Fold3 HQ

Finding the right balance

Last week Justin and I had a nice conversation with historian and blogger Dan Cohen, who has some expertise in digital history. When Footnote launched last month, Dan had some concerns about details in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, so he contacted us to get more information.

We really appreciated him calling to talk to us about his concerns. He asked good questions about issues that need open and candid discussion, and we were glad to have a chance to respond. You can read Dan’s summary of our conversation here.

Our goal is to provide easy access to historical documents that people can use to tell the stories of individuals, communities, nations and the world. It’s a difficult and expensive process and we need to find the right balance between, among other things, the content that we can reasonably and responsibly share freely, the content we need to charge money for to keep the business viable and the content that can appropriately be included in a collection for school children.

We appreciate people like Dan who have thought about these issues and are willing to discuss them. We hope that as Footnote develops we’ll be able to continue the conversation and find the right balance.

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to reply to this post or use the contact form here to send them to us.


  1. Thought you might be interested in my new blog. After years of doing workshops and presentations on using primary sources I decided to blog about it. Check it out:

  2. Pingback: Dan Cohen’s Digital Humanities Blog » Blog Archive » A Closer Look at the National Archives-Footnote Agreement