Libraries and the Enlightenment: the Book

My book on Libraries and the Enlightenment has now been published! It was just announced today. You can order a copy from the Library Juice Press or from Amazon.

The Library Juice site has a blurb, but here’s a bit more on what to expect. Chapter 1 provides a summary and analysis of the scientific and political principles of the Enlightenment, especially those that relate to the library history discussed in the book. Chapter 2 shows how Enlightenment principles led to the foundation of the first research university, and the way in which the research university model revolutionized higher education and enabled the creation of modern academic libraries. Chapter 3 investigates how the same principles inspired the public library movement in the U.S. Chapter 4 discusses examples of what I call the “universal library,” including the Library at Alexandria, Gabriel Naudé’s 17th-century Advice on Establishing a Library, H.G. Wells’ “World Brain,” Vannevar Bush’s Memex, Google, and the Digital Public Library of America. Finally, it argues that a universal library universally accessible would be the culmination of the Enlightenment in the domain of information, and that such a universal library would be built upon the current network of American libraries. There’s a lot of history and a bit of politics. It’s a good introduction to and survey of the topic for librarians, library school students, or anyone interested in the history of libraries.

So I hope you’ll buy a copy for yourself or your library (or both!).

5 thoughts on “Libraries and the Enlightenment: the Book

  1. Will, you could contact the publisher at the above address and request a review copy. I don’t actually know what the policy is. In addition, you could request your local library buy a copy!

    • I have requested it at my local library, where I am a trustee. So…we will see how efficient they are. It’s not on the Link Plus i.l.l. system yet for Northern California academic and public libraries which really surprised me. Thanks, Wayne. I’m really looking forward to reading the book as I have been a big admirer of your blog.

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