5.0221 Preservation (2/75)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 9 Jul 1991 23:17:32 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0221. Tuesday, 9 Jul 1991.

(1) Date: Sun, 07 Jul 91 16:48:08 EDT (34 lines)
Subject: 5.0216 Preservation (was Archiving)

(2) Date: Tue, 09 Jul 91 16:29:58 MST (41 lines)
From: Dan Lester <ALILESTE@IDBSU>
Subject: Re: 5.0210 Archiving Etexts

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 07 Jul 91 16:48:08 EDT
Subject: 5.0216 Preservation (was Archiving) (1/31)

In reply to Willard McCarty: Hooray! Amen! Whatever other
term is used to say I essentially agree with you.

My first love is history (well, maybe publishing,THEN
history THEN library science...or equal weight to all 3).

The historian in me says yes, save everything; the
publisher part of me says that if it's worth saving it's
worth printing...on acid-free paper; the librarian in me
says _where_ will we store these bits and bytes (microfiche
is best answer I think)...and more importantly, who has the
money to pay somebody to archive all this?

Try as one might to compare/contrast the electronic
publishing world with the print publishing world in the
same manner as comparing the printing press to scribal
duplication of information...it just won't work. The electronic
medium spans print and those movin' pictures...and so much more

The raillery against copyright law could continue whether
scholarly discourse is print-bound or not (and I have my
feet firmly planted on both sides of the fence on the copyright

Again, hooray for Willard!

Paula Presley
Thomas Jefferson Univ. Press
Northeast Missouri State University
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------51----
Date: Tue, 09 Jul 91 16:29:58 MST
From: Dan Lester <ALILESTE@IDBSU>
Subject: Re: 5.0210 Archiving Etexts (2/48)

On Thu, 4 Jul 91 15:48:30 EDT you said:
>Date: 3 July 91, 02:37:16 EDT
>From: R12040 at UQAM
>Richard Ristow's comments on archiving are, in my opinion, right on-
>target. The preservation of scholarly work, irrespective of the medium
>in which it appears, seems to be worthwhile. I've often heard it said
>that 50% of what is being published today is, or will be, wrong or
>worthless, later on. The problem is, we don't know which 50% it is,
>until we have the advantage of historical perspective.

This brings to mind a story I was told in library school in 1966-67. A
professor who had a PhD in history said that Alfred North Whitehead had
said that "You could burn half of the books in the British Museum and no one
would know the difference between now and the end of time. The only problem
is which half."

This, of course, amounts to a different expression of the ideas quoted
above. I happen to agree with either version of the statement. My REAL
question for the humanists on the list is: "Did Whitehead [or anybody
else] actually say what has been said above?" I have done some digging
in Whitehead materials; so have some colleagues with better knowledge of
the literature of philosophy. We have struck out so far. Any responses
regarding the apocryphal or real source of the above will be appreciated.
Discussion on the substance of it would also be of secondary interest.



* Dan Lester Bitnet: alileste@idbsu
* Associate University Librarian Internet: alileste@idbsu.idbsu.edu
* Boise State University
* Boise, Idaho 83725 You can be sure these ideas are my
* 208-385-1234 own; no one else would have them.