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I have to disagree.  I have worked as a librarian for 10 years,
including a couple at the Minnesota Historical Society, which is the
newspaper archive for Minnesota.  Although the American Newspaper
project, and microfilm in general have many positive features (as I
mentioned in my original post) the wholesale destruction of newspaper
originals that Baker mourned is absolutely true- as is the fact that
many of the newspapers and books destroyed were in readable
condition.  To this list, it would be akin to copying a 78 onto a CD
with a high loss rate, then throwing out the 78 because it is
"brittle."

-Tony Greiner

>If you want some real answers about newspaper preservation, the last
>place you should look for guidance is in the work of a hack fiction
>writer like Baker.  Check out the work that's been done by the
>United States Newspaper Program.  If you are good at research and
>check out Baker's "extensive" bibliography, you will find yourself
>wondering why he left out significant information simply because
>what others said did not support his crackpot argument.  Baker is in
>microfilm denial and seems to think that one page that will not
>break when folded somehow magically represents millions of pages of
>newspapers and books that broke when handled.  Double Fooled is not
>a work of scholarship to be relied on.  He's probably got you
>believing every reel of microfilm is a deteriorating compilation of
>mistakes.  Nothing could be further from the truth.
>
>- Walter Cybulski
>
>>>>  [log in to unmask] 07/19/03 03:12PM >>>
>On the philosophy of preservation:
>
>Newspapers could be preserved if one library in each area decided to
>save one newspaper.  Here is Portland, one could save the "Oregonian"
>another the "Tribune" another "WIllamette Week" etc.  Thus, no
>institution would take on too great a burden.  The same sort of thing
>could be done with sound and video records- if some sort of voluntary
>organization was set up to coordinate things.
>
>Nicholson Baker's "Double Fold" is an astounding look at what
>libraries threw away- but the simple principles of preservation he
>lays out could be applied to many fields.
>
>Tony Greiner
>
>
>>   > The problem is that in most cases newspaper articles are
>>researched to trace
>>>   either trends or series of events...so that having every third
>>>(or whatever)
>>>   day would be worse than useless in research! For example, suppose you were
>>>   tracing the history of WWII, and your arbitrary selection left out June 6,
>>>   1944! Or stock market trends, and omitted "Black Thursday!"
>>>   Or, worse yet, were culling an archive of the Chicago Tribune,
>>>and kept only
>>>   a copy headlining "DEWEY WINS!"...
>>>   Steven C. Barr
>>
>>Then it wouldn't be a problem -- because SIGNIFICANT news stories have
>>follow-up stories.  Thus, June 7, 8, 9... would cover the events of June
>>6th;  "Black Thursday" would continue to be commented on; and it would
>>become clear from archival analyses that "Dewey Wins" was inaccurate.  :)
>>
>>Plus, you would have a cross-section of OTHER newspapers, where you
>>**did** have data for those specific dates -- just from different cities.
>>
>>That being said:  A professor here did a study on lynchings in the U.S.
>>South, and studied newspaper accounts to attempt a complete list of ALL
>>events.  During certain periods, lynchings (unfortunately) were such
>>mundane events that they only received a two-paragraph write-up, with no
>>follow-up.
>>
>>It depends on the specific research question being asked -- in which case,
>>those who would USE the archives -- historians, historical sociologists,
>>and the like -- would have VERY specific instructions on what degree of
>>archival retention would be in the "nice, but not necessary" realm, vs.
>>"must-have."
>>
>>                          --Travis
>
>--
>Tony Greiner/Mary Grant  [log in to unmask]

--
Tony Greiner/Mary Grant  [log in to unmask]