Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Another New Year

Happy New Year to all of you, and I hope you all had a great festive season, whatever branch of the festive tree you inhabit.
Medieval Writing has been out there for six years now. I was encouraged to ponder the history of the site, and its place in the electronic universe, when I had to renew some permissions to use photographs from the British Library. Five years ago I had to tell them what I was hoping to achieve. This time I could point them to what was there already, with promises for further advancement.
I am still intrigued by the slow pace at which major institutions actually get the concept of the web. They say that if your permission is not renewed, you have to delete all their photographs from your database. To me, that is like saying if you have published a book, you have to go around the world cutting out all the illustrations with a Stanley knife. Somehow we have to get the idea across that web publication is not merely the production of ephemera, but can be a means of developing constantly expanding projects. The production of quality material on the web is also no longer the exclusive domain of large institutions. The mechanics of it now puts the process of production and development into the hands of whoever has the urge and commitment to get on with it. (And just between you and me, the fact that rugged individuals such as myself don't have to deal with an ITdepartment and a bunch of so-called multimedia experts makes it so much easier and cheaper!)
Anyway, the images are safe for another five years. Perhaps, with your help, by then some of these august old bodies will be getting the idea of what it is all about.

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