A in-depth look at digitization at Yale (and elsewhere) that discusses costs, sustainability, sharing, copyright, and more. It was written by Zoe Gorman for the Yale Daily News.
The complete article runs more than 2000 words. Several images are included.
Though Yale library administrators and staff interviewed said preserving and expanding access to Yale’s holdings is a fundamental goal of any library, the University system has no plan for how to tackle the gargantuan task of digitizing its complete collection.
Yale’s libraries have made an effort to expand some online collections. Scholars now travel to campus and visit Yale’s library facilities simply to log onto University computers that provide access to digital archives, said Ann Okerson, former head of library collections.
Still, University Librarian Susan Gibbons said Yale’s libraries are struggling to determine what proportion of their resources should be poured into expanding online collections. With the exception of the Beinecke, the University libraries have yet to allocate a portion of their budget towards digitizing current holdings, instead relying on outside donors who provide funding to digitize a specific set of works.
Gibbons said she thinks the largest obstacle to digitizing the library’s collections is copyright law: Libraries can digitize holdings at will only if the works in question are in the public domain. Current law stipulates that a work falls out of copyright after an author has been dead for 70 years.
The legal copyright period has only grown longer over the years, Gibbons said — and it is Disney’s fault.