Baghdad Losses

Although the question of the ransacking of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad has now
been quite well covered,
writes Alastair Northedge in H-ISLAMART on Friday, there has been relatively little interest in the burning of the National Library and Archives. I was at the UNESCO meeting in
Paris on Thursday, and it was evident that the only real information available
is Robert Fisk’s article of the 15th. It seems to me that the media need to be informed about what was in the Library and archives, so that they can focus on what the potential loss is, and how important they were.
As far as I understand it, the burnt buildings in Baghdad are:
1. The National Library, largely printed works and newspapers.
2. The National Archives, including Ottoman and 20th century documents.
3. The Ministry of Awqaf.
Can anyone say what the main points of the collections are, so that I can pass
on information to my contacts in the press?

Only this week free online: Records Management Journal

Emerald offers as a free sample 16 issues from Volume 8 Number 1 to Volume 13 Number 1.
Table of Content 2003/1:
– Are ISO 15489-1:2001 and ISAD(G) compatible? Part 1
– Metadata, controlled vocabulary and directories: electronic document management and standards for records management
– The Scottish Postgraduate Archives Training Project – issues for the records management community
– Obstacles to utilization of information held by archival institutions: a review of literature.

ARBICA Statement on Iraq’s Archives (April, 14)

The Arab Regional Branch of the International Council of Archives (ARBICA) has been observing with great anxiety the events of the war against Iraq which started on March 20, 2003 and is going on until now. […] Archives institutions around the world have confirmed that the Code of Hamurabi (1792-1750 B.C.), the oldest archives in the history of the world, along with its 285 articles of social and administrative laws, is a collection of jurisprudence for the organization of social life. […] At the turn of the 21st century, it is a historical compulsion for the masters of science and technology to
protect this unique heritage of mankind. Instead, we are watching the destruction of all museums, and further threatening the documents and archives with serious danger by fierce bombardment. […] We are horrified and grieved to observe the mob looting plundering and destroying the Iraqi National Library with its manuscripts, books and rare historical journals, the National Archives Center which
represents the memory of modern Iraq, the museums in Baghdad and Mosul. Furthermore, 170,000 rare
and invaluable archeological pieces which date back to thousands of years, were also plundered and destroyed. The libraries of the museum and universities of Iraq were looted during daytime under the observation of the armed forces of the coalition who had the power to prevent such atrocities from taking
place. Is it possible that such an expedition was organized to demolish the identity of the Iraqi civilization?!

Iraq: National Archives turned to Ashes

BAGHDAD, 15 April 2003 — So yesterday was the burning of books. First came the looters, then came the arsonists. It was the final chapter in the sack of Baghdad. The National Library and Archives — a priceless treasure of Ottoman
historical documents including the old royal archives of Iraq — were turned to ashes in 3,000 degrees of heat. Then the Islamic Library of Qur’ans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment was set ablaze. I saw the looters
, writes Robert Fisk (The Independent).
Read more in Netbib.

Canada: Library, archives resist move

Canada’s newly merged National Library and National Archives are refusing to give up their prestigious parliamentary address. […] Officials say the big problem with the offer is timing. The two institutions — now called the Library and Archives of Canada — are still in the throes of merging their operations and couldn’t be ready to move by the fall occupancy date. Besides, they say, it’s impossible to determine how much and what kind of space is needed until the merger is completed.
Canada is the first country to merge its national library and archives, a move the Chrétien government said would boost the sagging visibility, relevance and accessibility of the two nearly invisible institutions.

Cultural Property Protection Net Mailinglist

Starting today the Museum Security Network mailinglist will be closed
in it’s present form. From now on this list will be restricted to
security related information. The Museum Security Network website will stay on line. A new list has been set up: the Cultural Property
Protection Net mailinglist. This list will be aimed at all non-security related information, most of which did already reach you the past six years via the Museum Security Network Mailinglist. A new
domain has been registered:

United Kingdom: The National Archives

On April 2 2003, the Public Record Office (PRO) and the Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC) joined together to form a new organisation: The National Archives. Both PRO and HMC already provide advice to records managers in central and local government and archivists in public and private archives on a wide range of archival issues. The combined expertise of PRO and HMC will provide a central
body of advice and expertise on important archival issues, in particular, electronic records management, conservation and digital preservation.
[Information Law Weblog]

Misssionary Collections in the UK

The Mundus Gateway is a web-based guide to more than four hundred collections of overseas missionary materials
held in the United Kingdom. These materials, comprising the archives of British missionary societies, collections of personal papers, printed matter, photographs, other visual materials and artefacts, are held in a large number of
libraries, record offices and other institutions in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Mundus Gateway makes it easier for researchers to locate these collections and obtain sufficient information about their contents to enable effective planning of research visits.
With a helpful link list. [via Ethno::log]

Feedster – a great RSS Feed Search Engine

Feedster is a search engine for what is called an “RSS Feed”. An RSS Feed is an XML tagged file which allows a website, news site or blog (actually any site) to provide to the world a list of its current contents. RSS feeds can contain all kinds of information from news to blog / weblog posts to stock quotes and more.
An RSS feed is generally not read in a web browser like a web page. Instead a special piece of software called a “News Aggregator” like Net News Wire or AmphetaDesk or Newsgator is used. What these products do is enable viewing of multiple RSS feeds in an easy fashion. If you read a lot of information on the web or like to keep up with things, you should definitely look into a News Aggregator.
(About Feedster)

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey London 1674 to 1834

A fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts
of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court. Now available: 22,000 trials, from December 1714 to December 1759. [via Handakte Weblawg]

The Noam Chomsky Archive

This archive is hosted by ZNet, the web site of Z Magazine. It contains the full text to many of Chomsky’s major works, the complete audio to several important lectures, and numerous articles, interviews and speeches. ZNet also has its own article archive with over 750 articles from Z plus an extensive forum system where you can discuss issues with Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Albert, and thousands of others. (Noam usually responds within a few days.)

Archiving the Medical Web

In March 2002, the Wellcome Trust and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) awarded a contract to UKOLN to undertake a feasibility study into web archiving. Read more about this project here. Very important seems the report (79 pp. – PDF File) about “Legal issues relating to the archiving of Internet resources in the UK, EU, US and Australia” by Andrew Charlesworth, University of Bristol, Centre for IT and Law
(Version 1.0 – 25 February 2003).

Recording military history can be a challenge

A U.S. propaganda leaflet, a Baath Party armband, a military meal pouch, a battered road sign en route to Baghdad – at first glance, they may look like the ordinary debris of war, but they are also artifacts of history in the making. From the U.S. Central Command in Qatar to tank units fighting their way toward Baghdad, all the services have deployed historians to record oral histories, gather artifacts, take photographs and help
preserve significant records of Persian Gulf War II. The role of the military historian is at once strategic and
inspirational, academic and bureaucratic. The oral histories – recorded interviews – are perhaps their most important mission.

An article at (I prefer the independent press …)

State Archive of Rome – IMAGO II Project

Online maps and images of early real property maps and other documents
of Rome. The Imago II Project in 1997-2000 scanned original documents in
the State Archive of Rome. Among the series available are: Alessandrino
Cadastre, Urban Roman Cadastre, a selection of the Gregoriano Cadastre
including the 600 most important towns of Papal State, the cartography
of the old rural Cadastre, Roman parchments, abstracts (“regesti”). Also
includes alphabetic registers of roman notaries, ancient registers of
the Tesorerie provinciali, and some precious items as the illuminated
manuscript of Liber Regulae. 5,000 digital color images of maps and
manuscripts, 25,000 of ancient maps and parchments, 100,000 greyscale
images cadastre and notarial registers. Images in jpeg format have been
masterized in about 500 CD-R while copies of images, in a MrSID format,
are on the website. Most explanatory pages in Italian. Requires one-time
free and simple registration.

[INFOMINE Alert Service]

Ohio Memory Celebrates Ohio History

In March 2003 Ohio celebrates 200 years of statehood. In celebration of the Bicentennial, the Ohio Memory Project has been working to create the Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook, available at:

Nearly 20,000 images are now available, representing 2200 collections from archives, museums, historical societies, and libraries throughout Ohio.
Materials include photographs, documents, natural history specimens, prehistoric artifacts and three-dimensional objects from 320 cultural institutions. The collections document important milestones in Ohio’s history, such as the signing of the Treaty of Greenville and the Wright Brothers’ first flight, and document the lives of Ohioans such as Thomas Edison and Annie Oakley. Other collections, such as prehistoric artifacts, handmade quilts and family letters offer glimpses into the everyday lives of
past generations of Ohioans. Ohio Memory acts as a single point of access to diverse collections, bringing together items such as the 1803 Constitution (Ohio Historical Society) and the table upon which it was signed (Ross County Historical Society).

Users can search or browse by institution name, resource type, title, subject, creator, or place. A noteworthy feature of the Ohio Memory web site is “My Scrapbook,” which allows users to store favorite items and add captions or notes, and then share with others. Featured scrapbooks on women’s history, Ohio Presidents and Business and Labor are available at:

Administered by the Ohio Historical Society, project partners include the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), State Library of Ohio through an Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA grant, the Ohio Bicentennial Commission, OhioLINK, Ohio Library Council, and INFOhio.

[aus diglib-l]

Ad fontes

Dear friends in North America,
You folks don’t need this anymore, but here’s a great website to pass on to students or other scholars on their way to their first
archival visit in the Old World. It’s a prize-winning programmed
learning project giving one practice in the use of an archive and the interpretation of sources:
Steve Buckwalter
I can highly recommend this Swiss resource on the Stiftsarchiv Einsiedeln, but it is only in German!

The Saddam Papers

Saddam soon will be history, writes Martin Kramer in his Weblog about the Middle East. It’s important that the United States collect and preserve as much of it as possible. I refer to the vast archives of the various arms of the Iraqi regime: the presidency of the republic, the Baath Party, the Republican Guard, the intelligence and security organizations, the ministries of foreign affairs and information, and more. If the United States establishes a military authority to run the country, it should do what the Western allies did in occupied Germany: collect and collate the archives of the enemy.

A German State in Texas?

NEW BRAUNFELS — The German nobles who helped finance early German settlements in Texas had a secret plan to establish a foothold and then break free of the Republic of Texas, according to a German prince […]. Prince Johannes von Sachsen-Altenburg, Duke of Saxony, discovered the plan to create a German state in Texas among documents in family archives in Germany, Russia and France.

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