The Internet Archive (IA) “is a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 624 billion archived web pages.” The IA offers users unrestricted access to its expansive ecosystem of knowledge and educational resources from the public domain. Andy Oram, prolific author, editor, publisher, and technical expert on all aspects of computing, undertook an extensive examination of a game changing case, Hachette v. Internet Archive, that may dismantle this unique, invaluable digital library. In this article Oram examines what the publishers are trying to protect and why they have to wield a large and heavy cudgel to protect it. His inquiry leads to a look at how culture has been privatized as it has become digitized—an effect quite opposed to the hopes of most public advocates who maintain the view that the Internet and the World Wide Web should remain focused on public access, not private sector monetization.
Ksenya Kiebuzinski, Slavic Resources Coordinator, and Head, Petro Jacyk Resource Centre, University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto informs us about the critical work of 1,000 volunteers, in partnership with universities in Canada and the United States, who are participating in the crowd-sourced project called Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) to preserve and secure digitized manuscripts, music, photographs, 3D architectural models and other publications. So far, the team has captured 15,000 files, which are accessible via the Internet Archive.
Ed Summers, librarian, metadata expert, teacher, and computational expert, delivers an insighful lesson on the Persistent Uniform Resource Locator. PURLs were developed to make URLs more resilient and persistent over time. You could put a PURL into a catalog record and if the URL it pointed to needed to change you changed the redirect on the PURL server, and all the places that pointed to the PURL didn’t need to change. It was a beautifully simple idea, and has influenced other approaches like DOI and Handle. But this simplicity depends on a commitment to keeping the PURL up to date.
Trump wants the National Archives to keep his papers away from investigators – post-Watergate laws and executive orders may not let him
Professor Shannon Bow O’Brien is a presidency scholar who focuses upon rhetoric. She discusses how the National Archives usually goes on with its work with little attention, but that is now at the center of a political fight about the public’s access to the papers of former President Donald Trump.
Ksenya Kiebuzinski, University of Toronto Libraries, offers perspective on how librarians face challenges in maintaining traditional means of accessing and delivering information to our users while embracing innovative media. We appreciate the value of both analogue (print books, manuscripts, maps, globes) and digital resources like Google Maps, databases and digital archives. One format captures the history of institutions in general, and of libraries, in particular. The other allows for more equitable and experimental access. Yet, being an advocate for print can be a thankless task. For librarians in all sectors this article is a lessons learned to share with colleagues and decision makers.
The Next Librarian of Congress – What to do about the Internet Archive and Google Books scanning project?
David Rothman offers his insights and perspective on the work and challenges that await the next Librarian of Congress. He calls for an individual who is not only steeped in the requisite expertise of research, technology, learning, teaching and freedom of information, but in following with a cause he has long championed he states “we need someone with “a love of reading—including the e-book variety.”
Perhaps there is a local historical society in the neighborhood where you live or work. Archivist and Librarian Celia Caust-Ellenbogen educates us about a project that seeks to uncover important archival resources held at small, primarily volunteer-run history organizations in the Philadelphia area.
Expert Witnesses on the Internet
By Gloria Miccioli
(Posted June 24, 1997; Archived July 22, 1997) Gloria Miccioli has 20 years experience as a law librarian. She is currently Senior Research Librarian at Willliams & Connolly. Prior to that, she was Reference/Government Documents Librarian at the Jacob Burns Law Library of the George Washington University.