effective ways. In an attempt to provide a solution for this, the project team developed the Social Media Combine application that pre-assembles NCSU Libraries’ Lentil Instagram harvester and George Washington University’s Social Feed Manager Twitter harvester, along with the web servers and databases necessary for their use, into a single package that can be deployed (even to desktop and laptop computers) by institutions that do not have access to robust information technology support.
The documentary toolkit, Lentil, and the Social Media Combine are all available online:
- Social Media Combine: https://github.com/NCSU-Libraries/Social-Media- Combine
As part of the “New Voices” aspect of the initiative, in addition to the toolkit and the Social Media Combine, the Libraries also collected over 1.2 million tweets from over 380,000 Twitter accounts, and 29,000 Instagram photographs and associated metadata records from approximately 18,000 Instagram accounts.
This project is poised to make a meaningful impact on all North Carolinians by promoting the inclusion of a larger and more diverse set of perspectives in the historical records of cultural heritage institutions across, and potentially beyond, the state.
EZ Innovation grants are made possible by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina—a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
Please join us on Monday, November 9, in the Belk Rotunda at the College of Design. We will feature items from T. C. Howard’s Papers on Synergetics, as well as other materials from the Special Collections Research Center.
In an effort to instill in students the spirit of giving, the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program and the Student Philanthropy Committee are hosting Penny Wars during Homecoming week.
Thirteen spirit teams are competing to raise the most money for a campus entity of their choosing, and this year they selected the NCSU Libraries.
Additionally, Friends of the Library Board of Directors member Wilson White (BS 2003 Engineering) will be matching student donations up to $1,500.
White is Senior Counsel at Google Inc. in Mountain View, California, where he manages public policy outreach and advises on global policy implications.
He earned his B. S. degree, summa cum laude, in Computer Engineering from NC State, where he was a Park Scholar and served on the Student Senate. He earned his J. D. with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, where he served on the Editorial Board of the North Carolina Law Review and as President of the Black Law Students Association.
Wilson’s generous gift is a wonderful showing of support both for the NCSU Libraries and for this exciting new student effort. It ensures that the inaugural Penny Wars is a success and that students are educated and excited about giving back to the Libraries.
as well as NC politics and culture
The photographs of Ed Caram (BS, Horticultural Science, 1973) have recently been made accessible and discoverable.
Caram, a photographer for the Agromeck and Technician while a student at NC State, covered Wolfpack football, soccer, swimming, track & field, and basketball—most notably the 1974 NCAA Championship team that included David Thompson, Monte Towe, Tommy Burelson, and was coached by Norm Sloan.
Caram was also an important documenter of NC State’s campus, including the building of the original Talley Student Center in 1970, ariel photos of the soon-to-be demolished Harrelson Hall, and the Free Expression Tunnel when spray painting was first allowed.
In addition, this collection captures student life in the early 1970s, featuring anti-Vietnam and other political protests and the crowning of the first African American homecoming queen, Mary Porterfield.
A Raleigh native, Caram also photographed local events like The State Fair and North Carolina politicians such as Jesse Helms, Everett Jordan, Nick Galifianakis, Pat Taylor, and Jim Hunt.
Until now, the collection consisted of 18,000 unidentified 35mm negatives, but thanks to Cathy Dorin-Black, University Library Specialist, they have been organized, described, cataloged, and rehoused in acid-free environments. Users may look at the negatives by making an appointment with the Special Collections Research Center. Caram’s digitized black-and-white prints in the University Archive can be viewed on the NCSU Libraries Rare & Unique Digital Collections site.
Before attending NC State, Caram served in the U. S. Air Force. After graduating, he worked as a journalist, publishing several books on the history of North Carolina, two of which discuss the German U-boat wrecks off the coast.
Having lived for many years in Jacksonville, NC, Caram passed away on September 1, 2013 while residing at the Durham VA.
(Raleigh, N.C.) – Through a generous grant from Gale Cengage Learning, the Libraries will offer prizes totaling $1,500 for 3D visualizations, games, animations, or other creative formats that communicate research insights in a visual or interactive manner.
This year’s theme—Food, Clothing, and Shelter— was inspired by the three basic human needs that have served as common, motivating forces throughout human history. The drive to improve our food, clothing, and shelter has influenced the evolution of societies and communities of all types. Colleges and disciplines across NCSU engage in research designed to make improvements in these areas.
For this contest, the NCSU Libraries is looking specifically for multimedia projects that explore one or more of these themes within a historical, social, or cultural context.
Last year’s winner was Mary-Katherine Hedrick, for her project “Philologists Who Chase”, a non-linear web gamebook that explores digital media and offers an overview of linguistic subfields alongside biographical information on key philology practitioners in the 1700s.
Honorable mention went to the team of Cameron Vandenboom, Sasha Thomas, Jamie Clark, and Casey Reep for their project “Definitions of Personhood in the 18th and 19th Century Atlantic World: Race, slavery, and the Para-Human,” a multimedia website featuring slave narratives from the 18th century and interactive visualizations regarding the definition of personhood.
Like these research projects, this year’s winning entries will be showcased in one of the many visualization spaces throughout the NCSU Libraries.
Any NC State undergraduate or master’s student can enter, and both individual and group projects are eligible. Entrants can fill out the registration form at www.lib.ncsu.edu/multimediacontest, and final projects must be submitted by February 1, 2016.
For more details, visit the contest website at www.lib.ncsu.edu/multimediacontest or email contest organizers at email@example.com.
NCSU Libraries’ Creative Media Photography Workshop series begins an exciting new year! We offer several sessions for the Fall Semester 2015 both at Hunt Library and at D.H. Hill Library. Join us for one or more of these introductory classes and have fun while learning to take better pictures!
INTRODUCTION TO DSLR CAMERAS
6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, October 20 / Technology Sandbox, D.H. Hill Library
6 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, October 28 / Fishbowl Seminar Room, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
6 – 8 p.m., Thursday, October 29 / Teaching & Visualization Lab, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
6 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, November 4 / Technology Sandbox, D.H. Hill Library
6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, November 17 / Fishbowl Seminar Room, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
6 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, November 18 / Technology Sandbox, D.H. Hill Library
Boost your photography skills by taking some of the mystery out of using DSLR Cameras! In this workshop, we will introduce you to the basics of digital camera functions. This class is for the novice or entry level photographer needing some technical understanding of photography. Join us for an informative, interactive experience! Register at: http://go.ncsu.edu/dslrworkshop
INTRODUCTION TO BASIC DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
6 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, October 21 / Technology Sandbox, D.H. Hill Library
6 – 8 p.m., Thursday, October 22 / Fishbowl Seminar Room, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, November 3 / Technology Sandbox, D.H. Hill Library
6 – 8 p.m., Thursday, November 5 / Technology Sandbox, D.H. Hill Library
6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, November 10 / Fishbowl Seminar Room, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
6 – 8 p.m., Thursday, November 19 / Fishbowl Seminar Room, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
For beginners, enthusiasts, and anyone simply interested in learning how to make a good photo into a great one! This class covers the basics of taking digital photographs, including composition and light. The focus of this workshop is on aesthetics. Register at: http://go.ncsu.edu/digitalphotoworkshop
INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOSHOP FOR DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
6 – 8 p.m., Monday, October 19 / Creativity Studio, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, October 27 / Creativity Studio, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
6 – 8 p.m., Monday, November 9 / Creativity Studio, (4th Floor) Hunt Library
You have your pictures. Now what?! In this workshop, you will learn to “fix” or enhance the already captured image. We will provide you with some basic tools to make okay photos good and good photos great! This class is for beginners as well as those completely new to digital photo editing. Register at: http://go.ncsu.edu/photoshopworkshop
NORTH CAROLINA CULTURAL DIG: PHOTOWALK
11a - 4 p.m., Saturday, November 21 / Downtown Raleigh at the NC Museum of History
On Saturday, November 21, 2015 the North Carolina Museum of History will be hosting the 20th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration.Members of eight state-recognized tribes will come from all across North Carolina to participate. We will use DSLR cameras to document this historical event. With games, activities, performances, cultural artifacts and food, this is one experience you won’t want to miss! Join us in celebrating an important part of NC culture! We will conclude the session by gathering photos captured by workshop participants. This event is for all skill levels, from beginner to serious hobbyist. Register at: http://go.ncsu.edu/fall2015_photowalk
Join us this fall for the Creativity and Technology Symposium, or C.A.T.S. for short. Using our feline friends as a theme, we will explore a variety of topics that relate to the ever-expanding and complex work of libraries and academic institutions including: GIS-data enabled location tracking and the implications for privacy rights; the use of social media in research; how new technologies are expanding the possibilities for data gathering; and digital archiving as it relates to common computer usage and pop culture. Plus, we have a few special guests who will be paying a not-to-be-missed visit to the Libraries. All C.A.T.S. events are free and open to the public.
Track Your Cat
Sunday, October 25, 3-4 pm
Cameron Village Regional Library
Cats are mysterious, dangerous and far more unpredictable than one might expect from an animal that is, theoretically, domesticated. Some of the mysteries of cats relate to where they go and what they do; this is especially true of cats that go outdoors. In this program, researchers from NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will share some of the fascinating findings from their Cat Tracker research program that uses GPS technology to collect data on where cats go, what they eat, and what microbes they bring back to our homes. You will also learn how you and your feline pets can participate in the Cat Tracker program, which gives researchers valuable information about outdoor cats’ movement, diet and health.Image Macros, Memes, and Viral Content
with Tumblr’s Amanda Brennan
Monday, October 26, 3-4 pm
Auditorium (Hill), D. H. Hill Library
What can memes and other viral phenomena tell us about current events, cultural trends, and the Internet as a historical storytelling platform? Amanda Brennan of Tumblr’s Content and Community team will discuss how beloved and instantly-recognizable memes like LOLCats relate to our online interactions and what they say about us as a society. Brennan is the former librarian-in-residence for Know Your Meme, organizing and cataloging the memes in their collection.A Life-Changing Cat: Mike Bridavsky and Lil BUB
Monday, October 26, 7-8 pm
Auditorium (Hunt), James B. Hunt Jr. Library
Lil BUB is one of the most famous cats in the world. A true phenomenon, Lil BUB has a documentary and internet and cable specials about her, a book published by Penguin Publishers, and millions upon millions of YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr views. Lil BUB’s owner Mike Bridavsky is a sound engineer who owns Russian Recording in Bloomington, IN, and formerly worked as a sound archivist for the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music’s Sound Directions project. Mike leveraged his knowledge of digital archives, his skills gained from years of independent marketing of his own bands and his recording studios, his sense of humor, and his love for cats to unintentionally create a business that is based on and requires a very detailed understanding of social media, archiving, and technology. Hear from Mike and see Lil BUB in person in this special program. Ticket reservations to this program are required. Please reserve your seats here.
As part of this program, the NCSU Libraries will be hosting a pet food drive for Safe Haven Cat Shelter & Clinic. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., volunteers from Safe Haven will be available at the Hunt Library to take your donations of pet food or other supplies on their wish list. Earlier this year, Safe Haven was a recipient of a grant from Lil BUB’s BIG Fund for the ASPCA.I Know Where Your Cat Lives: How Computers Know Everything
About You (With Information You Provide)
Tuesday, October 27, 3-4 pm
Auditorium (Hill), D. H. Hill Library
I Know Where Your Cat Lives is a data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pictures of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University, and the project was covered by The New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, and others. Owen Mundy, creator of I Know Where Your Cat Lives, will describe the project and explain some of the implications of decreased online privacy and increased access to your data by startups and international megacorps.Animals, Technology, and Us:
How the Internet is Affecting Participatory Science
Tuesday, October 27, 7-8pm
Auditorium (Hunt), James B. Hunt Jr. Library
A recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that citizens and scientists often see science-related issues through different sets of eyes. However, by involving our pets as research subjects, and by harnessing the Internet’s amazing power of connectivity, scientists have an unprecedented opportunity to involve everyday people in “citizen science.” Join us for a panel discussion with Dr. Rob Dunn, associate professor of biological sciences at NC State, Amanda Brennan of Tumblr, and Professor Owen Mundy of Florida State about what they are finding in their work.Using Technology to Measure Pain in Animals
Wednesday, October 28, 7-8pm
South Theater (College of VM), Veterinary Medicine Library
College of Veterinary Medicine
Evaluating pain in animals is no easy task, as they cannot tell us where or how much they are hurting. In this informative session, Dr. Duncan Lascelles, professor of small animal surgery and pain management at the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State, will discuss his pioneering research using accelerometers (similar to the wearable fitness trackers used by humans) to access information about movement patterns of domestic cats in their home environments. Lascelles will explain how he uses this data to inform his treatment decisions–from diet to medication–to help manage cats’ pain.
This session is geared toward anyone interested in how veterinarians are using leading-edge technologies, as well as pet owners who want to learn more about what researchers are discovering about chronic pain.
CHASS PhD students to get experience with emerging maker technologies
This new NCSU Libraries CRDM Graduate Research Assistantship offers graduate students the opportunity to collaborate with skilled information professionals to gain experience providing technology services in an academic setting. The access to spaces and service programs, with an emphasis on emerging technologies, is designed to enhance graduate student education through practical assignments that introduce participants to key issues and practices in educational technology.
Jessica Handloff, the first recipient of the assistantship, is a U.S. Army Captain and comes to NC State most recently from East Carolina University, where she received a Masters in Anthropology.
According to Adam Rogers, Emerging Technology Services Librarian, “Jessica has already established herself as a crucial member of the D.H. Hill Makerspace team. She has enriched the Makerspace with excellently designed learning resources, supported students and faculty in learning the processes and tools of making in innovative ways, and identified great opportunities for collaboration with her CRDM cohort and its faculty. I look forward to her contributions in the coming year and know they will do a lot to establish the Hill Makerspace as a premiere space for critical and creative thinking and making on campus.”
The Libraries opened its first Makerspace in January 2013 with the opening of Hunt Library, making new tools accessible to users at NC State University and taking a leadership role in the growing movement for makerspaces in libraries. The Makerspace program includes 3D printing and laser cutting services, a variety of methods of 3D scanning, electronics prototyping kits to borrow, and a series of workshops and course collaborations that has grown each semester. These efforts have brought the Maker movement into the Libraries and grown its profile on campus by providing access to exciting high-end tools as well as entry-level learning and making experiences to all students, faculty, and staff.
This past June, the D. H. Hill Library opened its Makerspace. A major addition to the Makerspace program, and to the Libraries as a whole, this high-profile location provides ample space for collaborative work and teaching and is well situated to empower more of the NC State community with the creative tools and processes of making. In this space, the Libraries continues to focus on 3D printing and scanning, laser cutting, and electronics prototyping, while adding new tools such as sewing and soldering and emphasizing hands-on access. The NCSU Libraries has a full slate of programming, workshops, presentations, and opportunities for serendipitous making already in the works.
The NCSU Libraries is now accepting submissions for the 2016 Code+Art Student Visualization Contest. Graduate and undergraduate students, individually or in groups, who are interested in creative coding, generative art, animation, or data visualization are invited to create visualizations for any of the four large video walls at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, including the 20-foot wide Art Wall. Students graduating in December 2015 can submit entries and participate as members of competing teams, but are not eligible to win the cash prize.
Participants will compete for cash prizes of $1000, $500, and $250 to be awarded at the Code+Art reception held in April at the Hunt Library. All entries that are technologically viable and appropriate will be displayed on one of four video walls in Hunt Library and viewed by thousands of visitors every month.
Libraries have long been places where people have explored new ways of interacting with information. The video walls at the James B. Jr. Hunt Library were installed to create a dialogue with library visitors and show the work of students and faculty at the university. The NCSU Libraries developed this contest as a way for students to showcase visualizations created for this digital space. These visualizations will greet library visitors and give them a preview of the possibilities that await them inside the Hunt Library.
Judges are looking for attractive visualizations that are created with a computer. Submissions in these categories are strongly encouraged: data visualization / data art, generative art, procedurally generated environments (e.g. game environments), and animated GIFs. Submissions in these categories will also be considered: digital art, new media art, and animation/motion graphics.
Submit here: https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/codeart/submit
Read about the 2015 winners here: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/stories/codeart-different-kind-data-experience
For more publications by NC State authors, visit the NCSU Libraries Digital Repository.
For more publications by NC State authors, visit the NCSU Libraries Digital Repository.
The Special Collections Research Center continues to scan new materials in order to improve access to its rich collections. We are pleased to share some new scans of the Dorton Arena that were taken during its construction. The images are a part of the James L. Brandt Papers, which include materials that belonged to (and were also collected by) NCSU Design graduate James Lewis Brandt. Brandt worked for architect G. Milton Small and retired in 1991. To explore more of our digital resources, click here.
For more publications by NC State authors, visit the NCSU Libraries Digital Repository
Recent Articles from NCSU Forestry and Environmental Resources Department Researchers, September 2015
For more publications by NC State authors, visit the NCSU Libraries Digital Repository
Last week was a busy week in Special Collections – two Graphic Design classes, GD 231 and GD 203 (taught by Russell Flinchum and Deb Littlejohn, respectively) reviewed a large selection of books with interesting design components.
GD 231, History of Design for Engineers and Scientists:
Russell Flinchum shared some background on this course:
During July 2015 I had a very special opportunity to spent a month at Drexel University in Philadelphia at a NEH Summer Institute on “The Canon and Beyond: Teaching the History of Modern Design.” With my 26 classmates, I had the chance to visit a number of special collections, including the Hagley Museum and Library, where Dr. Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds, took us on an impressive journey on the role of color in 19th century design (her 2012 book, The Color Revolution, is highly recommended). Reggie’s workshop had clued me in to the extensive network of publications focused on color research and standardization and I was able to show my students the Hoechst Company’s impressive volume on Cotton Dyeing as an example of the primary materials that Professor Blaszczyk had worked from.
For the GD 231 class, Special Collections selected volumes on the early applications of electricity, mechanical engineering, supply catalogs, and other books that showed Flinchum’s students what “the state of the art” was over a century ago and how information-rich that environment was.
GD 203, History of Graphic Design:
The students in Littlejohn’s class had a large list of books to select from, such as this perennial favorite by E. A. Seguy. While studying their books, the students will consider some of these questions, all provided by Dr. Littlejohn:
In the first (subjective) part, think about and write about your experience with the book, such as:
What is my first visual impression of the book?
What is the physical nature of the book? Size, weight, binding, paper
How do I sense the book? Look, touch, smell, hear (don’t taste!)
What about the physical nature of the book interests me?
What is interesting about the design? Typography? images? cover? layout? etc.
In the second (objective) part, research and answer some of these questions (all questions are unlikely to be pertinent to each book, choose wisely):
(everyone must answer this) Why is this book in the collection? Why is it important enough to collect?
What is this book valued for? (may be more than one thing) subject matter, author, design, age, writing, illustrations, printing, previous owners, where produced
Is this book mentioned in books about the history of books and printing? (Z 250 section of the library)
How does this book fit in with history? Printing history, art/design history, history of a discipline, etc.
Is this book an example of something special? a beginning, an end, a particular style, etc.
Is this book part of the development of something?
If there are important individuals involved in the book’s making, who are they?
Is this book connected with any other books in the collection? In a series, by the same author, by the same designer, about the same subject, etc. Does this add to its importance?
We look forward to working with these classes again next year!