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2 July 2012
by andrew
Comments Off on “the library is itself their laboratory and museum”

“the library is itself their laboratory and museum”

From William Coolidge Lane, “The treatment of books according to the amount of their use” (1903): (emphasis in the original; I have added paragraph breaks for readability) The question then resolves itself into this: Can a scholar accomplish his work … Continue reading

24 May 2012
by andrew
Comments Off on synthesizing the past

synthesizing the past

It was arranged for me to see Charles Beard, who was attending the American Historical Association’s 1935 convention in New York. Perched on the bed in his overheated room in the Hotel Pennsylvania, Beard poured forth his scorn for the … Continue reading

3 April 2010
by andrew
Comments Off on seeing and believing

seeing and believing

Alana Newhouse’s article about photographer Roman Vishniac, his photographs, the stories he told with and about those photographs, and the evidence that challenges those stories, is really kind of fantastic. Never heard of Vishniac? (I hadn’t.) Not sure you’re interested? … Continue reading

5 March 2010
by andrew
1 Comment

major complications

The Krugman anecdote silbey excerpts here reminds me of how I ended up finally deciding, after leaning that way for about a year, to major in history. I was sitting in a political science lecture when the professor, who had … Continue reading

7 February 2010
by andrew
Comments Off on wait, Americans value history now?

wait, Americans value history now?

At the end of his review of Richard J. Evans’ new book on British historians, Mark Mazower writes: Thus Evans’ book is not only a lament for a certain postwar moment in historical scholarship; it is also, perhaps, a paean … Continue reading

29 December 2009
by andrew
Comments Off on let us all, or maybe each, cultivate our own legislations

let us all, or maybe each, cultivate our own legislations

I was a bit surprised to see this somewhat panglossian take on how bills get passed in Mark Schmitt’s recent piece on the Senate health care bill: The bill is flawed, but only by comparison to some hypothetical piece of … Continue reading

3 December 2009
by andrew
Comments Off on historians and their fact-finding

historians and their fact-finding

I’ve been browsing through studies of archival users over the past few days and have been finding them fascinating. (This probably says something about me.) There seems to have been a huge upsurge in interest in studying users within the … Continue reading

3 November 2009
by andrew
2 Comments

replenishing returns

This Hour Has 22 Minutes takes a look at copyright and file sharing, and blank cassettes, and blank video tapes, and blank paper: It’s too bad they didn’t bring up probably the oldest and most common form of legal media … Continue reading

22 February 2009
by andrew
3 Comments

by others’ works

I visited the FDR memorial not too long ago and came away thinking it would have been much cooler had it been designed in the 1930s – except for the problem of monumentalizing a sitting president; I don’t think that … Continue reading

3 February 2009
by andrew
Comments Off on the old ways

the old ways

I see that I’m not the only one making the 0.2/2.0 contrast. Here’s Eric Johnson, in comments to Dan Cohen’s recent write-up of the Smithsonian 2.0 conference (I hope it’s ok that I excerpt the entire comment): The thing that … Continue reading