SH Archive Meta history - Who provides the data?

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Feralimal
SH.org OP Date
2019-08-28 21:45:40
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feralimal

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If you search for who has the largest old map collection, you may be directed to David Rumsey's at: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection | The Collection.

When you look into who David Rumsey is though:
David Rumsey - Wikipedia

the second para reads as follows:
"Rumsey has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University and was a founding member of Yale Research Associates in the Arts also known as PULSA, a group of artists working with electronic technologies. He was also a 1966 initiate into the Skull and Bones Society,[1] before becoming Associate Director of the American Society for Eastern Arts in San Francisco. Later, he entered a 20-year career in real estate development and finance during which he had a long association with Charles Feeney's General Atlantic Holding Company of New York and served as President and Director of several of its real estate subsidiaries; General Atlantic eventually became the Atlantic Philanthropies, a Bermuda-based philanthropic foundation that is one of the world's largest charities."

So, he's a Yaley bonesman, who founded a research group of artists working with electronic media, and now has the largest old map collection in the world. The implications of this sort of thing does NOT warm the cockles of my heart when it comes to being able to trust historical data.

I'm new to this site, but is this info well known? Should we trust this source?
Post automatically merged:

I know it's probably bad form to respond to one's own thread, but I thought perhaps it would be useful to explain specifically what the implications are.

* This guy owns loads of old maps.
* He puts them online and makes them available for free.
* He is likely directly connected to those groups that appear to be running the show.
* He appers to be somewhat of pioneer of electronic technologies.
* He managed a group of artists that used electronic technologies.
* He has serious financial resources.

Putting all this together could mean that he could literally alter the maps of the historical terrain.

If, 30 years ago, he wanted to add references to a place that didn't exist on maps in 1980, he could do so. He could remove places. Merge maps. Copy the style of one map and create a new one. Etc, etc.

This case is plain to follow, and the implications are serious.

One question is how much more of this sort of thing goes on. It would surely not be an isolated case. It would extend to other maps, photos, books etc - any digital sources can only be trusted so far.

The concern I have is that if this sort of thing is happening - and it certainly seems like a plausible hypothesis - it does have repurcussions for us. How much should we trust this data? How much are we following a trail that has been set out for us to find?
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Note: Archived SH.org replies to this OP: Meta history - Who provides the data?
 
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