Presentations (Communicative Events)

Documenting and Preserving Histories and Legacies

Lee, Robert

Preservation and long-term access to research materials is often achieved through public/private collaboration between repositories of print collections and academic publishers who can compile and disseminate content in new formats, such as microform or a variety of new electronic means to enable scholarly enquiry that might otherwise be impossible. Publishers do not possess collections of content, and academic curators of original print collections do not often have the robust technical or financial tools required for the assembly and proper long-term support of digitized collections. Working together, publishers and their library and archive partners have produced transformational access to corpuses of the largest and smallest scale; serving broad and esoteric research needs alike, and executing projects using both commercial and non-commercial models. This presentation will outline a variety of case studies specific to or with strong relevance to Russophone emigration to demonstrate lessons learned, illustrate the scope of possibilities, including reconstructing whole collections from fragmented holdings of various institutions even among several countries. Attention will be given to the shifting economic realities that guide publishers in their publishing programs, and the factors that make projects optimal candidates for public/private partnership. The exciting new possibilities of emerging technologies will be addressed, as well as the continuing imperatives of true preservation, and what that means in terms of digital content in particular.


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Harriman Institute
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September 26, 2013