An Unquiet History …

I dream of seeing a one volume, general discussion of archives written for the general public in the chain and independent bookstores. Every once and a while we come close, but with Martha Cooley’s novel, The Archivist, we find the wrong portrayal and with a dust cover with a stack of books we get more confused; with Miles Harvey’s The Island of Lost Maps, the sense of archives is a bit lost in the musings about collecting and thievery; and in Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold, archivists are invisible and there are too many conspiracies anyway. Matthew Battles, Library: An Unquiet History (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003), with an attractive picture of library stacks, may be a good prototype for the kind of volume archivists need.

http://hopper.sis.pitt.edu/drcox/Battles.htm

These are the first words of a review of Battles’ new book (see also htp://log.netbib.de) by Richard J. Cox (Main page).


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