11 May 2009

Archiving J B Jeyaretnam's papers for posterity

JBJ was an important figure in Singapore's political history. Now that he's gone, what will become of his papers? Should they be in our National Archives? Full essay.


Anonymous said...

Digitize everything and put them on the web. Make the archive searchable, indexable, linkable, quotable, as well as openly and freely and readily accessible to everyone everywhere anytime. That's the only meaningful way to archive JBJ's papers.

Don't give them to some organization that will make you sign 10 different forms and wait six months before they allow you to look at one item for 15 minutes in a stuffy little room watched over by security guards. And if you want to look at another item, you go through the same process again.


Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Digitise everything? That's easy to wish for but who will bear the cost?

Yuri said...

While it would be easy to think of digitizing the content, the issues lie with converting the materials, establishing article and site standards and finding people willing to upkeep and update the materials. I'm not so sure about internet regulations regarding copyrights, though.

As YB said, server costs is another issue too. While it might be easy to find people who're willing to donate a server or 2, it is much more costly to keep the site stable(manage server load) when it's being hit by tons of internal and external search queries.

Sun Koh said...

Digitizing is actually the easy and cheap part. It's either scanned and/or you take a picture of it. Most people have decent printer scanners these days, and pretty decent digital cameras. Unless we are talking perfectionistic approaches... that's the kind of demand that ensures it'll never get done.

Organizing the content on internet, making it accessible to the public in a coherent manner is the hard part that requires serious expertise and some serious $$$.

Anonymous said...

I belive that our dear late JB Jeyaratnam wrote a book titled "Make it right for Singapore".

I have encountered comments by netizens that acknowledge that "our parents' generation had let Mr JB Jeyaratnam down". (Given the knowledge that they also have of that period I am assuming that those commentators must be somewhere in their 40s or so, and thus their parents could be in their 70s or more, if still around.)

History is repeating itself.

I wonder if those people realize that they are themselves guilty of doing the same "letting down" of another man in pretty much the same predicament as Mr JB Jeyaratnam was in, namely Dr Chee Soon Juam and also other SDP members?

They can make it right, not only for Singapore but for Mr JB Jeyaratnam as well if they took a good look at what Dr Chee and the SDP are trying to get done, and support him and his party for it.

Otherwise, all they can muster is more of the empty talk that netizens are becoming increasingly notorious for.

(Incidentally, the 17 TBT protestors were all impacted by the online activism that seemed to reach a peak in 2007 over the gay rights issue - they walked the talk.)