"Windy City" response from Newberry Library

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Feb 14 22:45:52 UTC 2006

60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL
February 6, 2006
Dear Mr. Popik:
I write in response to the email message you sent to me on January 22,  2006,
regarding _The Encyclopedia of Chicago_. The project's managing editor,
Douglas Knox, has communicated with you on these issues before, so doubtless you
understand how our authors were chosen. As for the sources of our information,
 please note that we were not aware of your research until the entry was sent
 through our fact-checking process. We were able to verify the information
for  the entry in a publicly available source. Your research, available on the
Web,  helped lead us to an illustration and to some additional details, which
were not  central to the basic narrative of the entry.
As you must realize, the use of publicly available information pointed out
by someone else does not constitute "plagiarism." Doubtless you also know that
encyclopedias customarily do not carry footnotes. And, of course, there is no
 intellectual property in a fact. We have taken pains to assure that the
_Encyclopedia of Chicago does not reproduce or copy any text without proper
We consider this matter closed.
Yours sincerely,
David Spadafora
Happy Valentines Day to all.
If some of you have kids, and one of your kids likes history, tell him or
her the facts. Not only can't you make any money at all, but people can steal
your work whenever they want. You won't even get any credit! Great life,  huh?
I tell my future wife to be just how worthless that I am, that I make money
only when relatives who love me die.
As everyone knows, I solved "Windy City." My work was rejected by the
Chicago Historical Society in a form letter in 1996. The 2004 Encyclopedia of
Chicago plagiarized my OLD work from the Chicago Reader's The Straight Dope. It
had contained 1885 and 1886 "Windy City" citations, one "publicly available" and
 the other "publicly available" only if you went to the Library of Congress,
picked out the right material, and spent hundreds of hours to find it.
The Enyclopedia of Chicago went online in 2005. For over a year, I've tried
to get credit for my work.
The fact that the Chicago Historical Society, University of Chicago
(publisher), and now the Newberry Library "consider the matter closed" without  giving
me credit for my work is pathetic of these "venerable"  institutions.
First, they had a "fact-checking process"?? You type in the citations into
Google and the name "Barry Popik" comes up. Is President David Spadafora
supporting grossly incompetent fact-checking.
Second, my work was not "central to the basic narrative of the entry"?
Bullshit. The copy of that 1885 citation takes up half the space of the entry.  My
scholarly conclusions were used.
Third, they can't have "footnotes"? All legitimate encyclopedias have
references. The Encyclopedia of Chicago does, too! But--hey, it's Popik! You're  a
piece of shit!
The Chicago Historical Society still hasn't responded to me. I've e-mailed
many times. I sent information directly to the President and the Chairman of
the  Board of Trustees. They continue to plagiarize my old work.
I know, I'm suppose to walk away from this, like all my other work, pick
myself up, and start all over again. For what? To be treated like this  again?
Can someone write to the CHS for me and at least get a response? I want the
Chicago cycle of shit to at least be complete.
Again, Happy Valentine's Day to all.
Barry Popik
_www.barrypopik.com_ (http://www.barrypopik.com)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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