I am extremely happy we have Projekt Runeberg in Sweden and the work Lars Aronsson and others have done. Not fun that the formal, government sponsored activities have more or less ignored them. During the years I have tried to support as much as I have been able to, although not by donating anything else than pocket money.
The project just started their 21st year in existence and Lars tried crowd funding. Worked with the first book (Svenskt Nautiskt Lexikon that can be found scanned here) but not 2nd. Good and important data although sad. I so much think people really saving our modern history are heroes. Brewster Kahle with Internet Archive (and the Wayback Machine), Lars with Projekt Runeberg and Carl Malamud with Public Resource Org (and Yes We Scan!).
Why, why, why can not they get real support?
They are not replacing existing libraries, museums and what not. They ensure we do not loose our digital heritage. They digitize what was earlier only available on paper. Sure, Google and others are doing massive digitalization projects, brute force, but I do not think that would have started if we did not have individual heroes like these friends of mine.
And there is so much information out there that is not available. Governments push things like the PSI Directive in EU, but even public service organisations completely ignore the directive. How can that be possible? If we have a rule that for example forces people in Gothenburg to pay tolls when driving a car into the city, individuals can not just ignore it. But directives that forces agencies to change their behaviour and business model, that can be ignored. We even have some ministers in for example the Swedish Government that do say the directive and digitalization is good (here is one example, Anna-Karin Hatt, minister of Energy and IT).
How can that be allowed?
I have also tried to get some interest to get Brewster, Lars and Carl to the largest Internet conference we have in Sweden, Internetdagarna, but the interest from the organizers have been low. I have a different (increased) role nowadays so maybe I can succeed for 2013. Although all three are male <grin>.
I got from Lars this poster that is now framed in my office. A professional framer (Ramgården in Lövestad) framed a poster describing a professional project.