Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Notes from Astro I

Mystery author Alex Brett of the Morgan O’Brien series came and spoke about her reasons for becoming a fiction author and how she came to write her newest book, Cold Dark Matter. She has a science background and experience working in labs. She appreciates the moral dilemmas inherent in scientific research. This particular book had very interesting beginnings. A missing talented physicist who may have disappeared behind the dark curtain during the cold war, the fruit machine, moral ambiguity, and scientific fraud all became the seeds of this book. I’m going to go find a copy! (Thanks Liz B for arranging this!)

Donna J. Coletti and Uta Grothkopf
2006, the week after SLA, 3 days long at Harvard. Reception at Harvard-Smithsonian CfA. Check the web page for updates.

Science Organization Committee: common challenges, uncommon solutions
Keynote: Dr. John Huchra, H-S CfA

1) Virtual observatory and what’s in it for libraries – bibliometric studies on ADS, datasets, metadata
2) E-journal swamp
3) Changing publishing sector – open archive, traditional journals, institutional archives
4) Preservation/ archiving/ historical session
5) Beyond ADS and Google – use of commercial databases, hidden literature, Google print and Google scholar
6) Cutting edge technologies – e-metrics, OPACs, blogs/wikis
7) Creative librarian – outreach, marketing

The call for papers will be sent out soon. If your subject is not listed, submit anyway.

Lowell Observatory Logbooks Digitization Project
Antoinette Beiser
They’ve received a grant to conserve older logbooks containing original observations, drawings, etc., 1894-1925, because the originals have been deteriorating. The logbooks are currently being scanned at 72dpi and 400dpi and entered into a database. Scans will be linked to the text of the notebook. Higher quality will be available for a fee. For photos - no thumbnail, just a lower res copy.

They get about 50 requests a year for items found in their archives

Changing World of the Astronomy Librarian, 1973 to Present
Brenda Corbin, US Naval Observatory
Brenda gave a wonderful overview of her time as the Naval Observatory librarian and the changes in technology that dramatically changed how she conducted her work. She had some great slides with pictures of punch machines, typewriters, catalog cards, and dumb terminals.

Learning Astronomy in your Bathroom
Liz Bryson
Liz showed a roll of toilet paper developed in Japan to teach astronomy. English versions include on on the life of a star and telescope pictures. Liz will provide the URL to order.


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