Library Juice 4:4 - February 7, 2001
- Yahoo Launches Paid Placements
- Freedom Train
- New Breed Librarian site debuts
- ALA, CIPA & NCIPA
- Letter sent by Sanford Berman to Tom Yee
- Help us rescue the Biblioteca Gallardo in El Salvador
- M. Rosenzweig protests LC expropriation of US Communist Party documents
- According to Google, George W. Bush "Dumb Motherfucker"
- Pageview of the month
Quote for the week:
"Be not a slave of words."
Homepage of the week: Rebecca Graff
1. Yahoo Launches Paid Placements
by Leander Kahney
In another sign that online advertising revenue is tight, Yahoo quietly
launched its first "pay-for-play" program this week.
Yahoo's Sponsored Sites program allows sites to "enhance" their placement on
the giant's directory pages for a fee.
Paying sites will be listed in a special "Sponsored" box at the top of a
"It's a dramatic change," said Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Watch.
"It's revolutionary. Yahoo has never before said that you can pay your way to
the top of the page."
"ibiblio.org - the Public's Library - is home to one of the largest
"collections of collections" on the Internet. ibiblio is a conservancy of
freely available information, including software, music, literature, art,
history, science, politics, and cultural studies."
Located at UNC, Chapel Hill.
This month the site features a collection of interesting information
celebrating African American History.
3. Freedom Train
The Weekly News Bulletin of the New York Library Association's Intellectual
Freedom Committee. Edited by Karen Schneider.
Available on the web at http://www.shenpublib.org/freedomtrain/
or by subscription email by sending a message to freedom_train[at]hotmail.com
with "subscribe" as the subject of the message.
4. New Breed Librarian site debuts
The creators sound modest in their interview (below) but this is a major site
for new librarians. I urge you to check it out. (You might get to see what
I look like. - rory)
What is NewBreed Librarian?
(Juanita Benedicto and Colleen Bell interview themselves)
JB: It's a one-stop shop for new or soon-to-be librarians. We plan to offer
more as it matures and finds its way, but for now our goal is communication,
collaboration, and developing a professional presence on the web that
librarians can identify with. Currently the stereotype (blows and) does not
reflect the diversity of work that we do. We want to be represented - not for
our non-stereotypical status, but because librarianship is exciting and
CB: Our primary audience is new librarians, within their first couple of
years, as well as those just entering the field or considering librarianship
as a career. But in reality our audience is anyone who is excited about the
possibilities that an MLS presents, whether they choose to work in libraries
or follow an alternative path.
Where did the idea come from?
CB: Juanita dreamt about it one night and woke up with it fully formed in
her mind. She spent the whole reference department meeting that morning
shaking in her seat and trying to share the idea with me from across the
table by mouthing the words.
JB: Actually, the birthing process took place over months. I had been
checking out designer web sites for some time, admiring their sense of
community and collaboration using this medium (the web). Then I read
Antony's article and soon after Surfstation debuted. The two just came
together. If designers could use the web to knit the design community
together and grow from that collaboration, librarians could, too. It was
about time that we had more to offer than Modified, Barbarian, Lipstick, and
Naked Librarians. I wanted to use the web to its potential and thought that
as a profession we were missing the boat big time.
Who is NewBreed Librarian?
JB: For the time being, it's just Ms. Bell and I, and our invisible friend,
Susu. But we're hoping over time to bring more NewBreed'ers in.
CB: We really want this to be the Sesame Street of librarianship - not any
one kind of library or national focus, but a celebration of the cultural,
intellectual, political, and social diversity we find in our profession.
What's the biggest challenge that you think lies ahead for the NewBreed
CB: Right now, it's only the two of us, both with full-time jobs. I guess
just finding the time is a big challenge.
JB: Agreeing on a font size.
5. ALA, CIPA & NCIPA
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 19:02:56 -0800 (PST)
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]ala.org>
To: publib <publib[at]sunsite.berkeley.edu>
Subject: CIPA and NCIPA
ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom and Washington Office have created
a Web site to provide ALA members with information on ALA's legal
challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The site
can be found at http://www.ala.org/cipa/ . Although OIF is responsible
for the Headlines, Litigation, and Resources pages, and WO is
responsible for the Legislation, Q & A, and Regulations & Guidance
pages, both offices are working together to ensure that this site is as
up-to-date, informative, and useful as possible.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
DATE: January 2001
FROM: The ALA Washington Office and the Office for
TO: ALA Membership
RE: The Children's Internet Protection Act and the Neighborhood
Internet Protection Act
Congress passed the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the
Neighborhood Internet Protection Act (NCIPA) as part of a major spending
bill (H.R. 4577) on December 15, 2000. The President signed the bill
into law on December 21, 2000 (Public Law 106-554). The Acts place
restrictions on the use of funding that is available through the Library
Services and Technology Act, Title III of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act, and on the Universal Service discount program known as
the E-rate. These restrictions take the form of requirements for
Internet safety policies and technology which blocks or filters certain
material from being accessed through the Internet. The law will become
effective on April 20, 2001.
Next Steps for Libraries:
- Do not rush to make changes to your current policies and procedures.
- Continue to use current federal grants and E-rate discounts.
Certifications under the new law will not need to be made until funding
or application cycles that begin after April 20. Even in the first year
that certifications are required, libraries and schools do not need to
have a policy and technology in place. Instead they can certify that
they are beginning the processes needed to develop a policy that
includes the use of a blocking or filtering technology.
You have TIME. Use it!
- Begin a local dialogue about what the new laws will mean to your
library. Include board members and local legal counsel.
- Consider adopting local resolutions similar to the Resolution on
Opposition to Federally Mandated Filtering adopted by ALA at its
Midwinter meeting in January 2001 (see attached).
- Be prepared for increased press and community interest in how your
library manages public Internet access.
- Make the most of the updated Libraries and the Internet Toolkit: Tips
and Guidance for Managing and Communicating about the Internet available
from ALA at http://www.ala.org/alaorg/oif/internettoolkit.html.
- Document the impact these new laws have in your library. Regardless
of how your library chooses to respond to CIPA and NCIPA, the laws will
have an impact either through loss of funding, increased expense or
reduction of library services.
- Share the stories of how this law impacts your library with library
users, legislators, press and ALA. You can send stories to ALA via the
Office for Intellectual Freedom or the Washington Office. These offices
will be working closely together and sharing whatever input they receive
from the library community.
- Participate in any regulatory processes originated by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC), the Institute of Museum and Library
Services (IMLS) and the Department of Education through written
Next Steps for ALA:
- ALA will file suit against the Children's Internet Protection Act and
the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act.
- ALA will participate in the FCC rulemaking scheduled for early spring
of 2001 on implementation of the new laws.
- ALA will provide guidance for librarians in how to participate in the
- ALA will continue to disseminate information on the status and
application of CIPA and NCIPA and on the progress of legal action
against the measures.
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[ALACOUN:5552] CIPA and action by library consortia
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 18:37:16 -0500
From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]bluehighways.com>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]ala1.ala.org>
Reply to: kgs[at]bluehighways.com
This is just a general heads-up to chapter councilors and others to be on
the alert for a "rush to filter" by library consortia. Remind folks that
CIPA is being challenged in court and there is no requirement to filter at
the moment. Additionally, library consortia may not always remember that in
most cases they may NOT take action that overrides local policy. I have
already reviewed one multi-system "five year plan" that included not only a
commitment to filter "if necessary" but stated what product the system
planned to use--without any discussion with the libraries this system
Consortia should be reminded that libraries are the customers--not the
servants--of resource-sharing consortia, and that even if CIPA is NOT
defeated in court, there are many other responses to CIPA other than quietly
accepting a system-wide filter on all library computers. Among other
things, libraries could choose to go elsewhere for their Internet; could
choose to form "filter-free" technology consortia; could go "stand-alone"
and use other means for resource-sharing... there are numerous scenarios
possible in this era where geography is not the final determinant of a
library's peer groups. (All good reasons, for that matter, why systems
should focus on DEFEATING this legislation, not accomodating it!)
Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]bluehighways.com
Assistant Director for Technology
Shenendehowa Public Library, NY
6. Letter sent by Sanford Berman to Tom Yee
(of the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office)
Attached is a "street newspaper." Over 40 such tabloids
are published in North America alone. More in Europe.
The National Coalition for the Homeless produces a Directory
of _North American Street Newspapers_. Terry Messman and Chris
Dodge have both written about this genre, two of their pieces
being reprinted in _Alternative Library Literature, 1998/1999_
(McFarland, 2000), pages 239-46. In September, 1998, Hennepin
County Library established STREET NEWSPAPER EDITORS and STREET
NEWSPAPERS as new headings, duly reporting assignments and
cross-references in the Sept./Oct. 1998 _HCL Cataloging Bulletin_
(No. 156), page 38, and May/June 1999 (No. 160), page 36.
These descriptors were formally recommended to LC in 1998.
And I have since forwarded several documents and sample papers
to demonstrate further "literary warrant" and assignability.
Kindly explain why STREET NEWSPAPERS has not yet been added to
the LC thesaurus.
With every wish for just and joyful holidays,
4400 Morningside Road
Edina, MN 55416
Tom replied with a handwritten note, reading,
"Dear Mr. Berman,
CPSO has turned in a proposal to establish Street Newspapers.
Happy New Year!
7. Help us rescue the Biblioteca Gallardo in El Salvador
A week after the earthquake in El Salvador you must be familiar with
the dimensions of this latest tragedy suffered by the Salvadoran people.
As members of the academic community of Central Americans and Central
Americanists we write to request your help to rescue the Biblioteca Gallardo
whose structure has suffered serious damage.
As you may know, the library's collection includes volumes published as far
back as the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries, miniature books, autographs,
ex-libris, and manuscripts. The collection has no less than 80,000 volumes,
making it one of the two most important libraries in the country alongside the
National Library of El Salvador. The Biblioteca Gallardo, a private
institution unique in its kind in El Salvador, is one of the key centers
that protect the historical documents of El Salvador and, therefore, of
Central America. Its destruction would be a loss to the heritage of
all Central Americans and structural damage has put its collection in
This is an emergency, the aftershocks could bring the building down
which would represent the end of many irreplaceable books and documents.
The first priority is to stabilize the structure so that the staff can
safely enter the building to put the books in boxes for their removal.
A suitable storage place has already been identified to keep the books
safe during the building's reconstruction. It is urgent to raise funds
to begin the stabilization work which is scheduled to begin in a few days.
The next steps will be to repair the books damaged by roof debris and
fallen walls, and the development and implementation of a reconstruction
When confronted with misfortunes like this earthquake, it is difficult to
find a balance between human needs and cultural heritage, but we beg you
to keep in mind that there are very few institutions in El Salvador that
pay attention to these kinds of problems. If people in academic life do
not take action, no one will do so. The support of people like yourselves
will be crucial to take the steps necessary to repair the facilities of
We suggest a contribution of $50.00 per person, but any amount will be
welcome. In addition, we would also be grateful if you could forward
this message to at least five people in your electronic address book.
To this end we are sending Spanish and English versions.
At the request of the Gallardo Foundation, whose staff is dedicated
full time to the emergency, the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales
de Mesoam+rica (CIRMA) will help with accounting and raising funds
(CIRMA's accounts are audited yearly). It will not charge overhead.
Please make checks payable to: CIRMA -- Fondo Gallardo
Mail checks to:
CIRMA -- Fondo Gallardo
Miami FL 33266-9004
The following list of names supporting this request was put together
in less than 24 hours and is limited to people within the reach of
electronic mail. The list keeps growing.
Academics supporting this effort:
El Salvador: Gilberto Aguilar Avil+s, Academia de la Historia; Carlos Ca-as
Dinarte, Seminario Permanente de Investigaciones Hist ricas; Carlos
Consalvi, Museo de la Palabra; Sajid Herrera, UCA; Miguel Huezo Mixco,
Direcci n de Publicaciones; Roberto Jovel, SICA; Carlos Lara Mart nez,
Universidad de El Salvador; Ricardo Lindo, CONCULTURA; H+ctor Lindo-Fuentes,
Fordham University; Carlos Gregorio L pez, Universidad de El Salvador; Elsa
Ramos, Universidad Tecnol gica; Margarita Silva Prada, Seminario Permanente
de Investigaciones Hist ricas; Fina Viegas, Seminario Permanente de
Investigaciones Hist ricas.
Costa Rica: Rina C+ceres, Directora del Doctorado en Historia, UCR;
Enriquez, Director de la Escuela de Historia; Jos+ Antonio Fern+ndez,
Universidad Nacional; Elizabeth Fonseca, Directora CIHAC, UCR; H+ctor
Perez-Brignoli, UCR; Juan Carlos Sol rzano, UCR.
Guatemala: Tani Adams, CIRMA; Enrique Gordillo, CIRMA; Gustavo Palma,
AVANCSO; Tania Sagastume, CIRMA; Julio Pinto Soria, Universidad de San
Carlos; Arturo Taracena, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de
Honduras: Marvin Barahona, CIRMA; Rolando Sierra, UNDP.
Nicaragua: P. Alvaro Arg+ello, S.J., UCA Nicaragua, Mar a Dolores G. Torres,
UCA Nicaragua; Galio Gurdi+n, CIRMA; Frances Kinloch, IHN; Margarita
Directora, Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua.
Comunidad Internacional: Erik Ching, Furman University; Jeffrey Gould,
University of Indiana; Leonardo Hern+ndez, SUNY Oswego; Robert Holden, Old
Dominion University; Aldo Lauria-Santiago, College of the Holy Cross, Mario
8. M. Rosenzweig protests LC expropriation of US Communist Party documents
Open letter to the Library of Congress:
ATTN: James Billington, Librarian of Congress
Dear Mr. Billington,
As the Chief Librarian and Archivist of the Reference Center for
Marxist Studies in New York City, an independent educational
institution with custodianship of the library, documentation and
records of the Communist Party USA, it is of great interest to me how
the historical papers of the CPUSA, sent to the USSR for safe-keeping
during a turbulent period, have become the property of the principals
involved in the recent announcement from your office "Library of
Congress Opens to Researchers the Records of the Communist Party, USA".
There is a unfortunately more than a whiff of the old Cold War
mentality in the press release which is most disturbing. In fact, one
has the impression that these papers of the CPUSA are being treated as
the booty of the Cold War!
Besides the obviously 'political' exclusion of representatives of the
CPUSA from decisions about its own records, which is invidious, the
characterization of the CPUSA in your press release as having "always
been a secret organization" is tendentious and incorrect. It is also
incorrect to suggest that the availability of documents of the Party
has been very limited. Many leaders, organizers, prominent supporters
and sympathizers of the CPUSA have left significant holdings of
personal and organizational records of the Party to various academic
institutions and archival facilities for the sake of preserving the
historical record of an organization which played such an important
part in the labor movement, in the struggle for civil rights, in the
fight against fascism, in creating a popular culture with wide and deep
influence in American arts and letters and in the achievements of
significant social reforms which we all take for granted.
These papers in question are, it should be strongly emphasized, the
papers of a legitimate, continuously existing and still functioning
American organization and there has been, as far as I know, no
consultation with the CPUSA about the disposition or further
distribution of its records from the 1919 through 1944, in particular
by the "new Russian government" as you describe it.
The Russian government which took control of these papers did so
without warrant, with no discussion with -- or even notification of --
the CPUSA and I believe this, as well as their dealings with LC -- is
in violation of ethical archival practice, if not possibly illegal. The
disposition of the records generated by the CPUSA and stored in the
USSR during this period, primarily to protect its members from the
witch-hunts which began with the Palmer Raids in 1919, which continued
with the formation of HUAC in 1938 and was followed by the Smith Act
"thought control" legislation and prosecutions beginning in 1940,
should have been considered, unless otherwise agreed, to have been at
the prerogative of the organization which produced them or, at the very
least a decision which should have been made in consultation with the
I would like to see the evidence of provenance and documentation --for
instance a deed of gift or some legal instrument -- of legitimately
accessioning and processing this material by the Russian Archive, with
which institution the Library of Congress chose to deal, completely
without regard to possible concerns of the generators of this material
whose historical legacy they represent.
As a librarian and archivist I am, of course, pleased that these
records exist and that they will provide richer documentation of the
activities of the CPUSA and a better understanding of the role it has
played in the shaping of modern America. I, along with many of my
colleagues, should, however, like to hear from a representative of the
Library of Congress about the exclusion of the CPUSA from the "opening"
of the papers, urge you to address ,as well, the related matters
elaborated below, and consider remedy for the mishandling of the
Let me dispose of several misconceptions up front. The assertion in the
LC press release that the existence of this CPUSA material in the
former USSR was a matter "discovered" in 1992 by John Earl Haynes is
ridiculous. It was a well-know fact that this material was in the
Soviet archives. That he consequently collaborated in using bits and
pieces of the material, when it became accessible, to attempt to
document his speculative theories about relations between the CPSU and
the CPUSA does not argue for his responsible and fair supervision of an
Further, given the highly partisan atmosphere in which these papers are
being released here through the Library of Congress, and the
sensationalist nature of the press release announcing the availability
of this microfilmed material -- in addition to the ethical concerns
already pointed out above, about the complete exclusion of the CPUSA ,
whose papers these are, from all discussion of their disposition and
distribution -- there are the following, hardly inclusive, scholarly
- Photocopies of contested archival material: It is impossible to
verify the authenticity of documents from microfilm. It is precisely
the authenticity of certain documents which is -- or may be in the
future even more so -- in question, as well as the impossibility of
verification/verifiability of the date, time, provenance etc. of
- The lack of disinterestedness and even extreme prejudice of the
project heads against the organizations whose files they are
organizing, interpreting and making available. These are people who
have staked their scholarly reputations on proving a highly negative
thesis about the relationship between the USSR, the CPUSA and
mutually-arranged significant, extensive, well-organized espionage, a
case (against the CPUSA) which remains unproved even with all the
documentation at their disposal, and which involves arguable
interpretations of data which bear on the reputations of individuals
(some of whom are living).
- There is no way to know how the microfilming has altered, by
accident or design, the arrangement of materials, possibly included
materials which were not there originally, or altered, elided or made
illegible text etc. which appears on film.
- The irresponsibility of making public papers which may bear on the
lives and reputations of living individuals, families of individuals,
still-existing organizations, without any discretion given to those
people, groups or their representatives.
I look forward to the Librarian of Congress addressing these concerns
for myself and a growing number of individuals, both in the
library/archives profession and in the scholarly community.
I remind you and more to the point, those who themselves are actually
librarians and archivists bound by certain ethical, professional
principles, that the CPUSA papers were sent to the USSR to protect
members and sympathizers of the Party against violations of free
thought and free speech, to protect fighters against war, fascism,
racism, exploitation who were being systematically persecuted by the US
government, not for espionage, but for their political affiliation and
expression of ideas.
The history of government infiltration, harassment, threats, raids,
confiscations, phone taps, etc. the extent of which is now known, in
part, through the heavily redacted records obtained through the FOIA,
provides the true background against which the sequestering of this
material from the 20s through the mid 40s was considered then and
should be considered today. The violation of free speech and free
thought which was perpetrated in past anti-Red campaigns is continued
in no small measure by the circumstances under which these papers are
It seems the Cold War lives at the Library of Congress, and not merely
as an historical phenomenon.
Mark C. Rosenzweig
Reference Center for Marxist Studies
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Message from Lincoln Cushing:
PLG folks et al-
This is a really interesting issue, but some of the implications make me
nervous. We wouldn't be having this discussion if it were a hypothetical
case of American Nazi Party documents going to an archive in England for
safekeeping then getting bumped back to LC.
As long as we are putting the shoe on the other foot, here's a scenario:
The National Library of Cuba agrees to a sister-library relationship
with a major US library, and sends thousands of political posters up for
safekeeping, preservation, and access to researchers. Fidel dies, a
US-backed coup destabilizes Cuba, and a reactionary government assumes
power. The new director of the Cuba Library wants the posters back
because "they present a distorted and doctrinaire viewpoint of Cuban
culture". What's the correct response by the US library?
I don't know about you, but I'm actually curious how much the Soviet
Union bankrolled activites of the CPUSA. My instinct is that the records
will reveal a range of damning and legitimizing activities, as would be
expected of almost any large political organization.
I don't have answers, but I tend to support the premise that open access
to documents is better than restricted access.
Lincoln Cushing, Docs Populi
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Mark Rosenzweig wrote:
Perhaps the issues as I presented it aren't clear, especially to people
without formal training in archives management (I don't know if this
This is not a matter of wishing to restrict access. I am glad about the
access, as I told the AP. Many archives, however, have restrictions,
attached by donors and specified dates at which certain sensitive materials
can be made public. There are often good reasons for this, such as
protecting the lives of people mentioned in the documentation.
Notwithstanding this, I am glad that there will be additional documentation
of the grass roots activities of American Communists in all areas of
struggles for justice and equality.
However, the extreme hypothetical case Lincoln poses about the American
Nazi Party is not a propos if for no other reason than because that party
has long ago ceased to exist (there are other reasons, but this one
suffices). This present matter is about the papers of a still existing ,
continuously functioning organization, the CPUSA, which currently has its
own archival program. There is no documentation of the intent of permanent
transfer of ownership of this material. At the very least, the people who
"took possession" of these documents after the original archives at which
it was deposited changed hands, should have contacted the organization
which generated the documents, negotiated with them, involved them at a
fundamental level in decisions about the archives of their own
organization. That they didn't was purely a political slap in the face, an
arrogant expropriation meant to show contempt for the very organization
whose histororical papers are now considred such a prize.
It's like booty of the Cold War!
As for the Cuban case, it depends on the "deed of gift" that,
hypothetically, the National Library of Cuba signed, or the conditions of
its "custody" agreed upon , or the terms of a "contract" if there is one,or
the custodial history, etc. Too hypothetical, once again.
If the LC were dealing in good faith with the CPUSA papers they would AT
THE VERY LEAST have made a copy of this entire microfilm series available
to the CPUSA, something which they have not offered. Furthermore, the CPUSA
would have been consulted about and involved in preparing the "finding
aid" prepared for the collection: they weren't.
As for the matter (irrelevant to the points of the open letter) of "who
bankrolled" the CPUSA and the light this sheds on it, the papers will
indicate -- based on Haynes' previous forays into these papers in Russia
in the 90's -- very little, although undoubtedly much will be made out of
it by way of extrapolation and invention. There is the meagerest evidence
of money of any significance, and there is even a kind of pathetic
fund-raising letter from the CPUSA (previously published by Haynes as
"evidence" along with one (!) "receipt" which looked like a barely legible
laundry ticket), of the very same kind sent to sympathizers in the US,
pleading poverty and asking for contributions, sent to the highest levels
of the CPSU!
I just want to make it clear this is not about restricting access.
This is about who has ownership of and access to the ORIGINALS in Russia
--and why; where the LC people are coming from (virulently hostile to the
CP with an extreme thesis about CPUSA involvement in espionage); what they
have presented --unverifiable microfilms of documents whose authenticity
and significance in many ways is questionable, but indeterminate from
images in that format. And finally, why, except for political reasons, the
CPUSA was completely excluded from deliberations about the fate of its own
The Cold War fought by other means, in the realm of scholarship, is not
something the LC should be promoting. In my opinion, it is.
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Thanks for your comments. I think that this situation is one where the
actions of the current Russian government and the LC are borderline
unethical but probably not illegal. If anyone in the CPUSA had the
foresight to attach specific conditions on the materials sent to the
USSR the situation would most certainly be quite different, but I doubt
the one will find any such MARC field 506 restrictions on any of these
So, the relevance to the Cuba case I described is valid; how does one,
sensitive to the realities and changes of the political world, establish
reasonable contractual use guidelines on loaned or donated materials?
Institutions, libraries and countries alike, do change leadership, and
the concommitant ideological shift may have serious impact on the
disposition of archival holdings. It is appropriate to be upset with
how the CPUSA materials have been handled in this case, and the
undercurrent of malicious political motivation is hard to miss, but I
would suggest that the big lesson to learn here has to do with an
enhanced sensitivity to practicing "safe loaning" of materials between
Lincoln Cushing, Docs Populi
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Point taken. There were no restrictions stipulated by the CPUSA that I know
of except that they sent the stuff over there with the express purpose of
temporarily hiding it from the US government instead of destroying it.
The times -- two decades of intense class conflict -- were such that those
kinds of things didn't occur to anyone. And naturally, the CPUSA never
thought the USSR would collapse! (Shit happens, as they say...). It just
was unthinkable, not only for them but for most Sovietologists in the West.
However, the Cubans should be more circumpsect about these matters. I would
imagine however that no archival policies or or even legal action based on
written contracts according to tort laws or for that matter international
law would trump raison d'etat as far as the US was concerned in a case like
Cuba's, if the government there fell.
Nonetheless, you pose interesting issues for archivists and curators
involved in international work and collections from abroad, especially
from State collections.
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The LC Press Release:
January 18, 2000
Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: (202) 707-5387
Library of Congress Opens to Researchers the
Records of the Communist Party, USA
Microfilm Includes 435,165 Frames on 326 Reels
The Library of Congress has opened for research
copies of the records of the Communist Party, USA
(CPUSA) covering the period from the 1920s to the
1940s. This collection of documents had long been
thought destroyed. However, in late 1992, after
the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a historian
in the Manuscript Division of the Library of
Congress, John Earl Haynes, learned that the CPUSA
had secretly shipped these records to the Soviet
Union more than 50 years ago, where they were kept
in a closed Communist Party archives. In the post-
Soviet era the new Russian government took control
of these records and opened them for research.
In January 1993, Dr. Haynes traveled to Moscow and
was the first American scholar to examine this
historically significant collection, housed in
what is today known as the Russian State Archives
of Social and Political History. Upon his return
to the United States, he recommended that the
Library of Congress propose to the Russian
Archives that the collection be microfilmed and a
set of the microfilm deposited in the Library to
ensure their permanent availability.
The Library of Congress opened negotiations with
the Russian Archives in 1993 to microfilm the
collection. The negotiations over the years that
followed involved staff of the Library's
Manuscript and European divisions as well as James
H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. In late
1998, a formal agreement was signed by Winston
Tabb, Associate Librarian for Library Services, on
behalf of the Library, and Kyrill Anderson,
director of the Russian Archives. The project has
now been completed. In total, the film includes
435,165 frames on 326 reels. The cost of filming
was supported by a "Gift to the Nation" from John
Kluge, chairman of the Library's Madison Council,
and the Library's James B. Wilbur Fund for Foreign
The previous paucity of the archival record has
been a major obstacle to scholarship on the
history of the American Communist movement.
Accounts of the history of American communism and
the related issue of anticommunism have been
highly contentious, with the academic consensus
varying widely over the decades in part due to the
shallowness and resulting ambiguity of the
evidential base. The CPUSA has always been a
secretive organization; while occasional
government raids, subpoenas, search warrants, and
congressional investigations made some
documentation part of the public record, the
quantity was never large because of the party's
practice of hiding or destroying records. Although
some party documents have also become available in
the papers of various private individuals, the
quantity is limited.
Now any researcher can read microfilmed copies of
the original documents in the Manuscript Reading
Room of the Library of Congress. Historians will,
therefore, have a much stronger basis for
reconstructing an accurate picture of American
communism and anticommunism from the 1920s to the
1940s. A finding aid has been created to guide
researchers through the collection.
Many of the documents in this collection are
unique; the records are very detailed regarding
the history of the CPUSA, particularly for its
origins in the 1920s and the early and middle
1930s. There are fewer records for the 1937-1944
period than for the earlier years, probably due to
the difficulties of shipping large quantities of
records once war started in 1939. The CPUSA
collection at the Russian Archives has no material
later than 1944.
Among the items in the CPUSA collection are:
* A 1919 letter from Nikolai Bukharin, head of
the Communist International in Soviet Russia,
to American radicals urging them to form an
American Communist Party. The Comintern (as
the Communist International was called) told
American radicals that they should organize
"Communist nuclei among soldiers and
sailors...for the purpose of violent baiting
of officers and generals, " recognize the
"necessity of arming the proletariat," tell
radical soldiers when demobilized from the
army that they "must not give up their arms,
" should expose President Woodrow Wilson "as
a hypocrite and murderer, in order to
discredit him with the masses," form
"militant organs of the struggle for the
conquest of the State power, for the
dictatorship of the Workers" and adopt the
slogan "Down with the Senate and Congress."
* A 13-page application for admission to the
Communist International from the newly
organized Communist Party of America. The
letter, dated November 24, 1919, ends with
the declaration that "The Communist Party
realizes the immensity of its task; it
realizes that the final struggle of the
Communist proletariat will be waged in the
United States, our conquest of power alone
assuring the world Soviet Republic. Realizing
all this, the Communist Party prepares for
the struggle. Long Live the Communist
International! Long live the World
* A 1926 memo regarding Soviet subsidies to the
American Communist movement. Different Soviet
agencies subsidized different American
Communist activities, and sometimes the
funds, sent to the United States by
surreptitious means, were delivered to the
wrong recipient. In this memo, the head of
the American Communist party attempts to
reconcile who got which subsidies and which
transfers were needed to ensure that the
various activities received what Moscow
* Some documents illustrate the emphasis that
the CPUSA placed on organizing African
Americans. A 1924 letter from the Comintern,
for example, confirms that it was providing a
subsidy of $1,282 to send 10 black Americans
to the "Eastern University," a Comintern
school in Moscow. Another document is a
15-page report on the party's work in Harlem
* There is a small collection of the letters of
John Reed in the CPUSA collection. Reed, a
well-known American journalist of the 1910s,
was a founder of the American Communist Party
in 1919 and one of its early representatives
to the Comintern. However, he died of typhus
in the Soviet Union in 1920. This material is
thought to have been in his possession at the
time of his death and was added to the CPUSA
collection by Comintern archivists. (Reed was
the subject a successful 1981 Hollywood film,
"Reds," in which Warren Beatty played Reed.)
Reed reported on the Mexican Revolution, and
in a 1915 letter in the collection, written
from Mexico, he tells his editor in New York
about his impressions of several of the
leading Mexican Revolutionary generals:
Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Emiliano Zapata,
and Venustiano Carranza.
* A six-page report discusses Communist
attempts to organize sharecroppers in the
agricultural South in 1934. It includes brief
sketches of the sharecroppers the party
attracted to a "farm school" it set up in St.
9. According to Google, George W. Bush "Dumb Motherfucker"
Google Link Is Bush League
by Farhad Manjoo
There's an old schoolyard taunt that goes, "When you look up 'stupid' in the
dictionary, you'll see a picture of George."
Well, here's a tech spin on that insult, only this one is not for kids.
When you type "dumb motherfucker" into Google, the search engine's top result
is a site about President Bush.
That seems pretty amazing, if you think about it.
How did it happen? Was it a prank?
Answer here: http://wired.com/news/technology/1,1282,41401,00.html
10. Pageview of the month
A visitor from cache-dh01.proxy.aol.com/ (184.108.40.206) was logged once,
starting at 4:29:49 PM on Thursday, February 1, 19101.
The initial browser was Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; AOL 3.0; Windows 98).
This visitor first arrived from www.altavista.com "hip and sexy" 1-10
and visited www.libr.org/Juice/index.html
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