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Re: EPC: putting out-of-print Xtal textbooks on-line?

> This brought up the topic of archiving
> old crystallographic text books on the web for historial and scholarly 
> reasons.  

Some random thoughts:

 [1]. I have books like this on my shelf purchased when I was young and
have not consulted them for years. You get filthy hands when you pick
them up from the dust and cobwebs. I don't think they make valuable
resources for teaching or research. For teaching it is the well-written
modern ones which are useful. With due respect, I never read Nyburg's
book and am not likely to do so now. For research purposes, it is the
primary scientific literature that is of importance.

 [2]. One book, the '50 years of X-ray Diffraction' was put on the
CD-ROM of the Glasgow Congress as a gift from Oxford Cryostream. It was
very useful in testing out the scanning service provided by the firm
that afterwards we contracted to do the journals.

 [3]. I don't think that the primary impulsion for such a project should
be technological. If some group of crystallographers is interested in
the historical aspects of the subject, let them get together, come up
with a consistent project and work on its fulfillment themselves.
Interesting documents need to be identified. If they need preserving or
scanning we can interact. In the seminars and conferences that I have
attended, professional archivists have consistently said that only 5 -
10% of documents are worth preserving. The hard work is to identify
which ones are important (for what and to whom).

 [4]. National (deposit) libraries all have discussions and projects
going on concerning the preservation, material or digital, of
(deposited) books. It seems unnecessary to duplicate this effort. Are
there documents around which are unlikely to be caught in their net?
Those are the ones to worry about.

 I seem to be mildly disinterested.



Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html

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