Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can you say bye-bye NHPRC...?

Rep. Chaffetz (R-Utah) wants to shut down the NHPRC.  Who is
really behind this kind of anti-intellectual activity?  This seems to fit nicely with ancestry.com's plan to corner the digitization market.  If there are no large public-sector grants available, then for-profit research outfits like ancestry will be the winners in the future of digitization.  That does not leave a level playing field for anyone but the largest of game-players.

It seems a moot point to hammer the archives on enforcing the digital partnership agreements when they are constantly having their budget gutted at every turn.  Actions like Chaffetz's would leave the archives in a very bad position, with ancestry as their only, rather dubious, partner.  We need to make sure that NARA and NHPRC stay funded - then we can afford to be picky about particulars with specific partnership issues.