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The Webster Veterinary Medical Library, opened in 1993, supports the academic, clinical and research activities of the students and faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. The primary focus of the library's collection is clinical veterinary medicine with supporting materials in conservation, wildlife and the basic sciences.

In 2002, the Library received a wonderful bequest of approximately 5000 items related to all aspects of horsemanship, representing the lifelong collection of John Seaverns. With representative titles covering five centuries, this collection provides a valuable insight into the role of the horse through the ages. The collection is especially strong in racing, hunting, riding, breed histories and equestrian art. While most of the volumes date from the 19th and 20th centuries, several rare treatises on horsemanship, including one from the 16th century, are a part of the collection. The Duke of Newcastle's A General System of Horsemanship In all it's (sic) Branches, (1743) with its outstanding woodcuts, is the most striking example. Other items in the collection provide a glimpse into military training, laws related to horse ownership, and the various levels of society. Photo albums by noted photographer L.S. Sutcliffe record life at major racing stables in the early 20th century. Many volumes provide historical information, such as descriptions of horse-drawn carriages, farriers and "stable economy". The variety of material is a rich resource for students and researchers in a number of disciplines - sociology, history, animal science.

Scanning these books and making them available through the Internet Archive will significantly increase the impact and value of this collection, which until now has been seen by very few people.

Through a recent agreement between the BLC and the Open Content Alliance (OCA), Tufts Libraries are able to digitize portions of their collections for the low price of ten cents per page. The Consortium will offer high-resolution, downloadable, reusable files of public domain materials. The BLC's digitized books will be hosted by the Internet Archive and available to be indexed by any search engine following the BLC and OCA's philosophy of open access to digitized content. Digitization operations will be based in a new facility, the Northeast Regional Scanning Center, unveiled recently at the Boston Public Library. Using Internet Archive technology, books from the 19 libraries will be scanned at a cost of just 10 cents per page.

The idea for the Open Content Alliance comes from Brewster Kahle, the founder and director of the Internet Archive, which was created in 1996 with the aim of preserving copies of Web sites and other material. More than 80 libraries and research institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, are members of OCA.

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