Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting rid of originals?

I was reading the notes of the digitization meeting at RBMS, and thought - WHO thought of the "digitize, then dispose" comment? Some very young person? The first digitization project I worked on followed the LC standards of the time - 150 dpi. What were we thinking? Well, we weren't thinking ahead, we weren't thinking in economic terms that mass production means cheaper, we weren't thinking of the future.

What if we had thought of scan&toss then? What would we make the better scans from? Other than deteriorating nitrate and acetate negatives, which can spontaneously combust or can suddenly turn to dust, what would be good enough to scan but not good enough to keep?

I was shocked that this came from RBMS people - what books would we have left if we tossed the shabby used ones? I hope this isn't an offshoot of the googlescan mindset of administrators, or maybe I hope it is and isn't from the librarians and archivists!

I know that archivists are reputed to be packrats, but are RB librarians conspicuous consumers?

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