Summary

"Since the 1950s, our country's libraries have followed a policy of "destroying to preserve": They have methodically dismantled their collections of original bound newspapers, cut up hundreds of thousands of so-called brittle books, and replaced them with microfilmed copies - copies that are difficult to read, lack all the color and quality of the original paper and illustrations, and deteriorate with age. Half a century on, the results on this policy are jarringly apparent: There are no longer any complete editions remaining of most of America's great newspapers. The loss to historians and future generations in inestimable." "In this book, writer Nicholson Baker explains the marketing of the brittle-paper crisis and the real motives behind it. Pleading the case for saving our newspapers and books so that they can continue to be read in their original forms, he tells how and why our greatest research libraries betrayed the public's trust by selling off or pulping irreplaceable collections. The players include the Library of Congress, the CIA, NASA, microfilm lobbyists, newspaper dealers, and a colorful array of librarians and digital futurists, as well as Baker himself, who discovers that the only way to save one important newspaper archive is to cash in his retirement savings and buy it - all twenty tons of it."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Since the 1950s, our country’s greatest libraries have, as a matter of common practice, dismantled their collections of original bound newspapers and so-called brittle books, replacing them with microfilmed copies. The marketing of the brittle-paper crisis and the real motives behind it are the subject of this passionately argued book, in which Nicholson Barker pleads the case for saving our recorded heritage in its original form while telling the story of how and why our greatest research libraries betrayed the public trust by auctioning off or pulping irreplaceable collections. The players include the Library of Congress, the CIA, NASA, microfilm lobbyists, newspaper dealers, and a colorful array of librarians and digital futurists, as well as Baker himself — who eventually discovers that the only way to save one important newspaper is to buy it.Double Foldis an intense, brilliantly worded narrative that is sure to provoke discussion and controversy.