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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Burning Books
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1942  Wednesday, 10 November 1999.

From:           Brother Anthony <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 09:13:29 +0900
Subject:        Burning Books

The following message from Paul Halsall <
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 > has been
posted to the Humanist List and I feel that some members of SHAKSPER may
also find it appalling. An Sonjae, Sogang Univeristy, Seoul

The message runs:

American University in DC has long provided a major Internet repository
of early church and later catholic documents. These were established by
members of a number of email lists long based at american.edu,
especially members of the "Free Catholic List." The major collections
are under the URL http://listserv.american.edu/catholic/

In recent weeks American University has informed all non-AU lists based
at its servers that they must move. This is inconvenient, and will out
date many print based references to such lists, but I suppose AU has the
right to change its policy. (It did, however, long ago promise such
lists that they could run from AU in perpetuity.)

Today I have learned that not only is AU booting the various email
lists, but will also destroy the directories associated with those
lists. This means that the entire library of texts on church history
will be destroyed. The date of destruction has been specified as
Thanksgiving weekend. Needless to say I, at least, am unhappy about a
willful destruction of a library.

Currently Altavista reports 4757 links pointing to the Catholic Files
library, which gives some idea of the disruption american.edu is about
to visit upon users of online texts.

Some people may think that this is worth protesting to AU staff, AU
campus newspapers, and perhaps in other venues. For others, this would
be a good time to download the texts in question.

Note that many of the texts are available at other sites, but none have
quite the range of the AU collection. Moreover many of the other sites
now carry advertising, promote non-academic agendas, or practice a
rotation of URLs (which makes stable links hard to maintain.)

The contact person at AU appears to be Ann Hennings,

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 , but the person responsible for the decision is
Carl Whitman, Executive Director of OIT.
 

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