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Some good news!
When I first read about 10 years worth of online public records being deleted in the US, as a result of an upgrade to a computer database known as PACER, I was dumbfounded - simply couldn't understand it.
To make some sense of it, I figured that maybe someone had to have a real powerful reason for rewriting history by scrubbing those records, and I wondered what morsels of skulduggery a forensic search of them might have shown up in that regard. Something to hide, maybe? I mean, after Watergate, the government (IRS) must have surely set the modern precedent for deleting large amounts of inconvenient data, apparently to conceal evidence of state skulduggery.

It evidently wasn't all the US lawmakers who wanted this material expunged from online access though, since they were also apparently the group that objected to it the most - and hence the reversal by the US courts (bureaucracy?), those bastions of constitutional support and truth.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
US courts agree to restore 10 years of deleted online public records | Ars Technica
The restoration comes after pressure from lawmakers infuriated over the purging.
by David Kravets - Sep 19, 2014 9:35 pm UTC

The US bureaucracy agreed Friday to restore a decade's worth of electronic federal court documents that were deleted last month from online viewing because of an upgrade to a computer database known as PACER.

The move by the Administrative Office of the Courts, first reported by The Washington Post, comes amid a fierce backlash from lawmakers who urged it to restore the data that is among the few methods of delivering court documents to the public. It's a paid service, costing 10 cents a page, and has long been criticized as a deeply dated system that already does too little and charges too much for online access to things like judicial orders and court briefs.

To be restored are, combined, about a decade's worth of court dockets and all manner of documents at the US Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th, 11th, and Federal Circuits, as well as the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

At the time of the purging, the agency said that those records were maintained on "locally developed legacy case management systems" and weren't compatible to be culled into the new PACER system being built.

The deleted records are available for physical viewing at their respective courthouses in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. The bulk of them should be available on PACER by the end of October.

--- End quote ---

When they said deleted, they meant deleted from online access.  The paper ones would have been available (and are available) for physical viewing in their respective courthouses.  this is more a matter of ease of access than deletion of records.

Eh? Um, yes, I kinda understood that the physical records had not been deleted...I mean, it was quite clearly the case that they hadn't been deleted, wasn't it?
I used the word "forensic" advisedly - as in "forensic data analysis".
"Access", you say?
I didn't really consider that access was likely to be a major issue - a temporary inconvenience, yes.
You see, I was/am curious to know, if/when the data is restored, how one would be able to verify with absolute certainty that all has been restored exactly as it was before.

Oh, never mind.

Still, it looks like good news, nonetheless.

I have posted this as the web site that originally posted the content below has removed it.
It was posted at 5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks

When you go to that link you get a blank page with the message and no explanation:
"Sorry, the page you requested has been permanently removed."
--- End quote ---
I don't know why the post (made by one Katie Lepi) may have been taken down, because it is extremely helpful. (Katie Lepi was apparently an excellent and prolific reporter, but her page at gives a 404 error, so it looks as though all her content may have been "permanently removed"/expunged.)
Never mind, the page in question here is at Wayback, and I have made a full archive copy of it for anyone as wants it.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks
By Katie Lepi on January 26, 2013

Hunting down ebook reading classic literature and important manuscripts may mean more than a quick Google search for many of us. You may turn to paid sources like Amazon or even (the humanity!) turn to printed books in your library. The horror! We kid. We love the library and feature effective ways to use libraries all the time.

So what happens when Google, Amazon, and your local library come up short in your quest for free educational eBooks? Never fear, there are a few critical resources you should know about. From Harvard to Bartleby to the International Children’s Digital Library … there’s plenty of ways to find a quality epub or downloadable book for your classroom or pleasure reading. Here’s some of our favorites:

The Harvard Classics
Some of the most important works of literature are a part of the dozens of volumes available in The Harvard Classics. They were curated by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and were published in 1909. They’re available in open format here and here.. An interesting note about The Harvard Classics: President Eliot had originally referred to these works as the “3-foot-shelf” and said that one could “obtain the elements of a liberal education” by spending 15 minutes a day reading from the shelf. Let’s see if he’s right!

Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free e-books (free epub books, free kindle books, read online, or download them). They offer books that have been actually published, and the volunteers at Project Gutenberg have digitized and proofread them. You can read them all for free, but if it is something you use regularly, they do ask that you consider donating a bit to their cause.

The go-to source for the classics, features Gray’s Anatomy, the Harvard Classics (see above), the King James Bible, and just about every major publication you could ever require. The best part of the site is the ease with which you can surface relevant content and sort / filter. You get quality search results with easy download links without all the muckity muck (that’s a technical term) of a Google or Amazon search.

OER Commons
Open Educational Resources (aka OER Commons) boasts more than 40,000, well, resources for teachers. When you first hit the website, you immediately feel like you’re about to do a Google search. But once you get your results, you can see that you can then ‘remix and share’ multiple resources to form some sort of Voltron-eque super-resource. Or, to put it another way, you can create the resource that you want thanks to the benefit of open access to all the resources.

ICDL – International Children’s Digital Library
Just like a brick-and-mortar library, the ICDL feels just like what you’re accustomed to. It lets you become a member, take out books, and do even more. For example, you can read a book (on any device) and translate most of the text, enlarge the text, and navigate with ease. But remember these are children’s books so when you’re given the ability to enlarge the text … that’s something pretty rare. Definitely worth checking out ICDL if you’re a K-12 educator, student, or parent!

Thumbnail courtesy of GoodEReader
Katie was a teacher, graduate student, and is now the lady who makes sure Edudemic is as useful as possible. She oversees the editorial process and is basically a Swiss Army Knife of solutions.

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The opening post in this discussion thread was edited thus:
Edit 2015-02-18 2238hrs: I was fossicking around today for some stuff that I felt sure had been linked to in this discussion thread, and after mucking about for a while with no success I felt that I and others might be able to save time and benefit from maintaining some kind of index. So, more as an experiment than anything, below is a list of useful links for accessing libraries and archives. I know it will now need maintaining.
Some of these links are from the comments posted in this discussion topic, others are sourced from other areas of DCF and the WWW in general. If you know of any links that should be added to this list, please post them in the comments in this thread, together with a brief description of what they relate to, and I shall add them to the list. (Thanks in advance.)
---(Table follows)


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