Wounded as the canvas shriveled in the move from LPs to CDs, the tradition of liner notes had a sporadic recovery in the form of informational booklets, but has pretty well evaporated again in the move to downloading and streaming digital music online. There's plenty of stuff (I think we have to call it metadata now) on the iTunes store, All Music, band sites, fan sites, and label sites. But it ain't the same. Anybody out there who can figure out how to make it pay to digitize the liner notes? I'd be grateful if you could. Short of that, there's the preservationist argument, well-articulated by Wayne Bremser
If you do link over to Wayne's essay, spend a little time on his site. It's a key to identifying and exploring the artists and music captured in the legendary Art Kane photograph, "A Great Day in Harlem."
The 1994 Jean Bach film of the making of that photograph has just been re-released. Available on Amazon.