Treasures and Tools, Creating Rarity

April 12, 2008

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The Caxton Club/Newberry Library 2008 Symposium on the History of the Book examines the role of rare books and special collections libraries in a digital age.

The term "rare" suggests costly and inaccessible, but symposium participants assert that research materials in specialized libraries are important to the preservation and development of our common intellectual heritage, and, as such, are of enduring public value and use. What will collectors and collections look like and where will rare books stand in a hierarchy of public priorities for the still-new twenty-first century?

The second session of the day - Edward Tenner, the author of Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge Effect and Our Own Devices: The Past and Future of Body Technology, discusses his research into the role of collectors in expanding the frontiers of scholarship, especially in his own field, the history of technology. He argues that the Web makes the uniqueness and physical features of each printed book more important rather than less.

 

Recorded Saturday, April 12, 2008 at The Newberry Library.