Monday, January 26, 2015

Archiving UNCG's Online History

"It might seem, and it often feels, as though stuff on the Web lasts forever, for better and frequently for worse: the embarrassing photograph, the regretted blog (more usually regrettable not in the way the slaughter of civilians is regrettable but in the way that bad hair is regrettable). No one believes any longer, if anyone ever did, that “if it’s on the Web it must be true,” but a lot of people do believe that if it’s on the Web it will stay on the Web. Chances are, though, that it actually won’t."

In her recent New Yorker article "The Cobweb: Can the Internet be Archived?," writer Jill Lepore explores the important work of archivists, librarians, and organizations like the Internet Archive in preserving and providing continual access to web content. Her article coincides with a concerted effort in University Archives to proactively document the University's online history. As of January 2015, UNCG is officially a partner member of  the Internet Archive's service Archive-It.

Archive-It is a subscription web archiving service from the Internet Archive that helps organizations to harvest, build, and preserve collections of digital content. With Archive-It, partner members can collect, catalog, and manage their collections of archived content with 24/7 access and full text search available for their use as well as their patrons. Content is made available through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Also, we in University Archives can link to archived websites using our online collection finding aids.

A screenshot of UNCG's homepage in 1997
Our web archiving work is just beginning, but already a number of key websites have been collected using the Archive-It tool. You can see the sites we've archived on our Archive-It member page. Pages captured as of January 26th include the primary website related to the 2015 search for our next Chancellor, the web-based publications of course bulletins that don't exist in print, the websites for a number of key administrative bodies on campus (Board of Trustees, Faculty Senate, and Staff Senate), and websites for a number of campus departments. In the future, we plan to archive the University's main social media accounts, websites of many student groups and organizations, and other online content related to the current work of the University.

University Archives is tasked with documenting UNCG's history, from its founding until today. Today, the University's web presence is a key part of that history. This new and exciting partnership with the Internet Archive and Archive-It helps us ensure that our current online history is as accessible to scholars as paper records from 50 or 100 years ago are.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cello Music Collection Material on Television

The Fox Business channel is airing a new television series, Strange Inheritance, which will be featuring material from the Bernard Greenhouse Cello Music Collection. The pilot episode focuses on the Greenhouse family’s inheritance of the Countess of Stanlein, the Stradivarius violoncello dating to 1707, originally owned by Nicolò Paganini. After Bernard Greenhouse passed away in 2011, it was sold for roughly $6 million.   

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives provided photographs of Bernard Greenhouse, as well as video footage from an oral history conducted in 2009. Strange Inheritance premieres with the tale of the inheritance of Bernard Greenhouse’s cello on Fox Business. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Remembering the Legacy of Laszlo Varga

Bela Bartok's Sonata for Solo Violin arranged for
5 Stringed Cello by Laszlo Varga
Renowned cellist Laszlo Varga passed away December 11, 2014. Born in 1924, Varga studied at the Franz Liszt Royal Academy of Music in Budapest. After escaping the forced labor camps in Hungary during World War II, Varga immigrated to the United States, serving eleven years as the principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic. He was a featured performer and respected teacher at the Aspen, Chautauqua and Shreveport music festivals, among many others. In addition, he conducted major orchestras such as the Budapest Symphony and the San Leandro Symphony. For twenty-five years, Varga served as both director and conductor of the San Francisco State University Symphony. Among his many awards and recognitions, Varga was presented the distinguished title of "Chevalier du Violoncelle" by Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University in 1991.

Laszlo Varga donated his musical score collection to the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives in 2005. This impressive collection contains over fifty transcriptions for solo cello and cello ensemble, including his solo cello transcriptions of the Bach D minor and E major violin partitas and his arrangement of Strauss’ “Don Quixote, Op. 35” for cello, viola, violin, clarinet, horn, and piano. UNCG celebrated this pioneering artist’s legacy in 2007 by hosting the Laszlo Varga Cello Music Celebration. Varga is the eighth cellist represented in the UNCG Cello Music Collection, the largest single holding of cello music related literature in the world.

University Libraries is honoring the memory of this world-class performer, teacher, and arranger of cello music through the digitization of portions of his collection. The Laszlo Varga Digital Collection contains many of Varga’s unpublished manuscript arrangements, promoting his legacy to cellists worldwide.

Laszlo Varga at the UNCG Cello Music Celebration held in his honor,