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No Small Potatoes

Officials at the University of Idaho, wanting to help make their jazz history archives available online, were both surprised and delighted at the amount allotted them in a congressional bill passed at the end of Clinton’s tenure.

The university was granted $700,000 out of a $450 billion federal spending bill. Carl Cox Wait, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, commented on the generous gift, saying “we ought to be more frugal.” But Marty Peterson, the university president’s assisant, says that the musical scores, recordings, instruments, and papers of great jazz musicians “…are every bit as much a national treasure as collections in such places as the National Archives in Washington, DC.”

The allocation points to the future, indicating what might become a trend: the government-funded preservation of American history at countless, 24-hour Internet museums.

Originally Published