This panel is about the work that Reveal Digital has been doing for the past four years to digitize a million pages of underground, alternative, and literary newspapers and magazines from the fifties through the eighties, most of which are now hidden in dark shelves of special collections libraries and beginning to yellow and crumble with age; and to make them available to current and future generations of scholars, activists, and writers. Every page is an exact keyword-searchable digital reproduction of the original.
Itв??s no secret among academics that young scholars today look primarily to the Internet for information sources and may be unaware of the treasures that await them in special collections libraries. Digitizing these treasures is a first step toward making them accessible. But it isnв??t enough if the resulting collections are priced beyond the reaches of academic libraries, the primary purchasers of these collections. This is the predicament that libraries face under the traditional economic model employed by traditional publishing companies.
Reveal Digitalв??s unique new library crowd-funding model offers a cost-effective way for libraries to digitize their special collections without trading away their digital rights, a common practice under more traditional в??publishingв?ќ models. Once a projectв??s crowd-funding goal is achieved, the content is made open access, resulting in free access to all.