CERL Seminar 2015: Library History: Why, What, How?
The study of the history of libraries and library collections can produce useful information to support a library’s collection and conservation policies, to better understand its particular features and to strengthen its attraction for a broad public. Additionally, library history can be considered as a particular form of cultural history: libraries have always been at the heart of intellectual life, and have functioned as nodes within the Republic of Letters. Considered from this double point of view, library history has the potential to bring together librarians and academic historians. Both categories of professionals with a special interest in libraries, however, do not always share the same paradigms. Many a (heritage) librarian will scorn present-day historians with their theoretical approach and lack of connoisseurship. Academic researchers, in their turn, will sometimes label the research output of librarians as too much heritage-oriented and inventory-like, losing itself in details and passion, much to the detriment of critical synthesis. This CERL-seminar on library history brings together both parties. It will investigate how these diverging worlds can complement each other and how they can integrate each other’s approaches to further our knowledge of library history.
More information on this event can be found here.