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Why we still need the physical book and what digital research adds to its history Anne Welsh Lecturer in Library & Information Studies Paper in the brave.

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Presentation on theme: "Why we still need the physical book and what digital research adds to its history Anne Welsh Lecturer in Library & Information Studies Paper in the brave."— Presentation transcript:

1 why we still need the physical book and what digital research adds to its history Anne Welsh Lecturer in Library & Information Studies Paper in the brave new digital world: A painless introduction to...

2 painless introductions MA LIS / MA ARM / MA Digital Humanities

3 painless introductions “Bibliography is the discipline that studies texts as recorded forms, and the processes of their transmission, including their production and reception.” ~ D.F. McKenzie

4 painless introductions Types of Bibliography Enumerative bibliography –Listing books by topic, date, type or author Historical bibliography –Primarily the physical processes of book production Analytical bibliography –Identifying differences and the “ideal copy” Descriptive bibliography –Describing all the evidence about the book Textual bibliography –The text in relation to its transmission processes

5 painless introductions The life of books

6 painless introductions The bibliographer’s province

7 painless introductions Communications Circuit Economic & social conjuncture AuthorPublisher Printers: Compositors Pressmen Warehousemen Suppliers: Paper Ink Type Labour Shippers: Agents Smugglers Entrepot Keeper Waggoner, etc. Booksellers: Wholesellers Retailers Peddlers Binders, etc. Readers: Purchasers Borrowers Clubs Libraries Political & legal sanctions Intellectual influences & publicity After Darnton

8 painless introductions Books at the forefront of technology

9 painless introductions Recording watermarks From:

10 painless introductions Electron radiography of watermarks From:

11 painless introductions Online searchable watermark databases Also: From:

12 painless introductions Other innovations Digitised collections from jpeg to pdf to fully-browsable Online catalogues from card / paper to online (MARC) from surrogate to full-text from format-specific to institution-wide from institutional to national to international

13 painless introductions Technology in the Brave New World

14 painless introductions Homogenisation? ‘There is nothing wrong in the whole wide world’ by Chris Cobb, 2005

15 painless introductions As it’s Burns Night...

16 painless introductions Versioning in the digital collection

17 painless introductions

18 “Extreme Versioning” Barker & Lucas, “Wicked Bible” 1631 Borel’s singes dactylographes more likely to produce millions of errors than text of the quality of Shakespeare... But is it the quantity or the quality of error that really matters?

19 painless introductions More typical versioning

20 painless introductions

21 Store them? Preserve them? How?

22 painless introductions Digital versus print?

23 painless introductions Readers

24 painless introductions

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26 Readers

27 painless introductions

28 Picture credits Some of the pictures in these slides are copyright commons, some rights reserved: vince42, posixeleni, Kaotiqua, Diorama Sky, Librarian in Black, Elizabeth Beers, Topsy Qur’et, goXuno Reviews,


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