Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hurray for Brewster

   I have grumped before about the ephemeral nature of the web, and now I am going to grump again. I have just upgraded the graphics and formatting for the script samples for formal diplomatic hands, most of which are papal documents. I had not gone into these in great detail as the Vatican Secret Archives website used to have a really good, extensive section on The Diplomatics of Papal Documents. It has apparently disappeared. It can be found on The Internet Archive here, so all is not lost.
   I can understand that some older web material might look a bit olde worlde after a few years. After all, that is why I am upgrading my own stuff. Some material is ephemeral or topical by nature. But when somebody (or somebodies) has taken the trouble to produce work which is of enduring interest, even if minority interest, and of educational value, and otherwise hard to come by, and very attractive to boot, why would you just remove it? I mean, when a paper book exhausts its print run, the existing books are still out there. When a website is gone it is gone. Well it would be, were it not for Brewster and The Internet Archive. May he and his mighty project live forever.

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