"Librarian X" is apparently an insider at the Library of Congress who is mad as hell. S/he has lots of consipracy theories, primarily revolving around James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, who, apparently, is an ex-CIA spook. I'm not clear on how credible Librarian X's samizdata is, given the lack of documentation in support of the claims on the "Deep in the Stacks" website, but it sure makes for interesting conspiracy-theory readings.
This collection was acquired prior to World War I. This is--or was--a rather impressive private library of over 80,000 volumes. This was quite a collection, not just literary but scientific as well. In essence, this collection showed the intellectual achievement of Russia. So impressive was this collection that a Russian Who's Who visited and read the books, including Lenin. Part of the promise during purchase was that the collection would remain intact. Well, with over 70,000 volumes still to go it looks like this will never happen. The other problem is that Billington put a non-citizen (a federal security violation) in charge of processing this collection. A further problem is that his Russian was far too limited, the cause of the resultant disaster. A number of alert rare book dealers, recognizing the Yudin stamp, called the Library when they were offered for sale. Billington insists these are "duplicates," even though evidence given the IG shows otherwise. Since there are, according to Billington, no thefts at the Library of Congress these Yudin books will remain on the open market. If you think the FBI, Congress or Library managers are interested in retrieving these books, well...you need to go back and read the rest of this website.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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