For personal (rather than work) interests, I was interested in the dissertation written by an acquaintance.
Harmony in Bulgarian music
by Kirilov, Kalin Stanchev, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 2007 , 531 pages; AAT 3294000
I found it in Proquest Dissertations & Theses no problem, and shortly had the PDF. Ain’t the 21st century grand?
But wait, reading the text, it turns out that the dissertation has accompanying CDs. Listed in the table of contents as “POCKET MATERIAL: Three Compact Discs…. Inside Back Cover.”
But of course I can’t get the CD’s from Proquest. That got me started thinking, what if Proquest excepted digital attachments with dissertations? But then I realized they’d have to get into the much of digital archiving, deciding what formats they accept and developing a plan to maintain them as readable. (This might be unreasonable to expect from a business that currently doens’t seem to even bother OCR’ing it’s digital dissertation PDFs, at least this one wasn’t).
Then I wondered if maybe the University of Oregon had a dissertation repository that might actually have those CD’s online. I mean, they’re already digital materials, no need for ‘scanning’, just an easy CD rip. But the likelyhood of this existing didn’t seem high enough to overcome my laziness and send me on an investigation to see if it existed. (Shoudln’t that be easier too?)
I wonder if any universities are making available digital attachments (‘pocket material’) that go with their dissertations.
The technical issues aren’t much, but the legal issues are probably more of a barrier: it’s probably fair use to attach a CD to a single copy of a dissertation regardless of copyright, but not neccesarily to put the same recordings in an online archive, or to make them publically available.
I probably couldn’t even ILL the dissertation in question; most universities won’t send their physical dissertations through ILL, will they? I guess I’d have to go there and listen to it, or track down the author of the dissertation and ask him for a copy (that will get a lot harder in 100 years, naturally).