The U.S. Justice Department says that oral history interviews are not protected by confidentiality agreements, according to Scott Jaschik on the Inside Higher Ed blog.
Jaschik writes: The U.S. position in the case deals with a number of issues raised by Boston College — some of which don’t relate to issues of academic rights. (For example, the college suggests that release of the records could endanger the peace process in Northern Ireland, and the U.S. rejects that view.)
On the issues related to the rights of researchers and colleges, the brief rejects all of the college’s arguments. The government argues that there is no right of confidentiality a researcher can grant that would withstand a subpoena. The Justice Department notes that Boston College acknowledged in its communication with research subjects that its confidentiality pledges assure privacy “to the extent American law allows,” which the government says isn’t very far in cases like this — whatever implication may have been read into that statement by researchers or by interview subjects.
Reaction by Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit.com) | James Joyner (Outside the Beltway)
Background on the controversy over oral history interviews with IRA members at Boston College. Boston Globe
My L.A. Times colleague Molly Hennessy-Fiske takes a look at the rush to preserve memories from the Egyptian revolution.
She writes: Archivists at American University in Cairo, the Library of Alexandria and the Egyptian National Library and Archives have separately rushed to chronicle Egypt’s revolution, preserving not just memories and artifacts but the digital ephemera that set this uprising apart: videos, photographs, Facebook and Twitter posts. American University students have started a separate project to translate documents related to the revolution and post them online.
The Daily Mirror Recommends:
New York’s Department of Parks and Recreation is studying whether pollution is damaging Cleopatra’s Needle, a Central Park landmark since 1881.
According to Francie Diep and Joseph Castro, writing on the New York Times’ always interesting City Room blog, Egypt’s minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, said New York’s weather was damaging the obelisk and warned in January that he would “take the necessary steps to bring this precious artifact home.” Hawass’ statement is here.
Photo: Cleopatra’s Needle. Credit: Wikipedia
The Adler Planetarium is launching its renovated theater, now called the Grainger Sky Theater, with a new show titled “Deep Space Adventure.” Steve Johnson, writing in the Chicago Tribune, says: Call it Mr. Einstein’s Wild Ride, an E=MC2-ticket attraction.
Target draws protests with a plan to put its bull’s-eye logo on the historic Sullivan Center (formerly the Carson Pirie Scott building) at State and Madison streets. Chicago Tribune
Judith H. Dobrzynski takes a look at the Lyonel Feininger exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art. WSJ
Kate Taylor, writing in the New York Times’ Arts Beat, says that Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) is proposing a National Museum of the American People that would encompass all immigrants, in contrast to various ethnic museums being built or proposed in Washington. AP version
The Government Accounting Office is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Washington Post | GAO video
The Pavese family of Santa Clara County has been ordered to pay $740,000 to San Jose State chemistry professor Dan Straus over the destruction of papers by Albert Einstein in the 2007 Lick wildfire. The blaze, which burned more than 47,000 acres, started after Margaret Pavese neglected a fire in which she was burning paper plates in a 55-gallon metal drum. LAT