I’ve been blogging on the disaster at Koln, where the municipal archive fell into in a large hole in the ground when the building collapsed. I speculated that the archive probably saw requests for photographs as a chance to make money, rather than an opportunity to record and preserve. The local university has put out an appeal for anyone who did manage to get any photos to contact them, so I asked whether my suspicions were true.
And they were! It seems that the Koln archive really did prevent readers photographing! They really did charge the few people interested in their documents absurd prices for copies. They had the chance to get much of their archive recorded, and they put a tax on those who wanted to do so!!! And they’ve been caught out.
What we need to do now is fire the ass of the people who made that particular decision. Accidents happen; but the loss of much of the material is not accidental; it followed directly from the decision to charge for photographs.
Anyone know who the politicians are, with responsibility for this archive?