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Saturday, 27th February 2010

In Haiti Digital Archivists Work to Save Rare Books, Historical Documents

From the Article:

But Brooke Wooldridge also learned help was desperately needed to rescue and preserve the treasures that help chronicle Haiti's history, clustered mostly in the four institutions in downtown Port-au-Prince.

""First I worried about the people and making sure everybody working at these institutions were OK, and then I thought about all of those collections,'' said Wooldridge, project coordinator for the Digital Library of the Caribbean at Florida International University. "I felt very conflicted. Emotionally, I knew there was so much life lost, but I also knew that if the collections were ignored, Haiti's collective memory could be lost. I knew we needed to help'.''

So Wooldridge quickly assembled like-minded culturalists who were already a part of the Digital Library, an international coalition of research, governmental and educational institutions that provides access to Caribbean-related electronic materials.

The organization, founded in 2004, was perfectly poised to help. Led by Wooldridge, it had already been working with Haiti's librarians and curators over the years to digitize their collections. Within weeks, the group launched a campaign to rally international contributors, raise money and provide technical support for the recovery and protection of Haiti's cultural resources -- the already brittle rare books and documents scattered and dusted by the quake.

Source: Miami Herald


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