The argument for Ancestry is maybe slightly stronger, I reckon, in that often they're digitizing collections that are smaller and unlikely to have much funding (e.g. local government areas and smaller, even single churches sometimes). So it sort of makes sense to pay for that (because the organisations that own the collections can't do it).

The SLNSW, on the other hand, is a single large institution and already has the skills and means to digitize. It's just a matter of money?

Not that I know much about any of this :-) but the approach of the Australian War Memorial seems pretty good: get people who want particular items to pay for them to be digitized, and then make the digital files available for free to everyone else. That's the sort of non-commercial ethos that would be great to see within any publicly-funded institution. :)


On 09/04/16 09:07, Kerry Raymond wrote:

I’m with Andrew, it’s a both a blessing and a curse. I’ve seen the same thing happen in family history. Once the records were there in physical form in a distant part of the world (result: no access for most people); then Ancestry came along and offered to digitise them and sell subscriptions to access the data (result: access for anyone willing/able to pay). For me, I find the Ancestry subscription cost reasonable for what I get access to (I use it for Wikipedia research as well as family history) but not everyone thinks it’s affordable.

So, I think the real question with SLNSW is “at what price will it become accessible?”.

When the time is right, we should try to negotiate for the Wikipedia Library program to get access to some subscriptions (assuming that’s the model chosen – could be pay-per-view).


*From:*Wikimediaau-l [] *On Behalf Of *Robert Myers
*Sent:* Friday, 8 April 2016 1:20 PM
*To:* Australian Wikimedians mailing list <>
*Subject:* Re: [Wikimediaau-l] NSW State Library

More of a concern, IMO

Sent from my iPhone

On 8 Apr 2016, at 12:47 PM, Andrew Owens < <>> wrote:

    Hi all,

    Just noticed an article about the NSW State Library that's either
    an opportunity or a concern...

    kindest regards


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