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----- 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.
functioning.
> 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
TV.
>
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