From Map Sheets to Minecraft, May 8 @ 2pm

The Friends of the Graduate Center Mina Rees Library present:

From Map Sheets to Minecraft:
Understanding the Lifecycle of Digital Collections

Thursday, May 8, 2014 @ 2 p.m.
Graduate Center Skylight Room (9th Floor)
Free & Open to the Public

RSVP to Jim Cronin

live stream here

For libraries, archives, and museums in the 21st century, digitization is generally viewed as the end goal for collection access and preservation. But for digital humanists and others employing digital methods and materials, reformatting collections isn’t the end but rather the beginning a complex lifecycle of transformation, legal decision-making, and diverse and often unexpected use.

Treating The New York Public Library’s famed map collections as a case study, Ben Vershbow, founder and Manager of NYPL Labs, along with Greg Cram, NYPL’s Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy, discuss how physical archives can be opened up in new ways in the digital environment, sometimes returning valuable information back to the institution. They’ll also discuss the legal considerations that underlie the work of libraries in the digital age.

BVershbowBen Vershbow is founder and manager of The New York Public Library’s acclaimed digital innovation studio, NYPL Labs. Over the past three years, Labs has developed a diverse portfolio of projects that re-imagine library collections and services for the Internet environment. Many projects deal with complex transformations of historical documents into digitally native data sets, often employing thousands of online volunteers in transcription and other information-extraction tasks. NYPL Labs is also involved in re-imagining several core services at the Library, including its Archives & Manuscripts catalog, its Digital Collections portal, and ebook lending and mobile reading service. Before coming to the Library in 2008, Ben worked for four years with Bob Stein at the Institute for the Future of the Book, a Brooklyn-based think tank investigating new forms of reading, writing, and publishing. Ben originally studied theater at Yale and still works as a writer/director/performer around New York, and through his company Group Theory.

Greg CramGreg Cram is the Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy at The New York Public Library. Since joining the Library in 2011, Greg has endeavored to make the Library’s collections broadly available to researchers and the public at large. He is responsible for developing and implementing policy and practices around the use of the Library’s collections, both online and in the Library’s physical spaces. Greg has helped projects steer through a maze of complex intellectual property issues, including the recent release of 20,000 high-resolution images of public domain maps. Before joining the Library, Greg served as the copyright clearance consultant to Leadership Team Development, a business support company that organizes thousands of meetings, seminars and conferences. He also worked as a licensing associate at Sanctuary Records, a large independent record label. He is a licensed attorney in New York and Massachusetts.


About the Author

Jill Cirasella is the Scholarly Communication Librarian and University Liaison at the CUNY Graduate Center.