The Importance of Digital Archivists
The recent discussion on copyright and digital archives (and accessible information) seems somewhat relevant here.
There’s a lot of tragedies unfolding in Mali, but the loss of manuscripts from a part of the world hitherto neglected by western academic thought until very recently will be felt profoundly for years to come.
I would argue there’s almost a moral imperative to digitize and make available rare manuscripts and historical heritage items. Everytime we fail to do so before some historical arsonist gets his torch out is another failure of our generation in the eyes of our descendants.