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View Full Version : What's the matter with Finland?


Terez
07-17-2015, 12:07 AM
I have been scanning a bunch of journals at a semi-local university library this week, and I have been sharing a scanner with a girl named Silja from Finland. I assumed she was a student at the university, but she mentioned she was only here for a week. She's doing some research on the USSR and there was a library back home that had the journal she needed, but apparently they charge so much freaking money to use the scanner that it was actually CHEAPER for her to fly here and book a hotel for a week and use the free scanning services here. Almost all of our university libraries offer free scanning; we only charge for copying and printing.

I decided to put off my next big day at the library until after she is gone; I feel bad taking up scanner time when she flew all the way from freaking Finland to scan some books. And I only drove an hour and a half.

GonzoTheGreat
07-17-2015, 03:31 AM
Obviously, for historical reasons they didn't have a USSR of their own in Finland, so they had to borrow yours.

Mort
07-17-2015, 08:37 AM
Sounds very odd.

Nazbaque
07-17-2015, 09:56 AM
Sounds like you got your leg pulled. Sort of anyway. Most likely she had other reasons to visit the area and decided to grab a chance to save a bit of money while at it.

Davian93
07-17-2015, 12:18 PM
Well, for one, it's full of Finns. This has been a major problem for their neighbors over the past few centuries whether they were kicking the shit out of the Swedes or Russians respectively.

Though otherwise they seem nice enough.

Nazbaque
07-17-2015, 12:45 PM
Though otherwise they seem nice enough.

Hmmm... Now I have sudden urge prove you wrong. But I must resist. I am an unusual Finn, so my nastiness doesn't prove anything.

Terez
07-17-2015, 03:36 PM
It's possible that I misunderstood her. It might be that she found that journal in a library in Russia somewhere, and it's the Russians who charge so much for their scanners. I actually thought that's what she said at first but the price she quoted me was in Euros. And the ruble is so low right now that the conversion should have made it a good deal for her no matter how much they charged.

PS: I doubt she is here for any other reason; there's not much in Central Illinois and I have seen that she is spending all day every day at the library scanning books.

Nazbaque
07-17-2015, 06:46 PM
It's possible that I misunderstood her. It might be that she found that journal in a library in Russia somewhere, and it's the Russians who charge so much for their scanners. I actually thought that's what she said at first but the price she quoted me was in Euros. And the ruble is so low right now that the conversion should have made it a good deal for her no matter how much they charged.

PS: I doubt she is here for any other reason; there's not much in Central Illinois and I have seen that she is spending all day every day at the library scanning books.

Maybe she is actually a Russian spy pretending to be a Finn and among those scans are some highly secret and sensitive documents. The place is perfect for doing this in low profile and the more scans she makes for this "research" the better hidden the important documents will be. Diabolical!

Terez
07-17-2015, 08:08 PM
So does your university charge for scanning at all?

Kimon
07-17-2015, 09:01 PM
So does your university charge for scanning at all?

Why is she scanning whole books? I would occasionally photocopy journal articles back in my grad school days, or print if they were on JSTOR (that latter being more likely), but would more often just check them out and take notes. Of course, I was a grad student who had a desk in the library to use as a check out location. As an outsider she likely wouldn't have that option, but doing that much scanning still seems odd. I assume that these journals must not have an online version, but still, that seems a lot of scanning. Back in the day I never recall copying being much more than 10 cents a page. If she is doing a lot, even 10 cents per page compared to free could add up quickly if she is really scanning whole books. But then, why not just take advantage of modern technology and use an ipad, or even just her phone, and take a picture of the pages she needs for free back at home in Finland. Travelling all the way to the excitement of rural Illinois seems an inefficient choice. Is this at least a rare and exclusive collection on hand at Bradley (is that the local university in question?)? Otherwise I'd think she has a very odd case of wanderlust.

Zombie Sammael
07-17-2015, 09:10 PM
Well, for one, it's full of Finns. h.

Snakes or foxes, though?

Nazbaque
07-17-2015, 09:30 PM
Snakes or foxes, though?

Lions a.k.a. Öölfinn

Terez
07-17-2015, 11:24 PM
Why is she scanning whole books? I would occasionally photocopy journal articles back in my grad school days, or print if they were on JSTOR (that latter being more likely), but would more often just check them out and take notes. Of course, I was a grad student who had a desk in the library to use as a check out location. As an outsider she likely wouldn't have that option, but doing that much scanning still seems odd. I assume that these journals must not have an online version, but still, that seems a lot of scanning. Back in the day I never recall copying being much more than 10 cents a page. If she is doing a lot, even 10 cents per page compared to free could add up quickly if she is really scanning whole books. But then, why not just take advantage of modern technology and use an ipad, or even just her phone, and take a picture of the pages she needs for free back at home in Finland. Travelling all the way to the excitement of rural Illinois seems an inefficient choice. Is this at least a rare and exclusive collection on hand at Bradley (is that the local university in question?)? Otherwise I'd think she has a very odd case of wanderlust.
If it wasn't rare she probably wouldn't come here. I scan whole books all the time, though. Many of them are rare. Not being affiliated with any of these universities, I couldn't check them out and wouldn't have access to their online resources. I can only access public domain works with the exception of some Polish journals which can be found online even for relatively recent years. In some cases I just need certain articles but many times I need the whole book if the whole book is related to my research. That is especially true for correspondence collections and books dedicated to Chopin and/or his contemporaries. Also, nothing I did in school compares to the research I do now, which is probably more complicated than the research of most professional academics. Almost nothing I need is on JSTOR.

The university in question is UI-UC. They have a good Slavic languages program. I have never paid for scanning, there or anywhere else.

PS: Also, if the place where she found the journals back home was in Russia, she might not be allowed to use her phone or whatever to photograph pages. Tightly controlling such things is in the inherited Russian psyche. Even here, down South it's sometimes hard to find libraries that will let you scan stuff. Some library staff are completely ignorant of the Fair Use copyright guidelines allowing students to make a copy of anything for study, and I saw a librarian at Tulane reprimand a student once for scanning a book. He was trying to explain the law to her and she wasn't listening. They did not have public scanners available, but I never got reprimanded for taking photos of stuff. Maybe just because I never got caught. This guy was using his own scanner in the floor computer lobby.

Daekyras
07-18-2015, 03:42 AM
If it wasn't rare she probably wouldn't come here. I scan whole books all the time, though. Many of them are rare. Not being affiliated with any of these universities, I couldn't check them out and wouldn't have access to their online resources. I can only access public domain works with the exception of some Polish journals which can be found online even for relatively recent years. In some cases I just need certain articles but many times I need the whole book if the whole book is related to my research. That is especially true for correspondence collections and books dedicated to Chopin and/or his contemporaries. Also, nothing I did in school compares to the research I do now, which is probably more complicated than the research of most professional academics. Almost nothing I need is on JSTOR.

The university in question is UI-UC. They have a good Slavic languages program. I have never paid for scanning, there or anywhere else.

PS: Also, if the place where she found the journals back home was in Russia, she might not be allowed to use her phone or whatever to photograph pages. Tightly controlling such things is in the inherited Russian psyche. Even here, down South it's sometimes hard to find libraries that will let you scan stuff. Some library staff are completely ignorant of the Fair Use copyright guidelines allowing students to make a copy of anything for study, and I saw a librarian at Tulane reprimand a student once for scanning a book. He was trying to explain the law to her and she wasn't listening. They did not have public scanners available, but I never got reprimanded for taking photos of stuff. Maybe just because I never got caught. This guy was using his own scanner in the floor computer lobby.

How much did she say scanning was gonna cost her back home/Russia?

Crazy to think.

Over here you can't check out a book or even enter a college library without being a member of the college or getting a member to take you in. And it is all done with swipe id cards. It leads to a lot of kids freaking out near exam time when they forget to bring them!

You can scan/copy any book in gen pop but get charged 8c per sheet in most places.

You need permission and must have a written request for the reserved sections.

And the older stuff- cause we are in europe- is unable to be copied.

Terez
07-18-2015, 05:04 AM
How much did she say scanning was gonna cost her back home/Russia?
She said they would have charged her 120 Euros for each issue of the journal, and she had a cart full of bound versions of this journal, probably a dozen, and each bound version has a whole year's worth of issues. It might have been that expensive because it's oversized, probably the biggest format I've ever seen for a journal, bigger than an unfolded newspaper.

And the older stuff- cause we are in europe- is unable to be copied.
What does Europe have to do with that? Unless you are talking about before the printing press...

Daekyras
07-18-2015, 07:03 AM
She said they would have charged her 120 Euros for each issue of the journal, and she had a cart full of bound versions of this journal, probably a dozen, and each bound version has a whole year's worth of issues. It might have been that expensive because it's oversized, probably the biggest format I've ever seen for a journal, bigger than an unfolded newspaper.


What does Europe have to do with that? Unless you are talking about before the printing press...

Wow, 120 per journal is mad. No wonder she travelled!

And yes, I meant very old books. Not necessarily before the printing press but as early as 16th century. They can never be handled really. Even certain "younger" books, from 18th and 19th centuries are off limits.

Terez
07-18-2015, 07:36 AM
Fortunately most of those old books are online because they're public domain. Many old, rare books are becoming less valuable for that reason, though, so private owners have an incentive to disallow digitization. Fortunately most old books are owned by libraries, and libraries tend to err towards preservation. They like money, but money is not an incentive for them because they don't want to sell their stuff.

The real sticker is autograph documents. Museums sometimes digitize those, sometimes not. It's a ton of work, so even for the willing libraries there are still years of work to do and not enough money in the budget to do it more quickly.

I love the Delacroix people (http://www.correspondance-delacroix.fr/correspondances/). All of Delacroix's known letters with extant autographs are on that site, with zoomable high-res scans, accurate transcripts, and modernized transcripts. And footnotes, and brief biographies for the various personages. I wish the Chopin people would have done that but not only have they not, they apparently have no plans to do so, and most of the autographs can only be consulted in person in Warsaw or wherever. (Most autographs are in Warsaw.) At times photocopies have been published in print, but only the most recent ones are high-res and can be properly studied with a magnifying glass. Most are older, and some reproductions are so terrible they are almost worthless.

PS: We have lots of pre-printing-press books in US libraries too. Private collections have made their way here.