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Destruction of Libraries and Archives: Experts and Sources
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News Releases

Armed gunmen raid salvadoran human rights organization, burn archives
2013-11-15
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador
Armed gunmen raid Salvadoran human rights organization Pro-Busqueda just months after abrupt closure of Archdiocese's human rights office, Tutela Legal. Human rights defenders see actions as effort to...

Sources Select Resources

Archives under siege: Ottawa gathering calls for national action
What We Have Lost, What We Stand to Lose: The Future of Archives and Archivists in Canada
Lithgow, Michael
Article
2013
Alternative Archive
Report about a public meeting about the state of archives in Canada today.
Armed gunmen raid salvadoran human rights organization, burn archives
Sources News Release
Article
2013
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador
Armed gunmen raid Salvadoran human rights organization Pro-Busqueda just months after abrupt closure of Archdiocese's human rights office, Tutela Legal. Human rights defenders see actions as effort to...
'Badass Librarians' Foil al Qaeda, Save Ancient Manuscripts
Worrall, Simon
Article
2016
National Geographic
Scholars used donkey carts, boats, and teenage couriers to smuggle a priceless collection out of Timbuktu.
Burning History in San Salvador
Destruction of Historical and Human Rights Archives
Maslin, Sarah
Article
2013
CounterPunch
On Thursday, Nov. 14, three armed men broke into the offices of Pro-Búsqueda. The attack on Pro-Búsqueda was not a random crime. We should be worried about what is happening in El Salvador.
Canada's Science Library Closures Mirror Bush's Playbook
Similar moves by US Republican president met sharp backlash from 10,000 scientists.
Nikiforuk, Andrew
Article
2014
The Tyee
The Harper government is now eliminating seven Department of Fishery libraries containing one of the world's most comprehensive collections of information on fisheries, aquatic sciences and nautical s...
Connexions Library: History Focus Page
Website
2009
Connexions Information Sharing Services
Selected articles, books, documents and other resources on historical topics.
Cuts and Closures at Canada’s federal libraries
Article
2013
Federal libraries are an important part of Canada’s cultural heritage. These specialist libraries house some of Canada’s most important collections. Dozens of federal departmental libraries across the...
DFO Library Closures Anger Scientific Community
Thorkelson, Erika
Article
2014
DeSmog Canada
When word first broke that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was closing seven of their libraries, government officials promised that there would be no loss of vital historical material. Today ma...
The Digital Dark Ages: Movies and Books Get Deleted as Selfies Pile Up
Rall, Ted
Article
2015
Counterpunch
Historians and archivists call our times the "digital dark ages." The name evokes the medieval period that followed the collapse of the Roman Empire, which led to a radical decline in the recorded his...
Dismantling of Fishery Library 'Like a Book Burning,' Say Scientists
Harper government shuts down 'world class' collection on freshwater science and protection
Nikiforuk, Andrew
Article
2013
The Tyee
The Harper government has dismantled one of the world's top aquatic and fishery libraries as part of its agenda to reduce government as well as limit the role of environmental science in policy decisi...
Double Fold (Wikipedia article about the book by Nicholson Baker)
Sources Select Resources Encyclopedia
Article
2007
Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper is a non-fiction book by Nicholson Baker that was published in April, 2001.
Eric Marshall laments closure of namesake Fisheries library
Rusland, Peter
Article
2014
Cowichan News Leader
The government seems to be saying 'We want to exploit our natural resources, whether it's natural gas or oil sands, and basically to heck with environmental impacts.'
Files linking Britain to Israel's nuclear weapons go missing from National Archives
Article
2016
Official documents on Britain's relationship with Israel, including papers on "military and nuclear collaboration" in the 1970s, have disappeared from the National Archives in the last four years.
For the Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story - in pictures
Photo/Image/Poster
2012
The Guardian
During the Bosnian war, a group of men and women risked their lives to rescue thousands of irreplaceable Islamic manuscripts -- and preserve a nation's history. Amid bullets and bombs, this handful of...
The History Thieves - Review
How Britain covered up its imperial crimes
Jack, Ian
Book
2016
Guardian
A review of Ian Cobain's book The History Thieves, an engrossing study which identifies secrecy as a 'very British disease', exploring how, as the empire came to an end, government officials burned th...
A Hundred Years Gone: The Sack of Louvain
Kattenburg, David
Article
2014
Green Planet Monitor
Marie-Therese Delcom sits at an outdoor cafe in the Belgian town of Leuven, rustling through faded family photos from the First World War. In one of them, her paternal grandfather is digging his own g...
Lavon Affair
Wikipedia article
Article
1954
The Lavon Affair refers to a failed Israeli covert operation, code named Operation Susannah, conducted in Egypt in the Summer of 1954. As part of the false flag operation, a group of Egyptian Jews wer...
List of destroyed libraries
Wikipedia article
Article
Libraries have been deliberately or accidentally destroyed or badly damaged. Sometimes a library is purposely destroyed as a form of cultural cleansing.
Loss of Librarians Devastating to Science and Knowledge in Canada
Thorkelson, Erika
Article
2014
DeSmog Canada
The closure of federal libraries and loss of specialized librarians impacts negatively on the state of science and knowledge in Canada.
Lost Memory: Libraries and Archives destroyed in the Twentieth Century
van der Hoeven, Hans; van Albada, Joan
Article
1996
UNESCO
This document lists major disasters that have destroyed or caused irreparable damage during the 20th century to libraries and archives, whether written of audio-visual.
Mali: Timbuktu's literary gems face Islamists and decay in fight for survival
Hirsch, Afua
Article
2013
Guardian
Daring by a dedicated few saved many manuscripts in Mali from Islamists.
Memory hole
Wikipedia article
Article
A memory hole is any mechanism for the alteration or disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts, or other records, such as from a website or other archive, parti...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - April 9, 2016
Corporate Crime
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2016
Connexions
Corporations have increasingly become legally unaccountable for their behaviour. Yet all too often corporations break the law and engage in criminals acts which would be severely punished if they were...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - November 7, 2016
Depression and Joy
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2016
Connexions
It’s a difficult thing to measure, but there are strong reasons for believing that the number of people struggling with depression has increased significantly in recent decades. Despite the evidence t...
Protest Against Closing Down the Lukács Archiv
Hermann, Zsuzsa
Article
2016
petitions24.com
We, the undersigned, wish to express our deepest worries about the resolution of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to close down the Lukács Archives in Budapest. Görgy Lukács was one the significant p...
Save the feature before it explodes
Several films directed by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1920s are being fully restored
Miller, Henry K.
Article
2011
The Guardian
Nine films Hitchcock directed during the 1920s will be restored by archivists at the British Film Institute before the volatile nitrate reels combust. The film archivists' work and the hirstory of the...
Scientists Protest Canada's War on Science
Rugh, Peter
Article
2014
Waging Non-Violence
The Harper government is closing libraries, trashing documents and firing thousands of scientists — while handing out billions in subsidies to oil companies.
Secret Memo Casts Doubt on Feds' Claims for Science Library Closures
Goal stated is 'culling' research, not preserving and sharing through digitization
Nikiforuk, Andrew
Article
2013
The Tyee
A federal document marked "secret" obtained by Postmedia News indicates the closure or destruction of more than half a dozen world famous science libraries has little if anything to do with digitizing...
The treasures of Timbuktu
The race is on to preserve papers dating back to a west African golden age
Rice, Xan
Article
2007
The Guardian Weekly
West African scholars are quickly discovering the wealth of manuscripts burried in and near Timbuktu dating from the 11th century. Governments and universities are building archives in which to house ...
What's Driving Chaotic Dismantling of Canada's Science Libraries?
Scientists reject Harper government claims vital material is being saved digitally
Nikiforuk, Andrew
Article
2013
The Tyee
Scientists say the closure of some of the world's finest fishery, ocean and environmental libraries by the Harper government has been so chaotic that irreplaceable collections of intellectual capital ...
Whose Archive? Whose History? Destruction of Archives at Ruskin College, Oxford
Article
2012
History Workshop Online
A repository of lived experience of the trade union and labour movement of the twentieth century is being deliberately trashed.

Sources Bookshelf

Double Fold
Libraries and the Assault on Paper
Baker, Nicholson
Book
2001
Double Fold examines the preservation of books in United States libraries over the past 50 years. It details the libraries' "war" on books -- the alarming lack of preservation and the destruction of ...
The History Thieves
Secrets, Lies, and the Shaping of a Modern Nation
Cobain, Ian
Book
2016
Ian Cobain uncovers the role of secrecy in the British state - and the lies, omissions and misrepresentations we've been fed to maintain the facade of a fair and just Britain.
Kill The Messengers
Stephen Harper's Assault on Your Right to Know
Bourrie, Mark
Book
2015
Ottawa has become a place where the nation's business is done in secret, and access to information - the lifeblood of democracy in Canada - is under attack.


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