Friday, August 20, 2010

The Ominous Red Light
Or why I'm not writing the usual "Stories from the Clippings" today

The real question is: where are my scans and accompanying working papers for the News Clipping Folios Digital Project? Unfortunately they are AWOL. The small black box with one terabyte of storage has been absconded by one of our highly talented IT staff, after we reported that an ominous red light was blinking.
That little box is where we store most of our electronic scans, which include our heavily accessed photographs and documents and many of our working files and house the scans of the news clipping folios. As it was explained to us, the data stored on the external drive is spread throughout the drive on more than one disk, so if one fails, the data can be retrieved. So we haven't lost our files, they are just on hiatus.

As with anything and everything here in the Historical Collections & Archives, there is never a good time to have them go away or fail. This external drive, which we call the Archive drive and another that we call the HOM drive, are safeguards against our hard-working PC hard drive failure. But apparently, one of the five discs inside of the Archives drive failed.

For those of us involved in information creation and management, safeguarding electronic information is a constant concern. Many staff hours can be lost and resources can be in jeopardy due to hard drive melt-down. I happen to be a veteran of one or two of those devastating disasters. Our true backup server is our
Digital Resources Library. This is where the newspaper clipping folios will eventually live for public access. Lack of staff time to load them into ContentDM and to create metadata is the biggest obstacle to yet another layer of protection.

So we need our external drives to be loyal workhorses. Our IT guy assures us that we will have our drive back before next week.

So here's a cool picture to look at since I didn't have a cool story from the clippings.
As we all do, physicians have lives outside of their professional careers. In his "free time", UOMS alum, Herbert Merton Greene, class of 1904, was a Freemason, a member of the Anglo-Saxon Christian Association and apparently a drum major for the LaCrosse, Washington Cornet Band. He had a private practice in this small rural town until 1918, before returning to Portland to teach at the school and build a very successful practice with offices in the Medical Arts Building.

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