Red Wine and White Carpets: What We Didn’t Learn in Library School, or When the Dog and Pony Goes Bad

Mark Dimunation


I would like to open with a bit of received wisdom that was actually passed on to me when I was a newly minted rare book librarian. The story goes like this: His first day at work, the curator of rare books finally manages a few quiet moments in his new office. Surveying the space, suitably impressed with the appropriate decor (sufficiently professional, but not stodgy), he opens the drawer of his massive desk. There he finds three sealed envelopes, left in the otherwise empty drawer by his predecessor. In sequence they are labeled “Open at the time of your . . .

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