Wednesday, April 18, 2007
An ill-conceived practice
I will try to be as non-specific as possible, but I would imagine that if this fits you, you will know it. It seems likely to be true that a certain archive organization allows certain people to restrict access to boxes of documents from the 17th Century for extended periods of time, even for over six months. For one thing, there is no justification for this to be allowed. A person can photograph an entire box of documents in a relatively short period. If they don't want to take the time to do that themselves, they can either pay the archive to make copies, or else hire someone like Eric Ruijssenaars, of the Dutch Archives Research Bureau, to take photographs for you. This also has the benefit of reducing the handling of fragile pages that should not be handled too frequently. An archive shouldn't show favoritism, either, towards anyone, even if that person is trying to restrict access to information so that he can get to publication before anyone else(I apologize for being so nasty, but I don't like this practice at all). Let me know of any reason why I am wrong on this, and should change my view.