IS THERE A FUTURE FOR SPECIAL COLLECTIONS? AND SHOULD THERE BE?: A POLEMICAL ESSAY

Daniel Traister

Abstract

Of the holy trinity—collecting, preserving, and making accessible precious books, manuscripts, and other special materials—preservation takes precedence.1


Following are three brief prefatory notes that will be helpful in understanding this essay. First, readers should note that the word polemical appears in the essay’s title. I ask the reader’s indulgence in understanding that I mean this word literally. The essay is a polemic. Intended to be serious, it is not therefore also intended to be “balanced” or “fair.” In addition, it is an essay, not a paper; and its informality of style is intended to reflect a difference between these two . . .

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