05 September 2008

Save with your digital camera

I like this story from Science Daily about a researcher who photographed 2,500 17th century documents from a Swedish archive, producing some 25,000 images in total, which would have been the equivalent of $15,000 worth of photocopying. He did it entirely with the archives cooperation.

It illustrates how technology is gradually eroding the natural conservatism of libraries and archives which are recognizing that for research purposes it makes sense to let clients use their own flash-free digital camera on out of copyright material, and even limited extracts of in-copyright material .

If the institution where you research is still resisting this trend, don't give the front-line person a hard time. They just enforce the rules handed down from on high. Instead write to the head of the institution. If enough people did that ... Frank Sinatra describes the consequences in a song from my youth here.

1 comment:

Terry Thornton said...

Hear! HEAR! Good advice if you encounter agencies who ban use of digital cameras.

But aren't these small hand-held cameras great for copy-work in library settings? I use the flash-free close-up setting and find that when I need the material to "sharpen" the image a tad and, presto, a free readable copy.

Terry Thornton
Fulton, Mississippi