January 25, 2022

Full Text of Harvard University Librarian Robert Darnton’s Remarks at His Farewell Celebration (March 13, 2015)

The other day we shared a couple of items about the upcoming retirement of Harvard U. Librarian Robert Darnton at the end of this academic year.

See: Robert Darnton Stepping Down From Harvard University Librarian Position

Yesterday (May 13, 2015), during a farewell celebration, Darnton shared a few thoughts.

The full text of his remarks can be found here.

Here are two paragraphs:

Even before the court declared Google’s project dead, a group of us launched a project to make the resources of America’s research libraries accessible to all Americans online and free of charge. The Digital Public Library of America [DPLA] began here at Harvard at a conference on October 1, 2010, and Harvard has made an enormous contribution to it, in developing its technical infrastructure as well as in contributing to its collections. The DPLA now makes 10 million objects available to users in every country in the world—except three: North Korea, Chad, and Western Sahara. It just celebrated its second anniversary, and I think it can be declared a success, thanks in large part to the leader of its original steering committee, John Palfrey, the digital whiz kids at the Berkman Center, and the current executive director Dan Cohen, who has performed miracles since he took over in 2013.

As another example of openness, I would cite the unanimous vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on February 12, 2008, which required all its members to make their scholarly articles freely available from a digital repository. During a long and thorough debate, Stuart Shieber made a convincing case for Open Access.  His draft of the FAS resolution is now recognized as “the Harvard model,” which has become the gold standard for Open Access policies. It has been adopted by 60 universities—and also by all the other schools at Harvard.

Direct to Full Text of Darnton’s Remarks

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.