Before I got my first computer in 1983 my rational was: when all of the contents of the New York Public Library collection is available on the computer (there was no such thing as “online,” at least as far as I knew. The Radio Shack guy looked at me like I was out of my mind (no argument there) and didn’t comment. Actually I didn’t wait for that goal to become within the realm of MY reach…although it did seem inevitable to me at the time, it did not hit the “information highway” for decades. (Not very long, in the scheme of things.)
Here is the link leading to free access to multiple thousands of photos, papers, maps, and texts. The NYPL has also developed free programs and gadgets to access the treasure trove.