Can archives support themselves?

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We have always been told that “there is no financial model for archives.” This has begun to change a little in the entertainment industry with the ‘value added DVD’ that has a lot of historical outtakes etc. However much of our valuable past data still costs more money to store than can often be justified. Enter the web and Amazon. In an encouraging step for archives to gain a sustaining financial model, you can now purchase copies of footage from the National Archives through Amazon and their subsidiary Custom Flix.

It would be really great if they could offer you ANY part of the national archives, but I assume that is in the works as more and more of this content gets digitized. It is also a good preservation method to have this content distributed around as we painfully discovered with the moon landing tape kerfuffle

Thanks to Stewart Brand for sending this Washington Post story to me (registration required).

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