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December 2000


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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Wayne Miller <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 1 Dec 2000 16:10:05 GMT
"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
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Your story points out the truth that it only takes one moment of stupidity
to break the chain. That is, only one person at one point in time has to
decide to NOT continue retaining something and it is gone forever. Your
wish that some corporate sugar daddy would step up and save things is
wonderful, but as any archivist will tell you, funds are tough to come by.
And the cost of preservation is ongoing: the building has overhead that
continues year after year, to say nothing of the labor to preserve and
provide access for the materials. You also mentioned a 'sprinkler system.'
Those are swear words for archivists. Water is paper's enemy. The chemical
systems that meet archival standards are very pricey, to say nothing of the
temperature and humidity controls needed.
Wayne Miller

Don Rittner writes:

> I only wish other public libraries were as on the ball as Bob's.  They
> really do have a great collection and knowledge of what needs to be done.
> But maybe that really is what it comes down to in reality - the staff?  If
> you have a good group of people who really understand the needs of the
> material and don't look at their weekly tenure just as a "job," the
> situation would be quite different.
> In one situation at a local library I am familiar with, there was really no
> need to dump the newspapers.  They did not have a large collection and it
> wasn't taking up that much room.  They just felt that it was time to get rid
> of those dusty old crumbling newspapers that were making some of the staff
> sneeze!
> I wonder if this is the kind of project that corporate donors could get
> involved in?  I can see IBM or GE financing a historic newspaper repository,
> no? They could use some good PR :)
> On the other hand I am not comfortable with some old wareshouse being the
> repository unless it was up to code, had the latest environmental regulation
> system, and a great sprinkler system.
> dr
> > From: Robert Sullivan <[log in to unmask]>
> > Reply-To: "A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State
> > history." <[log in to unmask]>
> > Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 19:38:01 -0500
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: Cross post from a hard-copy discarder
> >
> >> Maybe this was discussed already, but has anyone or could a group send out a
> >> notice to local libraries and holding institutions as to the importance of
> >> holding printed volumes, even if they are microfilmed, and that some other
> >> repository would take them?
> >
> > This is what it all comes down to, isn't it?
> >
> > I'm happy to say that my library has a good collection of newspaper volumes
> > (inherited from another library, I believe) and other historical material.
> > When we had a roof leak this past summer, I rescued them from the flood.
> > Don's
> > seen some of my digitizing projects and we share an interest in saving this
> > sort of thing and making it available online.
> >
> > On the other hand, we're in a space crunch and everything is being examined
> > with a critical eye as we prepare for a major reorganization of our building.
> > There's no way we could absorb someone else's collection.  The local
> > historical
> > society has a wonderful library, but they also have space constraints.
> >
> > It's probably safe to say that this would apply to most public libraries....
> > maybe the new Broome County Public Library would be an exception, as they will
> > be allied with the local historian and possibly another office.
> >
> > So - if I know of a large collection of documents which will be discarded
> > after
> > microfilming and I'd like to preserve them, what are my options?
> >
> > Bob Sullivan                               [log in to unmask]
> > Schenectady County Public Library (NY)     http://www.scpl.org
> >