moderated Re: Southern Railway Contracts List V2

A&Y Dave in MD
 

Another model which i think SRHA already follows (to address the ‘do my research for me’ request) is the National Archives & Records Administration site in College Park. You can access the materials for free if you show up in person and they have a list of local students and professionals who charge an hourly rate to conduct the research and send the results.

It is a complex problem!

Sent from Dave Bott' iPhone

On Jun 27, 2019, at 1:02 PM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Dave:

(A quick comment about the N&WHS and SRHA: Both groups have a commitment to pass “home road” material back and forth no questions asked. No swaps or “prisoner exchanges” are needed. That is one reason we have always had the cooperation of NS when they have historical material. They don’t want to be in the middle of an argument between historical groups and just want to know items will find their proper home.)

I agree that the N&WHS is a good example. Our (everybody’s) concern is to avoid the ridiculous pricing we see from typical museums and archives. Particularly now that the technology had moved beyond “wet paper” photo prints, amounts such as $10 for an 8x10 print, then seeing numbers like $20 per print for publishing rights are absurd.

There is a flip side tho’. If we begin by saying everything is free, a few people will simply ask for everything to build their own “archives”. Your comment about credits is right on… Actually, I don’t think we have EVER charged anyone for anything. If someone comes to the archives to do some serious research…and we see they are serious, they usually leave with whatever they need. Some may make a small donation but we don’t make a  big deal about it.

Where donations, or payments, really are necessary is when people want to print or scan more than a few copies of a document or a photo. We’ve invested in some good quality scanners and printers that will not last forever and ink for the printers has to be paid for and replaced.

The hardest thing to explain is when people want us to spend a lot of time researching or scanning THEIR project. Aside from the fact that we need to give priority to research for TIES, then model manufacturers, then what our volunteers are interested in…..it’s difficult to do other projects. (Note “serious” kicks in again here, if someone is doing research for a PhD, a commercial magazine article and such, we’ll do whatever we can to help.)

That’s my $.05 on a really complex topic.

Ike


On Jun 27, 2019, at 10:24 AM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

While it would require a further investment of volunteered skilled time on our website, the way N&WHS offers scans for sale in their Commissary seems a reasonable model. Most people researching today will pay the cost of production for access to historical data.  You could offer credits towards future scans to authors of articles in TIES to subsidize the proper use of the materials in support of SRHA’s mission.

My $0.02.

Dave


On Jun 27, 2019, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

The project to scan all of the Southern contracts in the SRHA archives is moving along. There are still a few to be located and scanned but it will not be long before the effort become part of SRHA's permanent digital file. Last weekend's work session was well attended but we were so busy we did not resolve how we would make copies of various digital items available. We recognize that with SRHA and TVRM's $1M plus investment in the building and purchased collections, taking the time and effort to do the scans and then simply making them available at no cost is not sensible (although we would all prefer to do that).

Contact us at archives@... if you are interested in a particular contract. They can certainly be emailed if folks are willing to make a small donation. If anyone is serious about researching an article for TIES, we can help by making contracts on that topic available.

This is V2 of the list as of today, there will be additions and corrections as we work toward the final version. The next TIES will have an article on the contracts and a second article on Hampton, FL that illustrates how useful the contracts are when doing research.

Dates for the archives work sessions through the end of the year are on the SRHA web home page at www.srha.net.

Ike
<SRHA scanned contracts 6-27-2019.docx>

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