So this donation came in late last week, a generous gift from NIU alumnus Gregg Taylor.
It is a group of single issues from The Spectator (1712). Notice anything different about it?
That shiny thing next to the group of issues is a CD, containing TIFFs of the issues in question.
Gregg’s generous donation came with a condition: we had to commit to not only holding and making publicly available the original copies of The Spectator, but also the TIFFs need to be made available for public use (as scans of public domain titles) in our digital collections as well.
Now, our digital collections, such as they are, are going through a major overhaul and re-build with a more robust management system, so it will be a little bit of time before we can come through on all of Gregg’s request, but come through we shall.
Our perceptions and practices of adhering to copyright law have now reached the point where a donor felt the need to specify that he wanted these public domain materials in the public domain, out of concern that we might not default to public domain. This is also the first time that a donor has provided high-resolution scans along with the items being donated, as part of facilitating greater access to them.
This is the world we live in now. We don’t assume public domain for materials that are hundreds of years old and clearly in the public domain, because so many of them have been monetized in some manner, often to the detriment of less-well-resourced institutions. *cough* EEBO *cough*
I find this very interesting. Don’t you?
Tell me about it in the comments.