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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 53, December 30, 2007, Article 18

PRESIDENT JOHN ADAMS LIBRARY ONLINE

[No, not Numismatic Bibliomania Society President John W.
Adams - that OTHER President John Adams, the one whose face
is on the new dollar coin.  -Editor]

In his wildest dreams, John Adams, the second president
of the United States, couldn't have predicted the fate of
his 3,700-volume personal library. In two years, it will
be made available for viewing online for all to see without
any commercial encumbrances.

Adams' library is just a small part of an effort by nonprofit
library and archival organizations to place the historical
record of the United States online now under way at the
Boston Public Library.

"It's full speed ahead," said Maura Marx, manager of digital
services at the Boston Public Library, in an interview Thursday.
"We have two shifts [of people working on the project] -- 8 a.m.
to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to midnight." Books and historical documents
from the 19-member Boston Library Consortium are being scanned
under the auspices of the project.

"Unlike corporate backed efforts by Google, Microsoft, Amazon,
et al, which all impose different, albeit understandable,
levels of restriction to protect their investment the [Boston
Library Consortium] has shown libraries all across the country
the right way to take institutional responsibility and manage
this historic transition to a universal digital archive that
serves the needs of scholars, researchers, and the general
public without compromise," said the Sloan Foundation's Doron
Weber in a recent statement.

The Boston Pubic Library's Marx noted that the library has
many documents of historical value. The Adams library, for
instance, is unique because it is complete and intact. The
libraries and writings of other U.S. founding fathers were
destroyed by fire or dispersed by succeeding family members,
for instance.

"There's nothing quite like the Adams library," she said.
"We're scanning flat pages and objects. Adams made notes in
the margins of his books, and they will be available for all
to see."

To read the complete article, see:
Complete Article

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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