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English Corner

"The New York City Bar Association is set to auction off its rare books in a series of three auctions at Doyle New York. The first sale will be held tomorrow. The New York Law Journal also ran a piece on the upcoming sales, featuring some pretty shocking comments from Association staff and criticism from members."

Landmark November 24, 2014 Auction at Doyle New York Far Surpassed Its Estimate of $665,780-1,010,420, With All 325 Lots Sold"

""I've never had one request for any of these books," said Tuske. "Nobody even knows we have them. [...]

But two association members complained in a Nov. 11 letter to city bar President Debra Raskin that they had learned of the auction "only recently" and characterized the decision to dispose of the books as an "inside job" with the executive committee consulting only itself and employed officials.
John R. Horan and Stephen Sayre Singer inquired if there were moral or legal reasons why the auction should not proceed. They asked whether the sales were consistent with the implied or stipulated intent of donors and whether any of the materials were subject to express donor restrictions.
Finally they argued that dispersing the books by auction would make them less accessible and would not assure their preservation.
"Overall, if the association cannot properly care for and make available these valuable artifacts of its patrimony, we think it more suitable that they be kept together and donated to another research facility," they said."

Read more:
(Free registration needed)

"Search and browse digital collections on social history and the history of the labour movement from the late 18th to the beginning of the 21st century. More than 900,000 digitised objects (archives, books, brochures, leaflets, photographs, posters, prints, cartoons, sound, films and videos) from 15 specialized archives and libraries in Europe."

Peter Suber: "This is big, and not only because the the Gates Foundation is big. The policy applies to both texts and data, requires CC-BY licenses, and is the first OA policy anywhere to give publishers fair warning and cut the permissible embargo from 12 months to zero over the next two years."

"Last week many media published the news about a drastic cut in the budgets of major cultural institutions in Belgium. in particular federal institutions such as the Bibliothèque Royale Albert I in Brussels and the Archives de l’État en Belgique, also in Brussels, face next year a loss of 20 percent of their yearly budget. I use here the French name of both institutions, but in particular on the website of the Belgian National archives you can immediately gauge the multilingual character of Belgian society. Belgium can be roughly divided in three parts, Flanders, Wallonie and the central region in and around Brussels, Belgium’s capital. The German-speaking minority in the region along the German border has in principle the same rights as the Flemish and Wallon communities.

An online petition has been launched to give the protest against these plans a loud and clear voice, and I cordially invite you to share your concern about these proposals by signing this petition. "


PwC, the administrator charged with mopping up the European operations of the failed investment bank Lehman Brothers, has said that it might order the destruction of trading data and records once all of the bank’s affairs have been settled.

The possibility that PwC might destroy the data and documents locked down on the systems of Lehman Brothers International Europe, at the moment the plug was pulled on the bank in September 2008, feeds into the fears of historians that records of the financial crisis will be lost.

Archivists typically select around 5 per cent of organisational records, such as board minutes, public statements and strategy papers, for long-term preservation, according to Vicki Lemieux, an associate professor in archival studies at the University of British Columbia. But, given the repercussions and public importance of the crisis, she says: “The decision on what records are retained shouldn’t be a technocratic function undertaken by archivists alone, without some wider social consultation.”

It is not just academics who want to preserve the records. The European Association for Banking and Financial History, a network of financial institutions, hopes to persuade bank boards to preserve historically significant records. “The first step is to ensure the important parts of the archive are kept. But, in due time [after closure periods of perhaps 30-50 years] we hope the banks will make them accessible to researchers,” says Ines van Dijk, a document specialist at the Dutch central bank, who sits on an EABH committee looking at legislation affecting finance archives.

Via Peter Kurilecz



"The percentage of documents for which
Google Scholar provides a freely accessible full text link can
be observed in Figure 13. Over 40% of the documents in our sample provided a full text link, and these links are mostly concentrated in the last two decades." AGB

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