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Subject: Future of conservation/preservation funding

Future of conservation/preservation funding

From: Karen Motylewski <nedcc>
Date: Thursday, September 1, 1994
I'm increasingly demoralized by by what seems to be a wholesale flight
to replace traditional forms of information access and transfer (you
know, like books and conversation) by computer technology.  The
temptations of the virtual library and the virtual museum seem to be
genuinely threatening the future survival of physical collections, not
least by siphoning off sources of funding for conventional preservation
and conservation strategies.  NHPRC and NEH are self-avowedly supportive
of proposal for model programs using this technology in the interest of
access *and preservation*.  IMS is likely not far behind.  If funding
agency priorities remain reasonably balanced, in recognition of the fact
that it may not yet be possible or desirable for small, financially
constrained institutions (with collections that remain undeniably rich)
to join this revolution, traditional conservation and preservation will
still be compromised by the personal funding priorities of boards and
directors. I don't *think* I'm a Luddite.  I just fear that rather than
adding high tech strategies to our available arsenal, many
individuals/institutions are looking to them as a panacea and

I've been racking my brains trying to think of a way to piggyback
conservation on the overwhelming enthusiasm for computerization.  Does
anyone else have thoughts to share on this?  Or reassurances?  Or
thoughtful arguments for why the physical object *should* be generically
allowed to disappear?

(Opinions not necessarily those of my organization.)

Karen Motylewski

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:18
                 Distributed: Sunday, September 4, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-18-001
Received on Thursday, 1 September, 1994

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