Good Comment on Cartographic Permission Fees

John Woram in MapHist

hillshaw at wrote: „If the cost of
maintaining enough webspace to post a
decent-resolution image of 1,000s of maps is
excessive, why not a rotating programme?“

Unfortunately, the cost of web space is not the
problem here. The problem is, the permissions fee
to post an image owned by some major institutions
is prohibitive. As I mentioned earlier, the
annual cost for that set of 16 images would
exceed £3,000 per year. And in another
situtation, if one set of images were rotated
with another, the permission costs would be even greater.

So, we have a bit of a dilemma here. The
institution can’t justify the cost of posting the
images on its own website, due to limited
interest. Or even if the images were posted, it
can’t justify the expense of writing some
appropriate text, for the same reason.

An outside specialist could do both, at no cost
to the institution or to him/herself, other than
the labor involved. But the institution won’t
permit that, unless a very stiff fee is paid. So,
the images remain „buried“, no papers are
written, and only those who know of their
existence, AND can afford to visit the institution, can enjoy access.

Seems to me this is a situation in which everyone loses.

(Emphasis by me)

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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