The Locus Kickstarter effort only has a few more days to run, but we’re wondering if it’s possible to get from $19,000 to $25,000 in these last few days. Here’s what we could do with the extra funds:
With $25,000 we could digitize and begin editing Locus’ vast store of microcassette author interviews, while doing our best to store the tapes long-term. The media these interviews are stored on is highly volatile so they won’t last forever.
All of the interviews you see in Locus started life as tape recordings and were transcribed and edited from there. In their original un-edited form they represent a treasure trove covering decades of the most important writers, editors, and scholars of the field. We have a chance to preserve them properly, and I hope folks will kick in that little bit extra to help us get there. Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far!
Like Gary Wolfe and others here, I’m biased on the topic as a board member of LSFF board member. But that aside, I would support this effort regardless.
Everyone here has made excellent points about why the conservation, scanning, and public access via the internet of the archive is a good thing. On top of all those reasons there’s another — We, as professionals in our field and as fans of our work, have an obligation to do what we can to make sure that all of these truly irreplaceable photographs, letter and what-not are stored and duplicated for the professionals and fans who will follow us.
The judgement of history is impossible to guess from the present. How many artists and writers work was dismissed and discarded during and shortly after their lifetimes? It is only later that their importance is fully appreciated. And by the time that importance is recognized huge amounts of their work, papers, and ephemera have been lost, thrown away, or worse, simply destroyed by neglect. It is collections like Locus’ — ones that preserve not only the traces of the famous and admired, but the traces of everyone in the community — that provide an invaluable repository for what later generations will consider “important” but that we regard as merely mundane.