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Bay State College Donates Entire College Library to the Internet Archive

19 Feb 2021 8:59 PM | Anonymous

Bay State College’s Boston Campus has donated its entire undergraduate library to the Internet Archive so that the digital library can preserve and scan the books, while allowing Bay State to gain much needed open space for student collaboration. By donating and scanning its 11,000-volume collection centered on fashion, criminal justice, allied health, and business books, Bay State’s Boston campus decided to “flip entirely to digital.”

You can read more about the move at

Comment: OK, now here is a proposal I believe is worth pondering: Should we promote the same kind of moves for most (or all) genealogy libraries?

Most of the smaller genealogy libraries are woefully underfunded. Also, access to these libraries is a problem if the would-be patron lives a long distance away, such as in another country. Wouldn't it be better to place all books that may legally be copied or digitized online and make them available 24 hours a day, to every place in the world? (Optionally, the books could also be placed back on the shelves after being digitized for local use.)

Yes, I would even pay a reasonable amount to access them remotely. That would be a lot cheaper than what I have paid in past years for travel to remote locations, hotels, restaurant meals, and more expenses I don't even want to contemplate.

Yes, I am in favor of digitizing all sorts of things and make those digital images online. Is it a perfect solution? Absolutely not but I am sure that it is better than the present system of storing a few things here, a few things there, and lots of things not documented or not available at all because of travel constraints.

What do you think?


  • 20 Feb 2021 11:15 AM | Anonymous
    Excellent idea!
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  • 20 Feb 2021 12:06 PM | Anonymous
    My society has 17,000+ items in a library that's been built up over the last century. We are needing to downsize (financial reasons mostly) and are talking with the Internet Archive about donating part of our holdings to them.

    There are many positives, but there's one nagging negative, or potential negative. There is a lawsuit in progress filed by a group of publishers and authors against the Internet Archive that aims to put them out of business. While I believe the "right" is on the side of the Internet Archive, we all know that the courts don't always come down on the "right" side of things.

    We've not given up on this idea, but we are needing to better understand the risks involved. If we donate materials to the IA and this lawsuit takes it down, we won't get those materials back (we've asked).

    I've just started reading a good book on this subject, "The End of Ownership, Personal Property in the Digital Economy" by Perzanowski and Schultz. It has a section dealing with virtual libraries that addresses some of these issues.
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