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[BKARTS] Conservation OnLine No Longer Being Supported - Thank you Walter and SUL



This very sad news from Walter Henry who for 22 years built up, developed, supported, and occasionally nursed along Conservation OnLine when it was showing its age. In those 22 years, eons by technology standards CoOL was the first Web 2.0 app and was the Number 1 source for all conservation/preservation information, through the DistList it provided the first, largest, and still best forum for exchanging information in the field. There is nothing that can currently replace it, and definitely not amazing level of support it was given by Walter Henry.

What does this mean for us? Well, for 15 years (Since Day 1 on June 23rd at 20:45 GMT) CoOL has hosted the archives of this list. Just about EVERY posting, the inspiring as well as the ho hum, debates about the nature of the field, art, and craft. Thanks to its searchable archive (indexed way before there was a Google) it served as a resource to seasoned practitioners and those wanting to make their first book. It helped build this virtual community by serving as a vast repository of information that shows us at our best, and worst. While we all hope that Walter's wish that the archives remain accessible into the future (think of CoOL as digital preservation before the term was thought of) there are no guarantees into the future.

This is very gut wrenching news, but despite it I feel an intense debt of gratitude to Walter and Stanford for the service they have provided to the many allied fields that call CoOL their home. There is no way we can this can adequately be expressed. THANK YOU WALTER.

On a practical level, what are the alternatives for storing the 324 MB, 45,942 messages between June 23, 1994 and December 31, 2007? The online archive at <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/bookarts/index.shtml> is up to date, but I doubt few have saved all postings since 1994, and mine end with 2007. The Wayback Machine at <http://web.archive.org/web/20080201112821/http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/bookarts/index.shtml> only seems complete through October of 2007...

What does this mean for this list? The list will still go on it has for 15 years, I will look into having the archive function turned on here at Syracuse, but we too are cutting costs in many areas. Beyond that, it will be to us as individuals to archive those posts we want to keep on our own computers, likely less permanent...

To honor Walter and CoOL, I invite all to create a book of their favorite post, threads, thoughts... We'll have a Bind-O-Rama virtual exhibit of those. As Universities like to work in Fiscal Years (FY) lets start creating them on June 30, the close of the current one. Entry deadline is August 30, 2009. The exhibit will be dedicated to Walter and CoOL.The tone should be celebratory as I certainly never imagined this (the Archive and Book_Arts-L) going on for as long as they have.

Walter and Stanford, THANK YOU again for all.

Peter

Date: 10 Jun 2009
From: Catherine Tierney <ctierney [at] stanford__edu>
Subject: CoOL and the Conservation DistList

Dear Colleagues,

This is a difficult posting to write.  For twenty two years, it has
been Stanford University Libraries' great pleasure to serve and
support the conservation community by hosting Conservation OnLine.
Sadly, Stanford---like so many other institutions---has been hurt by
the economy.  As a result, we have had to make difficult choices. It
is with deep regret that I inform you that we are no longer able to
support CoOL.  We feel it is important to alert you to this change
as we are aware that so many of you rely on the distribution list as
a medium of communication; there are still a number of things to be
worked out.

<http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/june17/layoffs-061709.html>

Catherine Tierney
Associate University Librarian for Technical Services
Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources

------------------------------

Date: 10 Jun 2009
From: Walter Henry <request [at] cool__stanford__edu>
Subject: CoOL and the Conservation DistList

It has been a great pleasure and privilege to work with this
community and I look forward to finding ways to continue to do so.
I've always held that conservation professionals were, as a class,
unusually committed to the cause they serve; we really do care
deeply about the cultural materials we are lucky enough to work
with, and that care takes form in a remarkable dedication to the
profession, to the ethical foundations upon which it is built, and
to the community of practitioners from whatever discipline or
specialty.

So, at the beginning of what would have been the DistList's twenty
third year it is with great sadness, but also with some sense of
pride, that I finally give up this enterprise and that of
Conservation OnLine as a whole.  I don't know exactly what will
happen to the resources here but I have every faith that their fate
will be in good hands.

I would like to thank, with all sincerity, Stanford University
Libraries and Academic Information Resources, my own department, the
systems and IT staff, and most of all the directorate, who have been
unfalteringly supportive of my work all these years, and I know
would continue to be so were the world in just a little better shape
than it is now.

As DistList tradition demands, I leave you a final accounting:  As
of this day, the Conservation DistList comprises 9696 people from at
least 91 countries. Conservation OnLine contains, at a very rough
guess, 120,000 documents, possibly quite a few more.  I hope they
have been useful to you all, and I hope to be of service to you as
we move into the future.

onward,
walter



__________________________________


Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
<verheyen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
The Book Arts Web & Book_Arts-L Listserv
<http://www.philobiblon.com>
The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist
<http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>

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