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Books Handhelds Hardware Technology

E-book Museum At the Library of Congress? (teleread.com) 19

David Rothman writes: Back in 2003, Slashdot ran TeleRead's call for a brick-and-mortar international e-book museum at the Library of Congress. The proposed museum would focus on the devices and other technology rather than the content. It still isn't too late for such a project, and TeleRead is again advocating the idea. Content, too, actually would benefit -- considering that proprietary formats and DRM can imperil the future readability of e-books. Meanwhile, a small-scale e-book museum is about to open in Paris and is looking for donations. A worthy cause!
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E-book Museum At the Library of Congress?

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @01:46PM (#51575785)

    >> focus on the devices and other technology rather than the content...Content, too, actually would benefit -- considering that proprietary formats and DRM can imperil the future readability of e-books

    This was and is still a dumb idea. Concentrate on exporting the content in an open format and f*** the devices, proprietary and otherwise. It's not like many mere mortals can physically get to DC anyway to use a bunch of archaic devices, so the end goal should be "open format content accessible from anywhere".

    • Content only benefits to the extent where it exists in the e-book museum in a proprietary, DRM-locked format in addition to the other part of the Library of Congress--the library part.
    • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @02:18PM (#51575979)

      Exactly. Open Format = Investing in our Future for Everyone. Closed Format == Short Term Greed.

      One of the reasons books have survived so long is because you don't need yet-another-stupid-obsolete-device to find them useful. Public Accessibility is the WHOLE point of a library.

      Now if this was a "Tech History Museum" they might have a point ... but it's not.

      --
      Why is StackOverflow hostile to the less experienced? Everyone was a beginner at one point

    • Wait, why is this a dumb idea?

      How can you correlate the presence of a museum with a lack of effort toward content standardization for e-books?

      That's like saying airplane museums shouldn't exist because we haven't standardized on a single flying machine design.

      • Wait, why is this a dumb idea?

        Because we have a public debt of $19 trillion, and we shouldn't be making it bigger for the sake of mission creep at the LOC.

    • As author of the post, I couldn't agree more with the commenters on the need for open standards. The idea is to give people a feel for the devices, not force them to come to the museum to read the books. But, yes, the content issue does enter into it. What if some future DRM is super-hard to crack? Then, if nothing else, screen scans could be made. I would hope it wouldn't come to that. Down with DRM! But just in case. What's more, the museum would let people in the future be able to experience the look and
      • Let me add that we can't anticipate the future needs of historians and others, in regard to old books and other documents. Yes, I'd like everything available for eternity in open formats. But that doesn't mean it'll happen.
  • So... this is intended to be a museum of devices that can read e-books.

    That means it'll need to have a collection of phones, tablets and computers along with e-book readers.

    Yeah... I don't see how that's relevant to the Library of Congress.

  • I thought museums were for long past dead things, for which there is a historical perspective
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Kobo and Sony e-Readers.

    • by unrtst ( 777550 )

      I thought museums were for long past dead things, for which there is a historical perspective

      Nope. Plenty of recently made things get into museums, even from living artists/etc. One definition is:
      A museum (/mjuzim/; myoo-zee-um) is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.

  • If the content were the focus, it would be just another wing of the Library.

  • Ebooks should be stored as conventional books. If they are to be preserved, they need to be in printed format. I see no added value in storing such in digital format.

    Like backing up all kinds of data on Laserdiscs seemed like an excellent idea in the 80's, it's very difficult to handle such backups today. Not only are compliant players hard to find, nobody has a clue about how to read the formats stored on them.

  • Like the classic brick s**thouse? I hope so, because that's exactly as big as I think it should be. Like, 3' x 3' x 8', with a door on one wall and a big touchscreen on the opposite wall. Put it outside next to the big library. Best way to illuminate the difference in technologies I think.

If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke

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