Monday, February 5, 2007

Won't Somebody, Please, Think of the Books?

A couple of posts ago, I lamented library's use of technology to eradicate books. Luckily, the Library of Congress is trying to find ways to prevent the loss of knowledge through the deterioration of books and reading.

Starting in a few months, and with help from a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the LoC will begin digitizing books that are brittle and fragile, so that they will be available for future generations to read and enjoy.
I, for one, have never been a consumer of digital reading, preferring the sensory experience of curling up with a paper book. However, faced with the choice between losing precious memoirs and diaries from the Civil War or reading them on a screen, I'll choose blurry eyes and rescued narratives any day of the week.

By the way, I've spent a little time on the Library of Congress website and they are also doing some fascinating work on preserving digital content for the future. Along with this intriguing project, there is just a treasure trove of research content for those of us interested in obscure content.