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Re: Nicholson Baker and NEH

It's too bad Mr. Baker doesn't seem to understand what the US Newspaper Program is doing. In a previous life, I worked for the agency that hosted the New York Newspaper Project person for our eight counties of New York, and I served as liaison between him and the agency, and learned a lot about the project. The USNP works to locate copies of little-known papers that might otherwise be lost to history--in people's attics and barns, and, one way or another, to make those copies available for research purposes. They don't have the budget to microfilm everything, and the USNP microfilms papers and then returns them to the repository (or barn or whatever) that they came from. They don't have a policy of automatically destroying papers after they film them.

In the midst of all this, no one has mentioned the possibility of using color microfilm. I'm not sure I've ever seen any, but I know it exists because a while back Playboy was filmed on color microfilm so as not to lose the --um--charms--it displayed in full living color. Unfortunately, it turned out that the microfilm frames were exactly the same size as 35mm slides, and some people who caught on to this were snipping frames out of the microfilm in libraries....

Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer
Special Collections Librarian/Archivist

Culinary Institute of America
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY  12538
(845) 451-1757

>>> "Roberts, Janet" <Janet.Roberts@STATE.ME.US> 04/13/01 08:41AM >>>
Yes Nicholson Baker knows about the NEH US Newspaper Project, and would kill
it if he could.  In his New Yorker article, he said "not since the
monk-harassments of sixteenth-century England has a government tolerated,
indeed stimulated, the methodical eradication of so much primary source
material."  Mr. Baker has never been one to shy away from an overstatement.
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