Monday, August 06, 2007

The Liberty Site and such

I've set up a somewhat more attractive and informative front-end for The Liberty Site archive. I would encourage folks who are linking to the archive to direct readers there.

Thanks to everyone who has publicized the work. That includes Roderick Long (waxing hyperbolic on his own blog and in a more restrained mode at the Mises Institute), Kevin Carson, Presto, Thomas Van Wyck, camelCase, William Gillis, Bernd Haug, and mentions at Positive Liberty and the paxx:blog. I almost missed Brian Doherty's nod at Reason; he linked to both the Liberty and Lucifer archives, but managed not to mention where they came from. That's OK. you should still take a look at his book, which covers some interesting ground. Apologies to anyone I missed. A reminder, too, that Scott put the whole batch up at One Big Torrent.

I have to admit that, having scanned all 3610 pages, my initial feeling was a kind of despair at getting the next phases off the ground, and a general feeling of dissatisfaction with the quality of the scans, etc. Much of that has been, undoubtedly, other sort of discouragement and dissatisfaction coloring things. But the last couple of weeks have given me a chance to start using the archive myself, and to dip slowly into the OCR and transcription work again, and (now that I'm no longer suffering from microform-viewer-induced seasickness, things look a little different.

My 2006 scanning initiative put slightly over 5000 original pages of material into the archive in text form, together with a thousand or so more in pdfs. The first nine months of 2007 have seen about an equal number of pages added, with the pdf-to-text ratio roughly reversed. Not counting some texts archived in both forms, there's be roughly 11,000-12,000 original pages of material added in 19 months. That feels OK. That's a body of work that we can do something with, particularly when it is supplemented by other laborers in the field. A few links:
The next phase for The Liberty Site is a wiki, and perhaps a bit more, where those interested can contribute to the text-transcription process, discuss the contents of Liberty, work on indexing or on tracing debates into other periodicals or publications, and from which individuals can draw fodder for other projects. I'll try to gather my thoughts tomorrow on why that phase should be exciting to you, even if you're not an obsessive archivist like your truly.

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