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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  July 2006, Week 2

ARCHIVES July 2006, Week 2

Subject:

Re: Marking Manuscripts

From:

Leon Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Leon Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 14 Jul 2006 13:24:38 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (91 lines)

I would appreciate seeing images of repository stamps or marks.

Lee

----
Leon C. Miller, Manuscripts Librarian
Special Collections, Jones Hall
Tulane University Libraries
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118
ph: 504-865-5685, fx: 504-865-5761, [log in to unmask]
http://specialcollections.tulane.edu


-----Original Message-----
From: Archives & Archivists [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On
Behalf Of Everett Wilkie
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 12:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Marking Manuscripts


As one who was heavily involved in creating the current RBMS Security
Guidelines and its marking recommendations, I would like to point out that
the recommendations there are based on sound theory and practice and on some
unfortunate experiences.

Also speaking as one who has been, to his dismay, involved over the past
several years in efforts by various libraries to recover their stolen
manuscripts, I can assure everyone that an institutional property stamp is
the be-all and end-all of recovery efforts if your materials are stolen.  If
the visible mark fails in its role as a deterrent and your manuscript is
stolen anyway, that mark is going to be removed, even if the thief has to
cut it out.  That is why the invisible mark is so important; with any luck
the thief will not see it and it will remain on the document to provide
proof.  Such things as cataloguing records, scans, microfilms, etc., are all
dubious proofs subject to interpretation.  I know of cases wherein the
stolen document and the image have been put side by side, and you'd be
surprised how different they can appear.

Also, regrettably, such excuses as it is too much trouble to mark materials
or that doing so is too daunting a task or that it hurts the material will
also be turned against a library seeking to recover stolen materials,
especially if any amount of time has passed between the theft and its
recovery.  Such defenses as estoppal and laches will be raised to deny the
library the recovery of its material, especially if the material is
unmarked. Lack of marks will merely be interpreted to mean that the library
did not take reasonable measures within its grasp to protect its property
and will be advanced as yet another reason the aggrieved purchaser does not
have to return the materials.

Mark your stuff!  Don't join the unhappy group of librarians and archivists
who get to see a judge hand possession of their property to somebody else.
Besides, SAA endorses those Guidelines as best professional practice.  No
reason not to follow them.

Everett Wilkie
2006 Carey Road
Kinston, NC 28501
[log in to unmask]
252-522-0261
Cell:  717-419-9419
"Join us for our groundbraking"
--Sign

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A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
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