Shutdown… Damages on Digital Historian

So, we all heard about the government shutdown. I am currently taking a class that examines many primary sources (many of our classmates in Clio takes this class, too) and we often read online materials from the Library of Congress for our assignment. And the first thing I noticed after today was that we don’t have access to these materials anymore. It made me think about the impact on historians.

There is a short article on how a “shutdown would affect academe.” It explains the possible damages on students, researchers and scientists who depend on federal funding and “government-run archives, libraries, and museums.” It says that these researchers “would face disruptions in their work” if this continues in the long run. And yes, of course, the damages will be huge on historians, especially digital historians, who relies on many online materials.

On Monday, we discussed about how/why we need to preserve digital documents and who has the right to preserve them. If the federal government has the right to own and preserve these digital documents, do they also have the right on deciding not to open their sources to the public?

All I can think of now is that I am glad I printed out those materials before this happened… 

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