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Subject:

Internet access

From:

"Elizabeth Boardman" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 28 Aug 2000 11:16:12 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (42 lines)

Richard Taylor expressed the hope that he would ruffle a few 
feathers with his comments on access to the internet.  He was so 
successful that he has tempted a hitherto silent list member to 
break her vow of non-involvement.

This was what provoked the reaction:
‘Although I note the point about non-internet linked members of the 
profession … we are at the point where it is a basic professional 
duty to ensure that you have some way of accessing this source of 
information - either by making the case to your employer, by 
equipping your home, or by use of cyber cafes or public library 
access points … soon we will be entitled to ask why we should 
spend extra time and money supporting those who will not take 
action on their own behalf.’

Down at the bottom of the heap, in the world of the one-person, 
poorly funded and part-time repository, I am fortunate that my 
employers happen to be associated with larger organizations 
(University and NHS) which provide internet access.  Others in my 
situation will not be so fortunate; I am talking about those who work 
one or two days a week and either have to beg every penny or have 
an annual budget of only two or three hundred.  And poorly funded 
archives do not tend to have well paid archivists, so why should 
they be expected to fund their ‘basic professional duties’ out of 
their own pockets, however ‘historically low’ the costs, just 
because other people's employers are better off?

I would ask those who enjoy any of the luxuries of internet access, 
full time jobs, proper budgets or professional colleagues to 
continue to consider those who will have few or none of these no 
matter how hard they fight.  At least they are ensuring that some 
archives receive a degree of professional care, even if many of the 
daily concerns of the list seem to them to belong to Utopia.

Elizabeth Boardman
Archivist
Brasenose College/Oriel College/ St. Hilda’s College
Oxfordshire Health Archives


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