Too Bad The Hanzo Archives WordPress Plugin Is Caput

The Hanzo Archives WordPress plugin is something I’d be very excited to use. Ironically, it’s disappeared from the web (though the blog post hasn’t):

We’ve released a WordPress Plugin which automatically archives anything you link to in your blog posts; it also adds a ‘perma-permalink’ for the archived version adjacent to each original link.

An Amazon Web Services case study put me on to Hanzo a while ago, and in May 2008 I actually spoke with Mark Middleton (the markm who posted the entry above). Mark revealed that community take-up on the plugin and other general purpose web archiving services was below expectations. The company has since refocused on legal matters (even their blog tag-line has changed to “web archiving for compliance and e-discovery”).

I wonder if, now that the number of people and companies that have been blogging for years has grown, there might be more of a market for such a service.

My Personal Crisis of Digital Preservation

For a long time I was a big fan of Dantz Retrospect Backup. For while I was so committed that I would do an incremental backup of my laptop and most every other computer in my house every day, but I’ve been using it one way or another since 1999 or 2000 or so. All […] » about 300 words

Large Format Scanners For Document Imaging

The market for large-format flatbed scanners is shrinking, so products turn over slowly and development is far behind my expectations. That said, the Epson GT-1500 doesn’t look like a bad choice for tight budgets. It has a relatively low maximum resolution of only 600DPI, but has the highest claimed scan speed of 30 seconds at 300DPI. Following that is the Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL, which has a much higher maximum resolution, but much slower scan speed (even at the same resolution as the Epson). The scanner sets itself apart, however, with noise-reduction technology that has made it the darling of some art archivists.

Both of these scanners are around $1,200, but neither of them is really suited to doing much volume.

Looking elsewhere, I found the Konica Minolta PS5000C, a planetary book scanner that returns scans in less than 10 seconds. Price is under $12,000 — not cheap, but low relative to other planetary scanners I’ve seen. Also from Konica MInolta is the MS6000 MK II microform scanner, and a lusty thought crosses my mind: get rid of the old microform printers our libraries have and go all-digital.

About SHERPA And Their Advice To Digital Libraries…

I mentioned SHERPA a while ago:

SHERPA is a large consortial UK project that’s attempting to build an academic archive/repository for 20 institutions, including the British Library and Cambridge University. [link added]

I bring this up again now because they’ve got some advice for people on the subject of digital archives. They recommend EPrints, an open source project developed and maintained by the University of Southampton. Second to that, or for those interested in archiving a broader variety of object types, they suggest MIT’s DSpace.

Institutional and Academic Repositories

MIT has DSpace, their solution to save, share, and search the collected work of their faculty and students (in use by 115 public sites). Now Royce just shared with me this presentation by Bill Hubbard, the SHERPA project manager at University of Nottingham.

What’s SHERPA? The name is an acronym for Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access, but it’s a project intended to archive the pre and post publication papers and other research products.

They’ve got some advice for those interested in these things. Including some help with dealing with publishers. Bill reported some analysis in his presentation that found that 93% of the publishers they deal with at Nottingham allow authors to self-archive their work in publicly available repositories.

Related to this, I previously reported on The intent there is slightly different, as Henry Farrell explains:

[I]ts effectively replaced journal publication as the primary means for physicists to communicate with each other. Journal publication is still important — but as an imprimatur, a proof of quality, rather than a way to disseminate findings to a wider audience.