Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Digitization and its Discontents

There's a nice article by Anthony Grafton in the November 6, 2007 New Yorker on the mass digitization of library holding.

Here are some of his conclusions:

"The supposed universal library, then, will be not a seamless mass of books, easily linked and studied together, but a patchwork of interfaces and databases ... The real challenge now is how to chart the tectonic plates of information that are crashing into one another and then learn to navigate the new landscapes they are creating".

Noting the great wealth of resources now available on line, he suggests that "these streams of data, rich as they are, will illuminate, rather than eliminate, books and prints and manuscripts that only the library can put in front of you."

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