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digital frailty and multiple manuscripts

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  • Jane Bigelow
    Diane, Lizzie, Ernest and everyone, I m starting a new thread because my system is doing Very Odd Things to the text when I try to use the reply command.
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 18, 2003
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      Diane, Lizzie, Ernest and everyone,

      I'm starting a new thread because my system is doing Very Odd Things to the
      text when I try to use the reply command.

      Digital frailty is a real problem. Those little disks we carry around now
      in place of the larger "floppies" aren't nearly so indestructible as lots
      of their users seem to think. I expect most of this group already knows
      better than to carry one around loose in pocket or purse! Hard disks do
      crash. Personally, I'm a true fanatic about backing up *anything* I may
      ever want to see again, including multiple versions of serious projects.

      However, in the highly unlikely event that anybody wants to see some of my
      earlier unpublished works, they won't find them. They're gone with the
      Franklin Ace I wrote them on, the large floppies it used, and the defunct
      word processing program I used. It's a lot more work to convert files than
      to pack papers away in a file cabinet. Most people most of the time won't
      bother. Perhaps one function of scholarly libraries will be to have
      available the hardware and software to read the early drafts of works that
      turn out, later on, to be more important than anyone guessed at the time
      that their finished version was published. Of course, the author or the
      author's heirs may have tossed the old stuff anyway.

      If not, then future scholars can work happily through multiple screens of
      just how the author worked out the plots, the characters and their names,
      and the great challenge of keeping it all consistant enough to keep readers
      able to suspend disbelief. One final note: the last I heard, Connie
      Willis still does all her drafts in longhand.

      Jane
    • Croft, Janet B
      My library is currently giving some thought to the essential question of migrating data to contemporary storage mediums as part of our strategic planning.
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 18, 2003
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        My library is currently giving some thought to the essential question of
        "migrating" data to "contemporary storage mediums" as part of our strategic
        planning. We have such things as music dissertations with compositions on
        reel to reel tapes, which we ought to transfer to CD now, and continue
        transferring to newer media as they become available. But keeping up with
        all of it is difficult!

        I've been keeping drafts of my book on CD once every week or two. I don't
        usually keep drafts of papers, though. But I think I'll print a hard copy of
        my book today, because now you've got me nervous, even though I have
        electronic copies in four different places...
        Janet

        Janet Brennan Croft
        Head of Access Services
        University of Oklahoma
        http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/
        <http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/>
        -----------------------------------------------------------------
        There are two kinds of people in this world: those who need closure

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Jane Bigelow [mailto:jbigelow@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 1:41 PM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] digital frailty and multiple manuscripts


        Diane, Lizzie, Ernest and everyone,

        I'm starting a new thread because my system is doing Very Odd Things to the
        text when I try to use the reply command.

        Digital frailty is a real problem. Those little disks we carry around now
        in place of the larger "floppies" aren't nearly so indestructible as lots
        of their users seem to think. I expect most of this group already knows
        better than to carry one around loose in pocket or purse! Hard disks do
        crash. Personally, I'm a true fanatic about backing up *anything* I may
        ever want to see again, including multiple versions of serious projects.

        However, in the highly unlikely event that anybody wants to see some of my
        earlier unpublished works, they won't find them. They're gone with the
        Franklin Ace I wrote them on, the large floppies it used, and the defunct
        word processing program I used. It's a lot more work to convert files than
        to pack papers away in a file cabinet. Most people most of the time won't
        bother. Perhaps one function of scholarly libraries will be to have
        available the hardware and software to read the early drafts of works that
        turn out, later on, to be more important than anyone guessed at the time
        that their finished version was published. Of course, the author or the
        author's heirs may have tossed the old stuff anyway.

        If not, then future scholars can work happily through multiple screens of
        just how the author worked out the plots, the characters and their names,
        and the great challenge of keeping it all consistant enough to keep readers
        able to suspend disbelief. One final note: the last I heard, Connie
        Willis still does all her drafts in longhand.

        Jane


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      • jamcconney@aol.com
        In a message dated 2/18/2003 2:20:23 PM Central Standard Time, jbcroft@ou.edu ... Not mine you won t (in the unlikely event that I should produce anything with
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 18, 2003
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          In a message dated 2/18/2003 2:20:23 PM Central Standard Time, jbcroft@...
          writes:

          > Perhaps one function of scholarly libraries will be to have
          > available the hardware and software to read the early drafts of works

          Not mine you won't (in the unlikely event that I should produce anything with
          a half-life of more than a month). I regularly dump early drafts. If I had
          wanted anyone to read them, I wouldn't have rewritten them.

          Anne


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Croft, Janet B
          Actually that wasn t me, I just replied to that message. It would be nice if libraries could maintain old software and hardware, but it might be more
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 19, 2003
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            Actually that wasn't me, I just replied to that message. It would be nice
            if libraries could maintain old software and hardware, but it might be more
            practical to transfer data to new media instead. Although then you get into
            other issues, like copy degredation and whether the text is still the same
            if divorced from its original format.

            But a relevant link showed up in my mailbox today:
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10278-2003Feb14.html
            <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10278-2003Feb14.html> . And
            somehow we've dragged another thread off the list topic and into
            libraries...

            I was excited a few years back when Gregory McDonald told me he was going to
            donate some manuscripts to the library where I used to work. It turned out
            they were photocopies of typed manuscripts he'd turned in to his publisher.
            Comparing the published version to these manuscripts would be of some use to
            scholars, but they had no annotations or anything to show what editorial
            changes were made and why, and he did not include any earlier drafts. Of
            course, one has to have a certain amount of ego to think one's earlier
            drafts might be useful to future scholars, and it's quite possible he just
            didn't keep them. And some people are pack rats and the issue of ego
            doesn't enter into it -- they just keep everything they write no matter
            what.

            Janet

            -----Original Message-----
            From: jamcconney@... [mailto:jamcconney@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 8:43 PM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] digital frailty and multiple manuscripts



            In a message dated 2/18/2003 2:20:23 PM Central Standard Time,
            jbcroft@...
            writes:

            > Perhaps one function of scholarly libraries will be to have
            > available the hardware and software to read the early drafts of works

            Not mine you won't (in the unlikely event that I should produce anything
            with
            a half-life of more than a month). I regularly dump early drafts. If I had
            wanted anyone to read them, I wouldn't have rewritten them.

            Anne


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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