Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Preservation Class Today

8:00 is normally way too early for me. But it was worth it to hear Jake talk about preservation. Man, he knows so much, and gives a really interesting lecture.

Today, we talked about themes of the course: artifactual vs. intellectual value of books; conservation (the strict definition being the "care and repair of physical artifacts"; preservation science (see how everything fits together in library school--from music to business to legal issues to biology and chemistry); and how preservationists serve the information chain by repairing/fixing/keeping alive the points on the cycle (whether it's a manuscript, a music score, a film, or a digital file).

He made a great point through one of his stories. Books carry their history and everything that has happened to them. He did this by talking about cookbooks. Say you check out a cookbook from a library, it's raining, so it gets wet--you go in the house, and where do you use it? The kitchen. So, it gets tomato sauce on it. And is it any wonder that some books in our libraries are in the conditions they are!!!

Also talked about the issues surrounding the reformatting of intellectual content, and digitization. Can't wait to read the Nicholas Baker article (and book, Double Fold. Microformatting newspapers, and destroying them seems easy and efficient and so "up-to-date." But you can tell so much by the physical object. Man, this class is going to be awesome, despite having to catch the 7 am bus!


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