Archives

SAA 2001 Diversity Roundtables Report Available

The report on the Society of American Archivists\' diversity roundtables at the 2001 convention are available (as a PDF.)

Battling Over Records of Bush\'s Governorship

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 . . .

More.

Archivists Demand NYC Reclaim Giuliani Papers

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 . . .

More.

One of the world\'s largest photo archive, work for Librarians?

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.


News.com Story

Actionguild Story

A July 2001 post, showing the story up to that point, explaining how paid memberships did not materilaize

Ripoffreport.com

CyberJunkie.com

Cido Blog

Comparative stats on uses when it closed.
\"

More on Giuliani Papers Debate

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.

UCLA Purchases Sontag Papers

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.\"

A bit more. Even more from the Las Vegas Sun.

Giuliani Papers Go to Private Group Rather Than NYC

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.\"

More.

Leaping to Life in the Archives

From the New York Times (registration required):

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center is one of the city\'s great cultural treasure troves. It is the largest dance archive in the world, with holdings that date back to 1460. But even dance fanatics tend to forget about this research center once known simply as \"the Dance Collection.\"

What could dance, that restlessly vital art form, have to do with dusty tomes pored over in sleep-inducing fluorescent light and in tomblike silence?

More.

20 Million Accessed 1901 UK Census in First Week

Or tried to, anyhow - a flood of genealogists has swamped the servers of the UK\'s Public Records Office, which unveiled the online version of the census this week:

The growing fascination with family history came to the fore this week when an estimated 20m people attempted to access the newly launched online version of the 1901 census.

Designed to cope with just 1.2m visitors a day, the site effectively seized up with a couple of hours and within 24 hours had been withdrawn for a quick overhaul that the Public Records Office said would allow more people to log on.

Plans to put all Victorian census records online are also to be speeded up to meet the obvious demand from a public fascinated with when their relatives were born, married and died and how they lived their lives . . .

More from the Guardian.

1901 UK Census Available Online, Heavily Used

An editorial from the London Evening Standard:

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. Or so LP Hartley told us in the opening sentence of his novel The Go-Between, published in 1953. But we\'re now keener than mustard to catch hold of all our yesterdays.

Two days ago, the Kewbased Public Record Office was stunned by the overwhelmingly avid response to its decision to put the 1901 census on line (the most recent census released under the 100-year rule that protects individuals\' privacy). I\'m surprised at its surprise. The Public Record Office should have known that, these days, everyone wants to be a DIY historian . . .

More. The 1901 census data can be examined here, although as Ananova recently reported, heavy demand is making it difficult to use the site.

Syndicate content