home Gateway Carousel, Gateway Carousel Journalism, Journalism Library, Resources and Services Without Intent to Preserve, Digital News as Public Record Will Disappear

Without Intent to Preserve, Digital News as Public Record Will Disappear

COLUMBIA, MO – It’s no headline that newsrooms across the country today are struggling to survive, battered by multiple economic forces, the manic march of digital competition and technology, the storm of political attacks on their mission and in 2020 the sudden repercussions of an invisible pandemic predator. While these are well known across the news industry, one little-recognized, unlisted casualty of this struggle is the impact on an irreplaceable resource that citizens and researchers rely on: the public record of their communities as recorded by their local newspaper, radio or TV station, online newsroom or other news outlet.

The results of an 18-month long research investigation to discover how news organizations in the U.S, and Europe are preserving digital news and to identify best practices, problem areas and changes needed to avoid unintentional loss of content were released today in the report: Endangered but Not Too Late: The State of Digital News Preservation.

Leading a group of University of Missouri faculty researchers and industry experts on this project, Edward McCain, Digital Curator of Journalism from the University of Missouri Libraries and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and his team interviewed 115 individuals from 29 news organizations, four news technology companies, two news aggregators and five memory institutions, diving deeply into the technology used by these organizations in order to better understand how digital news content can be preserved.

What’s clear from this research is that the typical expectation of readers and the public, that news preservation is automatic in the digital age, simply isn’t correct. Chances are, in fact, that unless news organizations do something specific and intentional to preserve it, some or all of their born-digital content will be gone in a few years. It will no longer be accessible, readable, searchable or recoverable unless deliberate steps are taken to ensure it is.

Some of the findings:

  • Newsrooms save some but not all digital content
  • Saved content is mostly text, images, video
  • Public media have better resources, better archives
  • Internal use is primary, public access important but often outsourced
  • Top tech challenge is managing multiple digital channels
  • Web CMS is central, often doubles as archive
  • Some use asset systems as archives, others rely on web CMS
  • News metadata is often haphazard, inconsistent
  • System migrations often lead to lost content
  • Financial stress on news industry displaces preservation
  • Migration to digital publishing incomplete, can mean lost content
  • Relying solely on web CMS can be problematic for preservation
  • There’s often nobody left to mind the archive store
  • Good preservation is linked strongly to mission, policy, track record
  • Track record of preservation matters

Based on the findings, the report offers three levels of recommendations for news organizations to preserve their digital content, based on degree of difficulty or cost.

  • Immediate actions: Steps that can be taken now, at little or no cost, to begin the process of ensuring news content is preserved
  • Medium-term actions: Steps outlined in the report are actions that will take longer to accomplish and may involve investments in technologies, staff or funding
  • Industry-wide actions: Long-term steps that involve more than one newsroom pursuing solutions that involve policy changes, institutional partnerships, actions by industry sub-groups or news associations as well as some government actions

The Preserving Digital News Project was generously supported by the Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation

For more information about:  Endangered but Not Too Late: The State of Digital News Preservation, visit https://www.rjionline.org/preservenews

SOURCE: University of Missouri Libraries  & the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

CONTACT:  For comment, please contact:  Edward McCain (mccaine@rjionline.org), Digital Curator of Journalism

home Cycle of Success, Gateway Carousel Cycle of Success Revisited: Dr. Noah Manring

Cycle of Success Revisited: Dr. Noah Manring

The MU Libraries congratulates Dr. Noah Manning on his new appointment as dean of the College of Engineering. Dr. Manring is a long-time supporter of the Libraries. Check out how he used Special Collections in his History of Modern Engineering class back in 2017.

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

Dr. Noah D. Manring is the Glen A. Barton Professor of fluid power in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Missouri. He previously served as chairman of the college’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and twice has served as associate dean of research. One of the courses he teaches is Engineering 2500: A History of Modern Engineering. It is through teaching this class that Dr. Manring came to know Tim Perry, one of our Special Collections Librarians. Tim arranged a lecture and demonstration on the printing press to teach the students about the history of the book, and the progression of book making since Gutenberg’s printing press in the 1450s.

Tim Perry, Special Collections

“Tim arranged an entire demonstration and working lecture for our students.  He answered questions, translated texts, and explained the significance of each item that was shown. There were three tables full of items to show and discuss. It was a very rich experience for my class – something I could not have provided for our students on my own.The library has a tremendous collection of printed material since Gutenberg’s day, including an original page from a Gutenberg Bible!”

We asked Dr. Manring what advice he had for those interested in using the library: “Make inquiries as to what resources are available, and use them!  I was referred to the Special Collections section of the library by Prof. Mark Smith in History, and I have since used this resource for my class three times.  Before Mark pointed me in this direction, I had no idea what was available and the wealth of information that could be drawn from our archives.”

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

Story written by Taira Meadowcroft, health sciences librarian.

home Cycle of Success, Gateway Carousel Congratulations to Noah Manring, New Dean of the College of Engineering

Congratulations to Noah Manring, New Dean of the College of Engineering

On April 14, it was announced that Noah Manring will be the new dean of the MU College of Engineering. Manring has served as the interim dean of the college since May 2020. He will assume his new duties on May 1, which include leadership, advocacy for research and education, and continued excellence and growth in research, education and campus diversity.

The MU Libraries want to congratulate Dr. Manring and wish him the best in his new role.

MU News Press Release: Manring Named New Dean of the College of Engineering

Cycle of Success: Dr. Noah Manring and Engineering 2500

home Gateway Carousel, Workshops Workshops @ Your Library: Creating a Digital Exhibit with Omeka

Workshops @ Your Library: Creating a Digital Exhibit with Omeka

Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Register for online workshop

Do you need to build a digital exhibit for class? Are you interested in learning about new software? Omeka is the tool for you! Omeka is an open-source content management system for online digital collections. It allows users to publish and exhibit cultural heritage objects, and extend its functionality with themes and plugins. This workshop will provide an overview its basic functions and features and provide instruction on how to build and manage your very own site.

For a complete list of library workshops, visit library.missouri.edu/workshops.

home Events and Exhibits, Gateway Carousel, Staff news Book Talk with Nancy McCabe: From Little Houses to Little Women

Book Talk with Nancy McCabe: From Little Houses to Little Women

Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Time: 4 – 5:30 pm
Online event on Zoom


A typical travel book takes readers along on a trip with the author, but a great travel book does much more than that, inviting readers along on a mental and spiritual journey as well. This distinction is what separates Nancy McCabe’s From Little Houses to Little Women from the typical and allows it to take its place not only as a great travel book but also as a memoir about the children’s books that have shaped all of our imaginations.  This Book Talk will delight anyone who has had a deep connection to such children’s books, whether they are 10 or 100 years old, or somewhere in between!  For more information, see this brief introduction on YouTube.
About the Author

Nancy McCabe (nancymccabe.net) grew up in Kansas just a few hours from the Ingalls family’s home in Little House on the Prairie.  She now directs the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and teaches in the low residency MFA program at the Spalding University School of Creative and Professional Writing. She is the author of four previous books of nonfiction, and a novel, her most recent of which was published in 2020 by the University of Missouri Press, Can This Marriage Be Saved?: A Memoir.

home Gateway Carousel, Resources and Services Take Home Preservation Kits

Take Home Preservation Kits

While 2020 truly threw some curve balls, our MU Librarians and staff never missed a step and continued to serve. Take a look at a few innovative ways they helped our community, kept faculty informed, and stayed busy throughout one of the most challenging years.

When campus closed completely, Head of Physical Processing and Preservation Michaelle Dorsey was worried that she couldn’t keep herself and her staff busy since their work involves working with the physical collection. But she had an innovative idea and decided to put together preservation kits so she and her staff could do their work from the safety and comfort of their homes. Once a week Dorsey was given permission to visit Ellis Library and create kits, which consisted of a plastic tub with items that needed repairalong with the appropriate tools, equipment and supplies. She would leave each staff person a tub to be picked up, safely, in the loading dock. Although most of the physical processing staff are working on campus again, they know that if needed they can work remotely and continue to bring old books back to life.

More Looking Back Stories
Librarian Stays in Touch Using Engaging Emails
Helping to Create Face Shields for the Community

Cycle of Success: Inge Creates DOE Index

Mara Inge, a senior library information specialist in the Engineering Library and Technology Commons (ELTC), has created a master index of all 36,729 conference proceedings titles from the Engineering Library and Technology Commons’ Department of Energy (DOE) uncatalogued microfiche collection. Prior to Mara’s project, the only way to locate a fiche was to look for a title in the Office of Scientific and Technical Information’s (OSTI) database of DOE information, visit ELTC or another library with DOE fiche, open a cabinet drawer, and start searching. Stephen Pryor, digital scholarship librarian, provided technical assistance with the project.

In addition to all of the titles that she entered into the index, Mara also entered metadata for proceedings not previously in the OSTI database—about 1104 titles that, for all practical purposes, were not findable online at all. Her work is a wonderful way to promote this hidden collection.

The MU Libraries plan to make the index available for searching; meanwhile, please email Mara at  englib@missouri.edu with any questions about DOE conference proceedings.

home Gateway Carousel, Gateway Carousel ELTC, Resources and Services Looking Back on 2020: Engaging Emails

Looking Back on 2020: Engaging Emails

While 2020 truly threw some curve balls, our MU Librarians and staff never missed a step and continued to serve. Take a look at a few innovative ways they helped our community, kept faculty informed, and stayed busy throughout one of the most challenging years.

Kimberly Moellerinstructional services and social sciences librarianrealized how important it was to keep her faculty informed about all the library services available as everyone at MIzzou learned how to navigate in an online-only environment. Throughout the spring and summer, she sent out biweekly email messages to the chairs of each department she works with, who could then share the information to their department faculty and graduate students. For each email she tried to center the message on a particular theme such as online library instruction, electronic resources, end of semester resources for students, and Black Lives Matter resourcesThey’ve been received pretty well from what I can tell, and I have had an increase in communications with faculty since starting them,” Moeller said.  

home Gateway Carousel, Hours Ellis Library Will Extend Hours After Spring Break

Ellis Library Will Extend Hours After Spring Break

Starting April 5, Ellis Library will be open until midnight Sunday through Thursday.

Starting April 25, Ellis Library will be open even longer, including some Saturday hours. For a complete listing of hours, including for all specialized libraries, visit library.missouri.edu/hours.

Finals Weeks
(April 25–May 14)
Sun 10am–Midnight
Mon–Thu 7:30am–Midnight
Fri 7:30am–8pm
Sat 10am-8pm
Sun 10am-Midnight

home Gateway Carousel, Gateway Carousel ELTC, Gateway Carousel HSL, Workshops Upcoming Workshops: Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry

Upcoming Workshops: Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry

Looking to add programming, scripting, automation, and data management skills to your research toolbox? Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry workshops return online for Spring 2021! These hands-on workshops will focus on basic concepts and skills to help researchers perform their work in less time and with less pain with code (Python or R), version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems. Pre-registration is required.

Specific tools covered (no prior experience necessary) include:

  • Bash/Unix shell
  • Git
  • Python
  • R
  • Data Organization with Spreadsheets
  • Data Cleaning with OpenRefine

*Scheduling note: a full Software Carpentry workshop is usually 2 days face-to-face, covering Shell, Git, and Python or R. We have temporarily moved these workshops online and have separated the lessons into shorter sessions. To receive the content equivalent to a full workshop, please register for a session of each lesson (Shell, Git, and Python or R) from the workshop calendar.

Please visit https://libcal.missouri.edu/calendar/workshops/?cid=35&ct=48115 for dates, information, and registration.

More topics and workshop dates will be added, so watch the workshop calendar or subscribe to the MU-CARPENTRIES-L email listserv for information and announcements.