Notable Projects and Events
This has been a terrifically-productive year for the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections:
- In January our first major video release was launched. The conference proceedings from the two-day event “The Scientist as Educator and Public Citizen: Linus Pauling and his Era,” was the first of five Special Events video projects made available in 2008. The three other Pauling-related Events projects completed in 2008 were “The Life and Work of Linus Pauling (1901-1994): A Discourse on the Art of Biography,” posted in May; “Ion Channel Chemistry: The Electrical System of Life,” posted in June; and “Prospects for World Order,” Noam Chomsky‘s contribution to the Pauling Peace Lectureship, posted in July. All told, over twenty hours of fully-transcribed video were released by the OSU Libraries Special Collections this year.
- In February a revised and vastly-expanded version of the website “Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History” was unveiled. Originally launched in December 2004, the “enhanced” version of the chemical bond website included over 1,400 pages of new manuscripts, papers and letters, 1.75 hours of additional audio excerpts and 2.5 hours of previously-unpublished video clips. A different documentary history website, “It’s in the Blood! A Documentary History of Linus Pauling, Hemoglobin and Sickle Cell Anemia,” received similar treatment in October.
- On March 4th, The Pauling Blog was unfurled. Since then, we’ve generated 92 posts, gone through two site themes and tinkered quite a bit with our WordPress widgets (we’re using 12 of them currently).
- On March 6th, Linus Pauling was honored by the United States Postal Service with his own stamp. Around 8,000 sets were sold at the Corvallis first day release party, which was held in tandem with an event in New York City.
- On May 5th, Nobel chemistry laureate Dr. Roderick MacKinnon received the fifth Linus Pauling Legacy Award, presented every other year for achievement in an area of study that Linus Pauling once researched.
- In September the Pauling Student Learning Curriculum was launched. An interactive resource designed for both high school- and college-level students and teachers, the Learning Curriculum was also the second TEI Lite-based project completed by us in 2008. (The first was this biographical essay on the novelist Bernard Malamud)
- On December 15, Pauling was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. By our count, this is at least the eighth award that he has received posthumously.
Behind the Numbers
The largest source of 2008 traffic (4.48 million pageviews) is an oldie but a goody – Linus Pauling Research Notebooks. Originally released in 2002 and consisting of well-over 15,000 html files, this cross-indexed digital version of Pauling’s 46 research notebooks has, by our count, generated roughly 39.5 million pageviews over the course of its existence. The research notebooks site is also the only one of our many Pauling-centric projects to bubble up into the top 10 of Google’s results for the simple Linus Pauling keyword search. (not that we’re complaining, of course…)
Second in popularity is, per usual, the mammoth Linus Pauling Day-by-Day project (3.71 million), which currently provides a daily accounting of Linus and Ava Helen Pauling’s activities for the years 1930-1954.
Our four Documentary History websites jockey back and forth for third through sixth places. Having received a big update in February, the Bond site is a clear favorite right now, though Blood will probably move up as well, having also been recently revised. Here’s a look at how the numbers are shaking out for the major projects under the specialcollections/coll/pauling domain.
Check back on Friday for a few thoughts on search and a peek at 2009.