Although it is excellent, and I recommend it very highly, I had not expected Roy Scranton’s Learning to Die in the Anthropocene to shed light on the Caselaw Access Project. Near the end of the book, he writes,
The study of the humanities is nothing less than the patient nurturing of the roots and heirloom varietals of human symbolic life. This nurturing is a practice not strictly of curation, as many seem to think today, but of active attention, cultivation, making and remaking. It is not enough for the archive to be stored, mapped, or digitized. It must be worked.
The value of the Caselaw Access Project is not primarily in preservation, saving space, or the abstraction of being machine-readable; it is in its new uses, the making of things from the raw material. We at LIL and others have begun to make new things, but we’re only at the beginning. We hope you will join us, and surprise us.