I'm in the midst of trying to clear the house my parents bought in 1954, from
which nothing was ever tossed. Nothing. The box everything ever came in, broken
toys and torn stuffed animals, long runs of magazines (okay, some interesting
40s and 50s stuff there plus a few 30s Esquires), 9 or 10 non-working
television sets and an equal number of radios..
NOT EVERYTHING IS WORTH SAVING! Trust me. If you don't want it and your kids
don't want it and no archive wants it....it's crap. Toss it. Do the world a
favor. And of course the second after you do....somebody'll need it.
Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
>> "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> ***Having started this discussion, I should note that my "save it all" comes
>> with certain "excepts!" For example, there is no reason to save data in
>> duplicate forms (i.e. an ARC recording which was issued on six to twenty
>> different labels, all using the exact recording!)
>> How much time would be needed to make such a determination? An informed
> individual might know, but how likely is it that a technician would be so
> informed? How likely would it be that even a curator of a collection would know?
> You certainly couldn't expect a cataloger to know, even a music cataloger. They
> have enough to do just keeping the cataloging rules and the methodology of MARC
> on their radar.
>> We don't have an informed workforce and from my own experience, I see little
> evidence that we even have an administrative infrastructure in libraries that
> value such skills. I just don't see how saving it all is possible, even if we
> had the available technology. We don't even have an educational system which
> supports the teaching of the appropriate skills. Most of us have learnt these
> things on our own. It has taken us years to develop and refine what we do.
>> When it comes to saving it all, I think the archives of this mailing list is
> what needs to be saved. It seems to me that the contents is a great guide to
> what needs to be learnt by those that come after us.
>> However, for me, the main reason we "can't" save it all has to do with the
> lack of importance our society places on saving it all.
> Okeh...first, I was thinking in terms of my/the project to complete an
> "ultimate 78rpm phonorecord catalog/discography/sound archive. Thus, the
> digital sound for only one copy of a multiply-issued side would need to
> be archived (and one assumes that this project would be overseen by
> qualified individuals...) but, every different issue of that side would
> have to be placed in the related database, with a link to that one
> sound file. This means that "save it all" would apply to the database
> of phonorecord-relevant data...but NOT to the archive of related sound
> Now, on a more general basis, "save it all" obviously has to be qualified...
> both by "do we have room for this" and "will anyone else ever be interested
> in this?" The former, of course, is often more important than the latter.
> Nonetheless, I can think of a number of important (to me) data that may or
> may not have been preserved for posterity. For example, I would be very
> interested in learning when my house was hooked up to "city water." That
> was, obviously, once in city files...but I suspect even if it still exists
> at the back of some file drawer, no one knows it is there...!
> As another "for example"...while going through a bunch of cartons of VERY
> misellaneous paper ephemera, I discovered I had inadvertantly somehow
> saved a box of old newspapers from the 1959-60 era, which my father had
> accumulated (he was also a pack-rat) for unknown reasons...possibly to
> wrap pears (a failed project which left us with a basement room full
> of rotted pears...)?! Very interesting to read in any case...!
> Further, I agree that the digital archives of ARSCLIST should most
> definitely be preserved!
> Finally, XXI-Jahrhundert folks seem to be fascinated with the $$$ they
> can make by placing inadvertantly-preserved material/ephemera on eBay
> for auction...but seem not to realize that their posterity will have
> the same attitude toward CURRENT ephemera! Further, at least IMO, the
> reason for preserving intellectual property, including things like
> newspapers, magazines, sound recordings, still and moving images, usw.
> is so our posterity (assuming we have such a thing) will have the
> necessary information to understand and/or comprehend our times.
> But...the current likelihood of something being preserved rises
> exponentially with its perceived future monetary value...one
> wonders, of course, how many would-be nouveaux riche are pondering
> closets full of "rare" Beanie Babies (TM Reg. U.S. Pat Off.)...
> Steven C. Barr