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http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-smithsonian-works-to-digitize-millions-of-documents-1410464327

assuming real-deal experts (not interns) at the Smithsonian vet the crowdsourced work, this seems 
like a good idea and will likely get a bunch of in-depth knowledge out into the public domain via 
the interwebs. Just in the field of recording techniques and audio-recording history, I have noticed 
that, as more arcane knowledge gets within reach of a Google search (for instance, scans of old 
audio magazines, equipment manuals, schematics and first-person accounts), people can now try 
"retro" or "authentic analog" techniques without making all the mistakes of yore. Whether they avail 
themselves to the now readily-available store of knowledge is a different matter. It seems to me 
that efforts like Smithsonians may allow scientists, especially naturalists, to avoid having to 
re-catalog obscure animals and re-study behaviors already known but the old research was "forgotten" 
because it was buried in journals and obscure texts hidden in phyiscal archives. I'm too 
life-experienced to believe in the Internet-Utopia vision of a "New Universal Alexandria Library," 
but projects like this one at the Smithsonian seem to get us closer.

ARSC Member archives -- thing about your collections of "papers" in your files. Could they be 
transcribed in this manner, within the confines of your budgets and workflows?

-- Tom Fine