ERIC Number: ED231357
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
On the History of Libraries and Scholarship. The Center for the Book Viewpoint Series No. 4.
Willison, I. R.
There are signs that research into the history of libraries and research into the history of scholarship in the West are coming to be conceived as parts of a common enterprise. Generally this combined history can be summarized in terms of two great climacterics: the founding of the Museum and Library of Alexandria; and the refounding, in 1737 at the new Gottingen University, of the encyclopedic research library. This history has three constant and interlinked features: (1) the all-embracing yet dependent nature of the world of books considered as instruments for the attainment of absolute knowledge; (2) the interdependence of the world of libraries and scholarship and the world of politics, administration, and patronage; and (3) the link between the faltering of external support for libraries and scholarship and their internal loss of morale. A consideration of the current state of libraries and scholarship helps to validate this schematism. The way ahead for libraries may lie through the interaction between a constantly enlarging encyclopedic enterprise and a constantly enlarging critical reading public. A brief description of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress prefaces the pamphlet. (ESR)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Library Association (Dallas, TX, June 26, 1979).