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Frantz

digital living library

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Reading over some of the comments in the "RIP Cars and Parts" thread got me thinking. In our hobby, we aren't just seeing a decline in quality printed media (though I would argue Hemmings generally does well, and they have my sole subscriptions), but we aren't seeing it replaced with online content. It's a effect of the also talked about declining numbers and interest. It would be great to see an effort not only to digitize the AACA library along with private collections, but to process it and begin generation of a historical tree of information, just like a family tree. A timeline of auto history and the connections between brands and people of the industry and singed to the history of the world as well. Huge undertaking but once a database structure would be developed it could be edited and given verification points. Frankly I always found value in the way the US military treats the validity of intelligence reports with a two part score, one score for the credibility of the source, and one score for the information itself. This way any registered user could add information to the tree, other users could confirm or rebut the information and scores build up over time allowing for a better understanding of the information. Maybe we could even find a college professor willing to help out with a combination history/technology project for students (and accidentally get them interested in cars). Lots of possibilities, and lots of value. A deeper conversation would be worth having.

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This idea is very similar to how wikipedia and other wiki's work. For as much gripes as wikipedia gets for not being a trustworthy source because of public submissions, there are a bunch of checks and balances within their system and incorrect facts get replaced usually within minutes. It may not ever replace a hard line reference, but it is a great starting point for research.

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It takes dedication or money or both to take on a project like that.

 

I think the best one I have seen is this Kirby Palm XJS living document at nearly 800 pages: http://www.jag-lovers.org/xj-s/book/XJS_help.pdf

 

I have printed it out once and read it like a novel twice (doesn't mean that much, I read Alfred P. Sloan's My Years wight General Motors three times. But it is good and very well written and edited.

 

Optical character recognition for scanners has never been better. Our library has one for open books with email forwarding. I offer digitization of blue prints for $18 each and most Operations and Maintenance Manuals for right around $100 each. We are mechanics so we recognize the truly valuable documents and don't go for a wholesale scan of everything. A car mechanic or hobbyist would discriminate the same way and provide a more valuable end product. In the case of this topic it would be a labor of love. Check your local library to see what capabilities they have. Scan a favorite and share it.

Bernie

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You know, there really isn't a reason we shouldn't just become better contributors to wiki... That's a darn fine point. They already have the infrastructure, audience, and funding, we just need to become the labor of love and document it right. Maybe I should try and set a Sunday up once a month to get over to the library and see what I can do. Thank you for the feedback!

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On 12/13/2017 at 10:24 PM, Frantz said:

You know, there really isn't a reason we shouldn't just become better contributors to wiki... That's a darn fine point. They already have the infrastructure, audience, and funding, we just need to become the labor of love and document it right. Maybe I should try and set a Sunday up once a month to get over to the library and see what I can do. Thank you for the feedback!

 

That's good news. Just to let you know though the library is open Monday-Saturday 8-4pm (we're closed on Sundays) We will be closed for the next few Saturdays though due to the holiday season. Check our website, facebook page, or give us a call (717-534-2082) ahead of time to make sure we will be open on a Saturday.

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