These days, everybody expects everything to be online, and if it's not online, then it doesn't exist. Unfortunately, this will never be true for archives anytime in the forseeable future (not just the UHEC, but all archives).
The UHEC Archives currently is not planning to do any large-scale digitization of its paper-based holdings.
There are several reasons behind this decision:
- Many of the collections held in the Ukrainian History and Education Center Archives were donated decades ago, often with less-than-adequate deed of gift or copyright transfer. Ascertaining the ownership of the copyright for many of the materials in the Center's collections is often extremely difficult, and our publication of them on the Internet could constitute copyright infringement. We do not currently have the staff time or resources to do the necessary copyright ownership research.
- Although our holdings are relatively small compared to other archival repositories, we are also extremely short-staffed. We simply do not have the personnel that would be necessary to execute a large-scale digitization effort in a professional manner.
- We have instead chosen to focus staff resources on processing and making accessible the many hidden collections that still have not seen the light of day, and to preserve at-risk media.
While we would love to make our holdings maximally accessible, there is only so much we can do at the present time.
Currently, we are digitizing only those materials that are in serious danger of being lost due to media decay (such as magnetic tape-based audio recordings from the 1950-70s). We hope to scan and make available online some of our most-requested materials (in particular, parts of the Fallingbostel and Munster-Lager church records and other genealogy-related materials). However, these will be available only as page images and not as searchable text (since they are hand-written and cannot be easily converted using OCR).