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December 22, 2008


How does that song go that we used to have to sing in Sunday School - "the wise man builds his house upon the rock" or something?

In Uncool URIs, Ed Summers reports that he has been asked to close down lcsh.info. I don't know much of the detail here but I strongly suggest that the work that Ed has been doing in this area has been both ground-breaking and important in terms of showing how to transition vocabularies from the old world to the new.

In thinking about the demise of this activity I'm torn between the short-sightedness of the Library of Congress in shutting this down without having a credible alternative in place and the obvious dangers of building and sharing this kind of infrastructural service without the full institutional backing of those who have the power to pull the rug from under it.



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Andy, Good point about the institutional context. This also applies to institutional repositories (IRs), or anything that explicitly or implicitly suggests the involvement of an institution and where that support isn't formalised in a tangible form. I have raised the prospect of IRs without the I (which is what many IRs are) in a number of small forums, and usually the idea has been disregarded or quickly dropped. Perhaps this is because others don't see it that way or because it's too hard to deal with this at the institutional level and with the consequent implications, and we are better getting on with what we can handle. Some projects that focussed on the R rather than the I of the IR will rue that choice. If digital projects can be cut down at institutions such as LoC, it could just as easily happen elsewhere.

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