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Academics are warning that more needs to be done to
preserve Britain\'s digital heritage.
The Digital Preservation Coalition fears over-reliance on
technology means important contemporary records could
be lost to future generations.
Luis Acosta writes \"The Washington Post, in a story about a KGB archivist who meticulously collected and smuggled out information concerning the KGB\'s activities in Afganistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion, calls the archivist\'s work \"one of the most impressive acts of heroism ever performed by a librarian.\" More generally, the story highlights the difficulty of reconstructing history when events are manipulated by layers of misinformation by competing intelligence agencies.
See Steve Coll, \"Spies, Lies and the Distortion of History,\" Washington Post, February 24, 2002, page B1, or On The Web \"
The Texas state archives have released documents suggesting that Bush\'s ties to Enron\'s Kenneth Lay are much closer than he\'d have us believe. He appears to be trying hard to bury any additional evidence. Thanks to Metafilter.
From the New York Times (registration required):
The stacks of the Texas State Library and Archives groan with boxes of carefully preserved papers dating back to James Pinckney Henderson, the first governor, who served from 1846 to 1847. But anyone trawling for insights into the most recent former governor, George W. Bush, or say, his ties to Enron in the years he ran Texas, would have to travel 118 miles east to College Station. Even then, it might be months, maybe even years, before many of the records are available. The papers . . . are at the center of a tug of war between Mr. Bush and the director of the Texas state archives. By placing them at his father\'s presidential library at Texas A&M University, Mr. Bush is putting them in the hands of a federal institution that is not ordinarily bound by the state\'s tough Public Information Act . . .
\"Who needs a shredder when you have Daddy\'s presidential library?\" said James Newcomb, an official with the Better Government Association in Chicago, which relies heavily on freedom-of-information requests . . .
From the New York Times (registration required):
A group of archivists and historians yesterday angrily denounced the transfer of Rudolph W. Giuliani\'s mayoral papers out of city custody and said that they intended to hold Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg responsible for retrieving the documents, which are being stored at a warehouse in Queens.
The group also held out the possibility of a lawsuit or other legal action should Mr. Bloomberg and his corporation counsel, Michael A. Cardozo, fail to address their concerns . . .
Elizaabeth Christian writes \"Is the death of Photopoint an Archives, Library issue ?
Started as a dot com venture capital business by one intrepid visionary, providing unlimited storage in albums for photographs from everywhere, by the time it closed this month it was the repository of an amazing photographic archive, well organized, with editing options, and most important online data for the photographs.
Some people are just finding out their precious photos are gone..they trusted, later paid.
Some links on Photopoints recent demise.In my opinion, this is an in credible international archive of photos, especially US photos, and some nonprofit should step in to preserve the archive, and then sell discs of albums back to the users....assumng the archive still exists.
Warning about \"free\" on the net. People just will not pay if it was once \"free\" it seems.
A July 2001 post, showing the story up to that point, explaining how paid memberships did not materilaize
Comparative stats on uses when it closed.
More on Giuliani\'s plan to place the records of his administration in the hands of private organization rather than with NYC:
\'\'He\'s removed his papers so that nobody can go down there and look at them. I think that\'s dead wrong,\'\' said former mayor Ed Koch, who said he viewed everything he did during his tenure as part of his public record.
Representatives for Giuliani referred calls to Saul Cohen, president of the center. \'\'The whole purpose is to create a repository for scholars and journalists,\'\' Cohen said, adding that the records - or copies, if the city prefers - would eventually be stored in a library or at a university in the city. Cohen noted that the organization is paying the cost of the archival work and that its work would actually speed public access . . .
From the Boston Globe. Still more from the Village Voice.
From the Chicago Tribune:
The University of California, Los Angeles Library has purchased the literary archive of Susan Sontag, one of the best-known and most influential American intellectuals of the late 20th Century. Sources close to the sale say the library paid $1.1 million for the materials, $440,000 of which is for her personal library. Funds were donated by an anonymous UCLA alumna.
Sontag, 69, was reared in Tucson, Ariz., and Los Angeles but has lived in New York for more than four decades. She said her first choice for placement of her archive would have been the New York Public Library, but added \"it is a source of great pleasure to me that it is going to a place I had a connection with. Southern California has been part of my life.\"
From the New York Times (registration required.):
For most former mayors of New York City, the trip into the dusty files of history began with hundreds of boxes of mayoral papers and artifacts being carted from City Hall across Chambers Street to the Municipal Archives in the old Surrogate\'s Court. There, city archivists undertake a long, slow process of sorting and indexing.
Aides and friends of Rudolph W. Giuliani, however, decided that he deserved better. So, on Dec. 24, just a week before leaving office, Mr. Giuliani\'s staff hammered out an unusual agreement with the city\'s Department of Records and Information Services, giving custody of all of his mayoral papers and artifacts to a private nonprofit group that Mr. Giuliani will control . . .
But the transfer of these items, which remain city property, into the custody of the nonprofit group, the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs Inc., has drawn the ire of some archivists and historians, who fear that Mr. Giuliani will try to filter history to bolster his image . . .
\"It\'s particularly a terrible idea, because the Giuliani administration had a very dismal record on making information accessible to the public,\" said Michael Wallace, a historian and co-author of \"Gotham: a History of New York to 1898.\"