The Real Paul Jones

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Date: 2/10/2006

Archivists’ Toolkit

CRADLE Presentation, Friday, February 10, 2006
Location: Room 208, Manning Hall
Time: 12 – 1:00 PM
Title: The Archivist’s Toolkit
Presenter: Bradley Westbrook, UC-San Diego

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $847,000.00 to the UCSD Libraries, the NYU Libraries, and the Five College Libraries to support development and implementation of a software application to support archival processing and the management of archival information. Key objectives of the project are to increase archival processing efficiencies and lower processing costs, including costs for specialized training; reduce the need for locally built tools; and promote standardization. When completed, the application will support collection accessioning and description, location tracking, and provenance registration, as well as outputs for the EAD and METS standards.

Bradley D. Westbrook is the Metadata Librarian and Digital Archivist at the University of California, San Diego. Prior positions include Manuscripts Librarian and University Archivist at UCSD, Exhibits Curator at Columbia University, and Rare Books Librarian at Kent State University. He has an MLS from UCLA and an MA in English from SUNY-Albany. He has been active in RBMS and SAA and is currently a member of the SAA Technical Subcommittee for Descriptive Standards. He has given numerous presentations on archives, special collections themes and has published on virtual collections and the Archivists’ Toolkit (forthcoming).

Bradley talks a lot about why they chose Open Source and community-building as an important part of their approach. Archivists’ Toolkit will be on SourceForge. Hooks to Institutional Repositories (like Fedora and Dspace) are planned. Plan to ship on June 2006 as Alpha, Beta to partners in July, and public release in November 2006.

Trying to reconcile aphorisms

“Suffer fools gladly, seeing you are wise” (oft quoted out of context from II Corinthians 11:19) meets “No fools, no fun” (official motto of the Hertford, NC Chapter of the Sweet Potato Queens). Shakespeare elevated fools oft making them the only wise speakers in his plays. Paul, earlier in the same chapter of Corinthians, claims to be a fool himself causing most serious readers of the verse to see it as sarcastic in tone really meaning “You are so smart, but you need to listen to me, a fool. So listen up.”
Bill Harmon posed the philosophical question in this way: “Paul says to suffer fools gladly, but he doesn’t say for how long.” Since hearing him, I’ve wondered about the time limit if there is one.
I am beginning to think the type of fool is the determinate. Fools such as those in Shakespeare or in the Hertford Chapter of the Sweet Potato Queens (whom I hope to meet some day) likely get a long period of suffering since they are gladdening and only cause suffering amongst the unwise.
My favorite fool is Nasrudin Hoja.

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