Author Archives: marinalewis

Microfilm to the Rescue: Over a Century of Guernsey Breeders’ Journal Now on the Internet Archive

Since 1970, America has lost over 90% of its dairy farms. Preserving the rich cultural history of our nation’s dairy farmers has gone from important to mission critical. As one small step on a challenging path, the Internet Archive is honored to partner with the American Guernsey Association, the official breed registry organization for Guernsey dairy cattle in the United States. For over a century, AGA has published the Guernsey Breeders’ Journal, the official publication of the AGA and the longest-running publication of any American dairy breed organization. Working with staff on two continents, the Archive has been able to digitize and make available to the public AGA’s entire collection of Journal issues, dating back to 1910.

Guernsey Breeders’ Journal, 1952

The Internet Archive is thrilled to partner with the AGA by making back issues of Guernsey Breeders’ Journal available for public access. The partnership offers something for everyone – farmers, industry, historians, and Guernsey-lovers alike. By digitizing the issues at no cost to AGA, and hosting them on the Archive’s own servers, AGA is free to distribute the entirety of its magazine collection by pointing its website users to the collection on the Internet Archive, or even embedding links to the issues on its own website.

According to Robin Alden, Executive Director for American Guernsey, the partnership has been a long time coming. “This is something we have wanted to do for a long time, and I think it will be a huge benefit to our readers and to Guernsey fans.”

“By working together, the Internet Archive has made all of the digitized issues available to the public, to search engines, and back to American Guernsey for their use and preservation,” said Marina Lewis, the Collections Manager of the Internet Archive. “We hope all publishers will work with us to make back issues publicly available.”

According to Alden, the Journal is a critically important tool to reach out to AGA’s members and constituents. With almost 2,000 issues dating back to 1910, the Journal is an opportunity to provide plenty of great content to readers. In fact, a recent survey by AGA indicates that its members and constituents received critical industry information from the Journal, beyond just membership in the AGA. The survey results showed that over 90% of Guernsey enthusiasts surveyed rely on the Journal for their primary source of news on the breed and the industry. 

This is something we have wanted to do for a long time, and I think it will be a huge benefit to our readers and to Guernsey fans.

Robin Alden, AGA Executive Director

In addition to industry news, the Journal is also an invaluable research tool. Alden says she receives phone calls every year from students and members of animal husbandry organizations such as 4H with requests for research materials and data. Alden is able to direct students to the online collection at the Internet Archive (and soon the AGA website) so students can have free access to historical data and images for their projects.

Most importantly, the Journal supports AGA’s mission to expand the demand for Guernsey differentiated consumer products and deliver premium returns for producers and breeder members, with the goal of providing leadership, promoting programs, services, and technologies to ensure the integrity of the breed – while enhancing the value for its members, owners, and the industry. AGA also offers a variety of products and services, in addition to its breed registry. Among these are Golden Guernsey, a consumer-facing site that offers premium dairy goods from AGA’s network of Guernsey farmers throughout the United States and Canada.

For many readers, though, having such access to the Journal provides more than just facts and data; for many, having online access to the Journal offers a window to their past. According to Alden, many readers may have grown up on a farm or may now live internationally, and having this resource and being able to provide online access is huge. “We have a lot of members who want to be able to take a walk down memory lane, and they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do so.”

Computerworld Archives: Back From Vintage Microfilm

Years ago, the Internet Archive was honored to work with the Patrick J McGovern Foundation to bring some of the important publications of International Data Corporation onto the Internet for free public access. Today we are excited to bring a better looking version of the ComputerWorld archives to the Internet based on newly digitized microfilm.

The McGovern Foundation had many issues on paper, which were digitized and made searchable, but getting further back required finding microfilm. Some microfilm was found at the time and was digitized, but frankly it did not look very good.   

Microfilm, now out-of-print and obsolete, was an important format for providing access — a microfilm pioneer, Robert C Binkley saw it as a democratizing force to educate everyone, not just those near libraries in large cities and top universities.

Fortunately, old microfilm collections have been acquired and also have been donated so that they can be preserved as film and preserved through digitization by the Internet Archive. Which brings us Computerworld.

This collection of Computerworld microfilm represents nearly half a century of reporting on major technology trends, from mainframes and minicomputers to iPhones, tablets and Artificial Intelligence. Now, this higher quality version of Computerworld 1967-2014 is available, searchable, and downloadable for research purposes.

This comes as the Internet Archive has been working with open source communities and with NextScan to make these and other works look as good as we can. While microfilm was almost all just grayscale, the photography, film quality, and preservation of some collections have been exceptional. By adjusting for faded film, straightening the pages, performing optical character recognition, keying dates, and detecting page numbers, the Internet Archive hopes to make our history easily accessible to everyone and for free. These works are also available to be read aloud for the print disabled.

(Full text search is available, but is in the process of being integrated.)