In the November 11, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, Professor Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton University, wrote about the libraries of the past and what they tell us about the books of the future: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/
Professor Grafton had more to say on the transformation of reading, writing, and information-storage in the digital age and happily, his words caught the attention of the guys at Crumpled Press. Together they have published an expanded version of the essay, now entitled Codex in Crisis.
Crumpled Press is a small, alternative publisher, which promises books and pamphlets made by hand for a distinctive look and feel. The press is jointly edited by Nicholas Jahr, Jordan Kenneth McIntyre, and Alexander Bick (a Princeton graduate student), who assert that their “books may be purchased for education, enlightenment, trade, and tra-la-la.” They aspire to create an audience for good writing instead of packaging writing for a target audience. “Liberated from the waste and uncrumpled to inspire: this is The Crumpled Press.”
Note: To celebrate Crumpled Press’s third anniversary, there will be a reading 6:00 on July 7 at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. http://www.crumpledpress.org/
Codex in Crisis was published in limited edition of 250 copies and graphic arts is fortunate to have purchased one on the night of its unveiling. Whether copies are still available is doubtful.
Professor Grafton is the author of ten books and the coauthor, editor, coeditor, or translator of nine others. Two collections of essays, Defenders of the Text (1991) and Bring Out Your Dead (2001), cover most of the topics and themes that appeal to him. His current project is a large-scale study of the science of chronology in 16th- and 17th-century Europe: how scholars attempted to assign dates to past events, reconstruct ancient calendars, and reconcile the Bible with competing accounts of the past.