Einstein Archives Online - Can theosophists and TS organizations learn a lesson
Mar 21, 2012 08:06 PM
Recently, the Albert Einstein archives announced the public access to the
scanned archives and should be commended. What the archives has done is a
pointer to much of the materials kept by libraries and private collections.
Firstly, preserving original paper documents from degradation due to the
quality of originals as well as degradation due to exposure to wide range
of weather conditions. Current digital technology combined with world-wide
access to Internet offers a cost effective solution to the preservation of
valuable historical materials. Even if the originals are lost due to
natural causes - earthquake, fire, flood, theft etc. digital copies
preserve them for the future generations. Even when storage technology
changes, keeping up with them is quite easy since the conversion will be
automatic computer controlled.
Theosophical organizations world-wide have large collection which can
benefit future researchers and historians and even theosophical students.
This is especially true of historical material during the days of HPB and
Olcott and others. There has not been any public information about current
steps taken to prevent loss of these valuable materials, nor of any plans
to preserve them for the future generations in the light of current digital
Without conversion to digital media, in due course most of the valuable
materials can be lost for posterity. In the grapevine there has been talk
about the reluctance of individuals who have historical materials to donate
them to theosophical organizations due to two reasons. First is the long
run preservation and secondly access controlled by the whims of leaders
with their own fears and agenda.
Theosophical organizations are yet to understand and make full use of
modern digital and communication advances. These tools need not be feared
about. They are indispensable for digital storage and distribution.
I hope leaders will open up their eyes and move fast on this question.
Failure to move fast cannot help theosophy or theosophical organizations.
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