Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rediscovering Scholarly Newsletters: A Challenge

Waaaay back in 2009  Andrew Reinhard, then at Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.  serialized the republication online of  The Pompeiiana Newsletter:
The Pompeiiana Newsletter was created and edited by Bernard Barcio and ran from 1974 through 2003. Pompeiiana offered a place for Latin students to publish comics, stories, games, and articles, and was a beloved resource for Latin teachers. In 2008, Barcio granted Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers the rights for all of Pompeiiana. This blog will make all 229 issues freely available to Latin teachers, students, and others interested in Classics, one issue per day.
This week, the Medieval Sai Project: The Greek Norwegian Archaeological Mission to Sudan began the serialized republication of the 22 issues of Nubian Letters published between 1983 and 1994:
Nubian Letters in an independent biannual bulletin for Nubian history and archaeology, published under the auspices of the International Society for Nubian Studies and the Department of Early Christian Art at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Edited by Elizabeth de Ranitz and Karel Inemmée.
I'm really pleased to see these newsletters in general circulation. They represent a form of scholarly communication which was common in the second half of the 20th century (and earlier), but which was never properly collected by libraries. Even those which have made the leap to digital media (and you can find many be searching the keyword "newsletter" in AWOL), remain mostly poorly curated or uncollected in libraries. The are nevertheless an extraordinarily important resource for the history of the disciplines they cover, and the institutions and projects they represent.

Many scholars keep files of these things, which they get by virtue of memberships in societies or organization, or association with projects, and in other ways. Likewise, many projects, association, and societies hold files of them in their archives, or in their archives of their successor or sponsoring institutions. If you have a files of one of these inaccessible newsletters, or know of one, I challenge you to follow in the footsteps of The Pompeiiana Newsletter, and Nubian Letters, and make it available to your colleagues and the world at large. It is simple to set up a blog at Blogger, Wordpress or Tumblr (or one of many other places), to scan an issue a day, and post them online. Please make sure that you get, or make a good faith effort to get, permission from the organization or person who published the newsletter in the first place. If even one of you accepts this challenge, I will commit to matching your effort by scanning and posting Pirradazish, the newsletter for Achaemenid studies I produced in the 1990s.

Please let me know if you will participate, and what and where you efforts appear so I can include it in in AWOL's List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies.

And I'll happily offer advice and assistance in how to go about doing it! 




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Mr Jones said...
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