Some of what I own correlate to me at different times in my life. Others are references to subjects that do not at all line up with my morals, thinking, or lifestyle— I keep them for the point of knowledge about something a little more foreign to me— including even some pseudoscience and occult / pop-occult works.
I have to sheepishly admit that I sometimes entertain the thought that I might be one of a selection of people who in the future might be last remaining protectorates of such libraries should the world ever turn on our public physical archives. It’s lofty, probably naive, and pretty silly but I still feel better having them line my wall than I would feel without them. Moving is a bit of a bitch, though.
― Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
(TBH, I have Illumnations on my bookshelf, but it's one of the most opaque books I've ever tried to read, and I expect the contents of the suitcase were more of the same...)
One instance where I got lucky was tracking down a 1946 conference paper by famous turbulence researcher J. O. Hinze. The conference proceedings were unfortunately never published. After a lot of asking around Shell, where Hinze worked at the time, provided me with a copy. The paper was less interesting than tracking it down was, but still important enough to cite in my dissertation.
There's a more well cited paper at the same conference by G. Darrieus that my brother found with similar methods.
Instead, I translated the most important papers into English. In a conference paper I'm writing right now I cite quite a few of these papers and I've tried to be extremely specific in their citations, going so far as to include OCLC numbers that I used for interlibrary loan. (Librarians will know what to do with this information.)
What's easily found today may not be so easily found in the future. Today, I find that many researchers can't find a paper that's not available online but is available in any decent academic library.
It's also possible that a hard to find paper is cited wrong or cited ambiguously, and having the correct, unambiguous citation is all one needs to find the paper.
To address papers which are practically impossible to track down, as gms7777 suggested, at least people can contact the author of the paper citing the hard to find paper in this case. (For the Hinze paper, as I recall Shell had a NDA as a condition of downloading the paper from their system, so I can't share that one.)
From a practical sense, it gives readers a way to find it for themselves -- contact the author that cited it.
That makes good sense.
> From a practical sense, it gives readers a way to find it for themselves -- contact the author that cited it.
Right, but in the case of a paper this old the author is most likely dead or extremely hard to reach. Maybe a standard part of any paper citing other papers should be a reference to an archived copy of the papers cited?
The search was a lot of fun, though!
I've had decent luck finding technical reports there. STANAG is not listed in their partial standards holdings, but that doesn't mean that they don't have anything from the organization.
The Catholic Church was responsible for the destruction of many writings they found to be somehow objectionable.
Almost all the great authors we know of from the ancient world had writings that were lost, and for some authors all we have are legends of how great their work was. Those are the ones I'd most be interested to find.
If those Muslims occupied Rome at the time then maybe, but the general consensus is that the Romans under Julius Caesar did this.
I found an identical copy (same emprint, same binding) in a bookshop in Dunedin around 2002/3.
Never give up looking.
As far as I know the editor, or somebody, edits the title to be as appealing / click-worthy as possible.
In this case the headline was annoying enough that I did not read the piece at all: whose fault that is doesn't really matter. The fact that is was anti-clickbait does!
[edit: fixed typo.]