Using Blogs to Present Digital Archives

I’ve found that blogs are an excellent way to manage the content of digital archives, particularly while working on them. To wait until all material is digitized before presenting it is the old way of working. By digitizing and posting the material together, it is possible to get a sense of the body of work, and at the same time use the category functions to sort the material for the future. The posting has the added benefit of giving the material out to the community of interest.

Working with the archives of Shamcher (Bryn) Beorse has been richly rewarding but also very complex. His material stretches from energy and economics to yoga and sufism, with personal history in there somewhere as well. It has been difficult sorting the material according to category, as much of his writing, particularly in correspondence, was a mixture of his interests and approaches. Luckily, most of the materials in his archive are in print version, so that was relatively easy to manage, but there are still boxes and boxes of papers to be scanned and edited. He kept copies of all his typewritten correspondence, as well as various drafts of books and articles. Blogging this material as it is processed digitally means that there is a public record of his work, and aspects of the work can reach others now, rather than in years from now.

Of particular interest is OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion). For decades, he worked to have this energy generating system, which was first introduced in the 1920’s, adopted by US government and industry – despite the opposition from oil, coal and nuclear interests. Since posting of the archives, there has been interest in that work, and there is more opportunity for this material to see the light of day. Particularly in these times when clean environmentally benign energy sources are of prime importance, the OTEC thread of this archive is needed today.

OTEC Plantship Image

An OTEC Plantship generates solar power from the sea

I really recommend using blogs to manage personal archives, such as this, and using the categories for your own sorting purposes, in addition to using them as tags in the usual sense.


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