Thursday, April 23, 2009

"The fate of "Paper of Record", GOOG, and the Tacit Call for DIY Attitudinal Librarians

I have had all intentions of posting/commenting on this story ever since I ran across it on InsideHigerEd a few days ago. But, alas and alack, I am end of the semester swamped. So, here is an excerpt and a link. Evidently, Google does not always have the same (intellectual) project in mind that the academy does 100% of the time.

"As digital archives have become more important and more popular, there are varying schools of thought among scholars about how best to guarantee that they will be around for good. Some think that the best possibility is for the creators of the archives -- people generally with some passion for the topic -- to keep control. Others favor acquisition, thinking that larger entities provide more security and resources for the long run."

And here's the rub...

"The fate of "Paper of Record," a digital archive of early newspapers with a particularly strong collection of Mexican newspapers, may be cited in the years ahead as an example of the dangers of purchase by a large entity. Paper of Record was purchased (secretly) by Google in 2006, and shortly after Google took over management of the site, late last year, the archive disappeared from view. After weeks in which historians have complained to Google and others about the loss of their ability to work, the previous owner of the archive has received permission to bring the archive back for some period of time, and resumption of service could start as early next week."

Please read more here.

1 comment:

Giggle said...

To Our Library Community,

Thank you for your continuing patience as we bring back online. has recently concluded an exclusive distribution agreement with World Vital Records of Provo, Utah a division of, Inc. has more than 15 million unique global visitors each month and 40 million page views per month. With more than 31 million users We’re Related is the fastest growing social network for families and genealogists. We’re Related, a top-five application on Facebook, allows individuals to find relatives on Facebook, connect with friends and family members, build family trees, and share news and photos. It is the most popular family application on Facebook. Since October 2007, when the application was launched, more than 150 million relationships (of living people) have been defined on We’re Related. Within the past 30 days, the application has had 14.9 million monthly active users and 1,000,000 daily active users. provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 258,000 monthly visitors. The site registers 3.6 million monthly pages views and serves tens of thousands of paying subscribers. With thousands of databases—including birth, death, military, census, and parish records— makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch.

I encourage you to contact Scott Spencer at to access our critically successful database of Historical Newspaper Images at the site that began it all,!


R.J. (Bob) Huggins