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[ba-unrev-talk] OT: Preservation of Public Domain Works

Although the following is off topic, though pertinent to the debate about
necessary economic incentives and the extension of copyright terms, I wanted
to share this, which is something I have no little pride in.  I didn't
conceive of this, but I did get to play a part in its fulfillment.    (01)

-- Dennis    (02)

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis E. Hamilton [mailto:dennis.hamilton@acm.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 14:22
To: comp-sci-theory@yahoogroups.com
Cc: William Anderson
Subject: RE: [comp-sci-theory] Re: Current Progress in Learning Abstract
Alg for Automata    (03)

This is a bit off-topic, but I couldn't pass this up.    (04)

I came across the following book while finding out about materials that are
in the public domain outside of the US but are sometimes not in the US
because of the copyright extension act that is currently being reviewed by
the U.S. Supreme Court.    (05)

If you go to this site    (06)

01950001&id=5    (07)

and then click on "First" to see something about this book (on Universal
Algebra), there is a note that describes how this book got to be in digital
form.  The CLASS Project is something my associate Bill Anderson and I had a
lot to do with in the late 80's and early 90's.  I am proud that this is
here.  There's more about this particular collection at    (08)

http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/math.html    (09)

and here    (010)

http://www.math.cornell.edu/%7Elibrary/reformat.html    (011)

Although people talk about the archival quality of paper in contrast to
electronic media, the books preserved by the CLASS project, mostly printed
in the 19th century, were printed on acid paper made using a particular pulp
treatment process, one that made paper much more affordable.  Unfortunately,
such works deteriorate rapidly, and although these particular books are not
precious in a material sense, they are scarce.  To scan the books they had
to be destroyed, because they were already brittle and difficult to handle.
The result was a fresh printing, newly bound, that in many cases was as good
and as attractive as the original.   And now that there are digital images
(though on large WORM disks, last time I checked), it is easy to reprint
these books on demand and exchange them with other research libraries in
digital form.    (012)

Interesting sidelights:  M. Stuart Lynn was the driving force behind this
effort at the Cornell University end.  Stu is now in the public eye by
virtue of his present affiliation with ICANN.    (013)

Clifford Lynch, who appears to be still engaged with digital libraries, will
be at a symposium next month in Vancouver, BC, on eLibraries, and Douglas
Englebart will be there too.  I get to go up and see them both.    (014)

-- orcmid    (015)

Dennis E. Hamilton
tel. +1-206-932-6970
cell +1-206-779-9430
     The Miser Project: http://miser-theory.info/
     AIIM DMware: http://DMware.info/    (016)