----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> At 11:27 AM 10/6/2005, Karl Miller wrote:
> >A notion which is increasingly having institutions refuse to accept
> >collections that come without endowments to cover the preservation
> >costs... Plus, as we have read in the pages of the NY Times, museums and
> >such compromising the trust of donors, and the public by selling off
> >materials...in the name of keeping the museum, archive...etc.
> What about the sell-off and destruction of many of the runs of old
> newspapers that Nicholson Baker documents in "Double Fold"? Including
> a set of a major NY Newspaper that had been presented by the publisher.
Two problems...the fragility of newsprint and the fact that micro-whatever
copies are considered equivalent to hard copies...
> I recently purchased a 3-volume set of the monumental 20-year-old
> Atlas of Canadian History produced by Univ of Toronto.
> I was saddened to see that Vol 1 was a de-accessioned library copy
> from a high school in Canada. Wouldn't you think that the high school
> would want this on hand as a reference book. My brother-in-law (book
> lover and Ph.D. in history) was saddened to see that Vol 3 was a
> presentation copy to someone. Vol 2 although purchased used, appeared
> to be new-old-stock.
High school libraries, insofar as they exsist, serve primarily to give
students access to reference works and assigned reading. They don't see
themselves as having any archival responsibility...so, if Volume I
was unlikely to be assigned reading, it becomes superfluous...
As far as III, the fate of "presentation copies" depends entirely
on the desire of the recipient to preserve his/her/its personal
history. If nothing else, this keeps eBay in the black!
> So now I have the 3-volume set at the new cost of the abridged
> one-volume version, or 1/3 the cost of a new set of the 3-volume set.
> But WHY are libraries dumping this stuff? With something of this
> nature, even if people don't look at it, I would think it would be
> their fond hope that someone would take the initiative to read it.
> Now if I can only get my kids to read it instead of watching animations on
As we drift ever politically rightward as the 21st century continues,
libraries...particularly their archival functions...become both
obsolete and unjustifiable! If only they could charge admission...
Steven C. Barr