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veritasHarvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1340 November 2007

Harvard University Library Notes / November 2007 / No. 1340


Robert Darnton Addresses Fall 2007 Librarians' Assembly

Robert Darnton

Robert Darnton Addresses Fall 2007 Librarians' Assembly

Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library, addressed the fall meeting of the Librarians' Assembly on Tuesday, October 30, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After opening remarks in which he spoke of librarians as "one of the greatest intellectual assets of a university," Darnton delivered a 30-minute address entitled "Old Books and E-Books."

"My talk today isn't about librarianship," Darnton stated. "Maybe I should be talking about data sets and digitization. But actually, I would prefer to discuss my favorite subject, books. Especially old books. And to do so, I would like to argue my way around a paradox. Because you might think that old books and e-books are incompatible, that they represent opposite extremes in the technology of providing information. And I want to argue in fact that they are natural allies. That they belong together, and that they can work together or be melded in ways that we are only beginning to imagine."

 

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