Re: Disappearing microform titles (Peter V. Picerno) Marcia Tuttle 07 Sep 2001 16:43 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 10:42:28 -0500
From: Peter V. Picerno <ppicerno@UTMEM.EDU>
Subject: Re: Disappearing microform titles (Albert Henderson)


        Publishers' archives go to the libraries. No other
        group has the resources, training, and social status
        to archive important documents effectively.

        Archiving electronic documents is more difficult than
        other formats, as Arms points out in DIGITAL LIBRARIES
        (MIT Press. 2000). Digital formats become obsolete
        within a few years. Magnetic media simply fail. The
        popular compression formats (JPG, GIF) capture only
        a fraction of the information in the original art.

        If the library community cannot step up, much
        of knowledge and culture after the year 2000
        will be lost. The question is, as I see it, who
        cares about these things anymore?

        I don't think it's a matter of caring or not caring: but what
library has the luxury of resources (financial, staff, and otherwise) to
digitize, migrate, electronically store, and maintain an electronic back
run of a journal? I think it's really a question of whether the library
community can afford to "step up."

        The models we are dealing with here are very different. Compare,
for example, the costs of binding and shelving a print journal, the costs
of purchasing and maintaining a microform of a back run, and the cost of
paying perpetual rent for access to a back run of a journal. The first two
examples of the model (print and microform) represent some financial
outlay on the part of the library for binding and storage, but a
one-time-only payment to the publisher, while the third example
(e-versions) represents little outlay by the library
(hardware/software/web access) but continual payment to the

        Which is more affordable for libraries, and which is more
lucrative for publishers/vendors/aggregators??

Peter Picerno