Monthly Archives: April 2011

Bridging “Broad Divides,” Proposed Settlement May Show Path to Virtual Library of Out-of-Print Books

The following letter appears in today’s New York Times.

To the Editor:

Your March 31 editorial “Google’s Book Deal” correctly points out that the landmark settlement between the company and authors and publishers would have “given new life to millions of half-forgotten titles collecting dust in out-of-the-way libraries.” But your discussion omitted several crucial aspects of the case.

We have a fundamental disagreement with Google: we believe that without first obtaining permission, Google is prohibited from copying books for commercial purposes. That’s why we sued. Judge Denny Chin, who faulted Google for “wholesale, blatant copying” without permission, seems to agree.

The settlement was crafted to bridge the broad divides among the stakeholders in the negotiations — authors, publishers, research libraries and Google. It would have provided financial benefits to authors of out-of-print books and made available a vast virtual library of those books.

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Paul Brodeur Responds to NYPL Statement

At the request of Mr. Brodeur, we post his response to the statement of the New York Public Library posted April 1.

The response of The New York Public Library to my article does not address the key issue I raised. Library officials claim that my papers, which I donated in 1992, were not fully processed until 2010 — eighteen years later. They conveniently choose to ignore the fact that Ms. Mimi Bowling, who was Charles J. Liebman Curator of Manuscripts at the Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division between 1988 and 2001, has written two e-mails and one letter contradicting their claim and describing when my collection of papers was processed.

In an e-mail dated May 31, 2010, Ms. Bowling stated, “Those of your papers that were accessioned in 1992 were judged by me and my superiors to be worth retaining and were, in my estimation, satisfactorily processed and shelved in the Bryant Park Stack Extension where you saw them [in 1997]“.

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The New York Public Library Statement on Paul Brodeur Papers

At the request of The New York Public Library we are posting this response to Mr. Brodeur’s article of March 30.

The Paul Brodeur Papers at The New York Public Library were fully processed in 2010 and can now be reached through a finding aid that has only recently been made available ( The collection includes the primary source material that, in the estimation of our curatorial and archival staff, will be of greatest interest to researchers and scholars studying Brodeur’s career and his work. This includes most of Mr. Brodeur’s manuscripts, notes, and correspondence. The rest of the material consists largely of secondary source items, including copies of and from magazines and newspapers, that are available elsewhere; these are the items the Library decided could be returned to Mr. Brodeur. In doing so it was following the standards regarded by librarians and archivists as the best professional practices.

The deed of gift that Mr. Brodeur signed in 1993 was very clear. Specifically, it stated that “The Library reserves the right to return to Donor any items that it does not choose to retain in the Papers. If Donor (or, if Donor is deceased, Donor’s estate) declines to accept such items, the Library may dispose of the same as the Library determines in its sole discretion.”

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