Re: Virtual Library: museums an

There are problems for academic types in receiving outside funding.

I (try to) keep up History pretty much on my own, except for facilities 
and encouragement from our Academic Computing Services -- certainly not 
from the University administration. Like everyone else, I could use some 
help, particularly since it would allow me to do a better job. If I were 
to receive outside funding, however, my University administration would 
take 40% of the total as "administrative overhead" in exchange for 
requiring me to fill out forms, compose job descriptions, and so forth. 
They would probably get the idea that this is a good thing, and I would 
soon be spending all of my time making grant applications.

If we finally end up taking in outside funding, wouldn't it be more 
effective if the funds were used centrally to provide services for 
webmasters? What about a central address to which all new web sites 
wanting VL listings would submit their URL's, a short description, and a 
set of key words for distributing notices to the appropriate sites? Or a 
central testing service, notifying site maintainers when a page in their 
field changes addresses or ceases operations? Or mirroring on each 
continent to cut down on transatlantic use and alleviate the concern that 
some of us have about the simultaneous user limits of our systems? Or 
providing new and independent sites with a list of URL's of similar sites?

I suppose that I'm suggesting that funds not be used in helping us 
contend with our present problems, but to eliminate them.

Lynn H. Nelson
Department of History
University of Kansas
Lawrence KS 66045-2030