Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2019 Issue

The Downside of Posting Official Documents Online

The J&K archival site has gone dark.

Oops. The digitization and online posting of documents is a wonderful benefit of technological advances, making all sorts of information once virtually unobtainable available to scholars and the public. Nonetheless, the government of Jammu and Kashmir in India would like a do-over on this one. They were a bit more generous with their transparency than they planned.

 

On March 1, the government of J&K announced the opening of this online collection of older state documents. The recently digitized material ranged from the years 1724-1985. It provided expanded coverage of material first made available in 2012. When the site first went live, the government explained. "The objective of the portal is to provide a single window access to the information and services provided by the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir."

 

J&K estimated the new portal would benefit over 7 lakh beneficiaries every year. That's 700,000. The J&K Governor was quoted at the announcement as saying, "The online mode will avoid unnecessary human intervention and will speed up the public delivery mechanism, besides ensuring transparency." Now we know there wasn't quite enough human intervention and too much transparency. Recently, the portal went dark.

 

Apparently, officials didn't check what they were uploading very carefully. The Kashmir Reader quoted an anonymous official as saying no one classified what the documents were. Some contained confidential information related to border and security issues. Once digitized, the documents were uploaded without further review. There are now 70 lakh pages, which sounds like 7 million, in a database that has not been reviewed for confidentiality or security. Once it was realized, the officials held an emergency meeting and shut the site down. It will remain dark until the material has been reviewed and the private items removed. It is estimated this will take a few months. The officials of Jammu and Kashmir have found themselves in an embarrassing situation and they can't even blame Wikileaks or Russia for the leaks.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
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  • Forum Auctions
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    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
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    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
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    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • ALDE, May 28: KIPLING (RUDYARD). Le Livre de la Jungle. – Le IIe livre de la Jungle. Paris, Sagittaire, Simon Kra, 1924-1925. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: NOAILLES (ANNA DE). Les Climats. Paris, Société du Livre contemporain, 1924. €50,000 to €60,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MILTON (JOHN). Paradis perdu. Quatrième chant. S.l., Les Bibliophiles de l'Automobile-Club de France, 1974. €2,000 to €3,000.
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    ALDE, May 28: LA FONTAINE (JEAN DE). Les Fables illustrées par Paul Jouve. S.l. [Lausanne], Gonin & Cie, 1929. €4,000 to €5,000.
    ALDE, May 28: SARTRE (JEAN-PAUL). Vingt-deux dessins sur le thème du désir. Paris, Fernand Mourlot, 1961. €1,500 to €2,000.
    ALDE, May 28: [BRAQUE (GEORGES)]. 13 mai 1962. Alès, PAB, 1962. €3,000 to €4,000.
    ALDE, May 28: MIRÓ (JOAN). Je travaille comme un jardinier. Avant-propos d'Yvon Taillandier. Paris, Société intenationale d'art XXe siècle, 1963. €1,000 to €2,000.
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    ALDE, May 28: PICASSO (PABLO). Dans l'atelier de Picasso. 1960. €15,000 to €20,000.

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