December 5, 2011

Too Much Information, pt. 1D

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 11:19 pm

Monday night.

Well, it wasn’t much longer and the Chargers pulled their starters, game over. So it was off to my “book room” to spin some microfilm. I’ve got a microfilm reader and own 500 reels of film, something like that (maybe a little more, actually). Books are swell, but the really good stuff is often found in newspapers and magazines on film.

I’ve been “working” a reel of microfilm containing material from the Communist Party USA’s material at the Comintern Archive in Moscow — stuff that was filmed up thanks to about a million of your tax dollars about ten years ago. There are only about a dozen libraries in the US with sets of the film, which runs to more than 325 reels. I picked away at purchasing a couple reels here, a couple reels there, eventually getting the first 25 or so reels, containing most everything from 1919 to 1924, which is the period of my book research. It’s a real luxury to have that, no pun intended, and I’m doing my best to not only master the material, but to make its most important contents available on my web site.

Ownership of the material is sketchy, the CPUSA claimed ownership, the archive at Moscow pocketed the cash during the filming and probably collected a spiff off all the film sold, there is copyright law that comes into play for published material and unpublished manuscripts. I’ve got a pretty good grasp of where everything sits. The archivist at CPUSA smiled upon me five years ago, but a lot has changed since then (the CPUSA shut down their archive and gave the material to New York University) and film sales have moved from a Dutch affiliate of Brill to the archive themselves. It’s a grey enough area that I think I’m all right — but Russian copyright law is REALLY squirrelly. Under American law I’m pretty safe.

Anyway, I got a couple press releases written by Jay Lovestone on the 1923 trial of party leader C.E. Ruthenberg typed up, converted to pdfs, and uploaded to my website tonight. That’s decent output. I also spent a little time on WP cleaning up somebody else’s “stub” article on a Loyalist military leader from the revolutionary war — one I found in the “New Files” queue. I try to clear a few things through each week, targeting what appears to be serious material that has sat for 5 or 10 days without being “patrolled.” I don’t flag and tag anything, I just greenlight things that can be safely greenlighted, sometimes making a few rudimentary style fixes.

Final score on my day: 1 new Wikipedia biography, 2 new pdf publications, 2 converted pdf publications. That would be 4 and 16 plus whatever I could convert during Sunday football, if I could keep up the pace. Which I can’t.

Like I say, Monday’s usually my most productive day.

Time to watch a few episodes of South Park and to go to sleep.

Thanks for reading.


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