Wittelsbacher Ausgleichsfond


“Und zweitens, die Rechnung wurde nicht vom Freistaat Bayern, sondern vom Wittelsbacher Ausgleichsfonds ausgestellt. Das hört sich so schön antiquiert und fair (antiquated and equitable) an, aber in Wirklichkeit bedeutet es, dass der Freistaat Bayern bzw. die Gemeinde Schwangau die Arbeit haben, aber das Geld der Familie der einstigen Könige zufließt.

Diese komische Konstruktion ist eine Folge der milde verlaufenen bayerischen Revolution von 1918. Während anderswo die Könige und Kaiser exiliert, füsiliert und guillotiniert wurden, setzte man sich in Bayern bei einem Bier zusammen und schacherte aus, was dem Freistaat und was der Familie Wittelsbach gehören sollte.

Wie im friedfertigen Bayern so üblich, mündeten die Verhandlungen 1923 in einen Kompromiss, nach dem ein Teil der Schlösser und Liegenschaften Staatsbesitz wurde, der andere Teil den Wittelsbachern verblieb. Diese recht offensichtlich willkürliche, wahrscheinlich beim Kartenspiel gefundene Lösung war nicht kompliziert genug, um die mehrjährigen Verhandlungen zu rechtfertigen. Also gründete man noch ein paar Stiftungen, die sich um die Kunstschätze kümmerten und diese wiederum an Museen ausliehen. Man berief Verwaltungsräte und Staatskommissare. Und man erfand Wörter wie Domanialfideikommisspragmatik und Pinakoglyptohypothek, damit sich niemals jemand nachzufragen trauen würde.

Für den heutigen Tag genügt es, zu wissen, dass Schloss Neuschwanstein im Staatsbesitz ist, aber das Museum der bayerischen Könige und Schloss Hohenschwangau im Eigentum der Wittelsbacher stehen. Deswegen gibt es bei letzteren keinen Studentenrabatt. Die Könige brauchen jeden Euro.”

UK National Archives: Access denied

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-national-archives-are-making-historians-history (Guy Walters)

“The next time you settle down in the evening to enjoy the latest work by your favourite historian, treasure it, because it may be their last for a while. This is for the simple reason that historians are effectively being denied access to one of the most essential tools of their trade — the National Archives.

For many, this non-ministerial government department may just be an ugly slab of 1970s concrete that sits on the Thames in Kew, but it is actually nothing less than the nation’s memory — for it is here that millions of documents produced by the British state during the past thousand years are held. From the Domesday Book to the measliest memorandum sent by the lowliest civil servant in the most wretched ministry, nearly everything could be looked at by anybody, so long as they could prove their name and address.

But now, thanks to absurd new access restrictions, it has become all but impossible for historians to carry out any decent amount of research there. These restrictions do not just hamper professional historians and PhD students, but also anybody using the archive to look up, say, what great-great-uncle Eric got up to on the Western Front, or even the documents associated with his divorce.

The current restrictions are oppressive. Kew is only open for four hours and 50 minutes per day, four days per week. On these days, visitors are only permitted to access nine documents, and they are only allowed to visit once a week. A small number of two-day appointments are available, during which visitors may access 20 to 40 documents from the same record series. Access to computers, microfilms, research advice and copying are no longer provided.

In addition, it appears that booking a slot to visit the archives is about as haphazard and difficult as booking Oasis tickets back in the 1990s. I have been told of many instances in which slots are taken within one second of the booking page being opened, which is no doubt a product of a reported tenfold oversubscription.

This means there is a de facto lottery in place to access the National Archives, and even if you are lucky, you are only permitted to consult a handful of documents.”

Peter Suber on Open Access News

Many thanks to Peter Suber for answering my questions!

OATP = Open Access Tagging Project

How you are finding Open Access (OA) OA news?

I’ve done it in different ways over the years. At first I used a tool called WebSite Watcher. When you use WSW to follow a web page, it alerts you whenever the page changes. I followed the front pages, the news and announcement pages, and the FAQs, of all the OA-related organizations I knew. I also flagged the blogs of people who frequently wrote about OA, and the table-of-contents pages of journals that frequently published about OA. Altogether, I flagged more than 3,000 pages. WSW is very fast in delivering its updates, and if you flag enough pages, it’s very comprehensive. But at the same time it returns many false positives, in my case, changes unrelated to OA.

I later shifted to a large set of Google Alerts and TalkWalker Alerts. Each alert was based on a hand-crafted boolean search for some OA subtopic I wanted to cover. Google Alerts tends to err on the low or scanty side, and TalkWalker Alerts tend to err on the high or plentiful side.

I’ve always used my inbox, and subscribed to a large number of OA-related discussion forums and newsletters. I also sign up for RSS feeds from journals that frequently publish articles about OA.

Today I depend mostly on my inbox and Twitter. On Twitter, I follow nearly all the OA-related organizations that have Twitter accounts, omitting some that don’t tweet in English. I want the non-English news, for myself and for OATP, but I generally rely on other OATP taggers to get it. Twitter can be very good at gathering together alerts to new work. This is true not just for OA but for other topics I follow, such as US politics.

How much content of the OATP is from you?

I used to distinguish OATP “discovery” from OATP “tagging”. Discovery is to find something worth tagging, and tagging is to tag it. When I had grant support for OATP, I used some of the grant money for staffers, who did about half the discovery and most of the tagging. When I discovered taggable OA news, I usually passed it on to the staffers for actual tagging.

But I let the grants expire in late 2018, and since then OATP has been in an all-volunteer phase. Because I no longer have staffers to tag what I discover, I tend to tag what I discover myself, at least when I have time.

OATP isn’t my main job by a long shot. But my main job requires me to stay on top of what’s happening in the world of OA, which is fortuitous for OATP. My approach is to read all that I can, for my job, and then share what I read or learn by tagging it for OATP. The reading is the primary work, and by comparison the tagging is a small extra task.

I don’t have time to read everything, of course, not even everything that crosses my desk. My advice to other OATP taggers is to tag what you notice *and* think is worth sharing, and I try to follow that advice myself.

Some taggers systematically search for new developments in areas that matter to them, such as OA in their country, OA in their field, or OA on a certain subtopic such as OA policies, OA journals, OA repositories, OA books, open data, OER, or copyright. Others simply tag what they encounter, without taking special pains to encounter more than they already do. I welcome both kinds. As they join the project, in enough fields and countries, bringing their different interests and perspectives with them, OATP becomes more and more inclusive.

How has the OA news landscape changed?

In my view, OATP is still the most comprehensive source of OA-related news, and has been since it launched in 2009. Some people even complain that it’s too comprehensive. However, there are ways to make your OATP feeds more selective.

The OA news landscape has changed in part because OATP has become better known. Just last month, the OATP Twitter account (@oatp) got more followers than my personal account, which I regard as good news for the project and for the spread of OA news.

Do you use Twittertags to find OA news?

No, not unless I’m running a special search. For staying up to date, I just use the accounts I’ve chosen to follow. But when I tweet about OA, I try to use the tag #openaccess to help those who follow it.

Is there a public mirror of your G+ blog?

Yes, but I was hoping to tidy it up a little before pointing to it in public. In my page on the history of OA, I give details on the preservation and searchability of my past blogs. The best preservation copy of my Google+ blog is the one at Conifer. Unfortunately, it’s only about 85% complete, and the landing page says, “This collection has no public lists.” That sentence is not correct and not under my control. I’ve asked the company to remove it or let deep-link to the actual collection. Meantime, go to the Conifer link above and click on the “Browse All” tab.

By Lilian Thorpe – CC BY-SA 3.0, Link


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