Old Books, New Technologies: The Representation, by David McKitterick

By David McKitterick

As we depend more and more on electronic assets, and libraries discard huge elements in their older collections, what's our accountability to maintain 'old books' for the long run? David McKitterick's full of life and wide-ranging examine explores how outdated books were represented and interpreted from the eighteenth century to the current day. Conservation of those texts has taken many kinds, from early equipment of counterfeiting, imitation and rebinding to fashionable practices of microfilming, digitisation and images. utilizing a accomplished variety of examples, McKitterick unearths those practices and their results to handle wider questions surrounding the worth of revealed books, either when it comes to their content material and their prestige as old gadgets. making a hyperlink among ancient techniques and the applied sciences of the longer term, this ebook furthers our knowing of previous books and their importance in an international of electronic know-how.

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Old Books, New Technologies: The Representation, Conservation and Transformation of Books since 1700

As we depend more and more on electronic assets, and libraries discard huge elements in their older collections, what's our accountability to maintain 'old books' for the longer term? David McKitterick's vigorous and wide-ranging learn explores how outdated books were represented and interpreted from the eighteenth century to the current day.

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Extra info for Old Books, New Technologies: The Representation, Conservation and Transformation of Books since 1700

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When books are in turn scanned, turned into computer files and then read on screen, it can be all but impossible to tell what exactly confronts a reader. The evidence is distorted. It is simply impractical to see and judge the often complicated nature of the printed or manuscript marks on the page, and it is completely impossible to see how leaves might have been replaced, and the structure of the book – with its contents – thereby altered. For these reasons, in this and some of the later chapters in this book, we shall be much concerned with alterations and repairs, imitations and facsimiles, as well as, to some extent, with forgeries.

When a ballad sheet has been trimmed, as is typical, we recreate an outer border. 30 In other words, by ordinary standards these cannot be said to be facsimiles of the original documents in all their untidy and raw states. The question is inescapable: at what point does the process move from the representational in the sense of some form of facsimile, to one that is primarily editorial, even intrusively recreative? Readers face a sequence of operations designed to destroy bibliographical evidence, and by imposing an ‘artificial standard’ also to destroy important aspects of bibliographical individuality and identity: For the cut apart ballads, we also put the two parts of the ballad back together and provide an inner margin dividing the two parts.

How can people be brought to understand what is old? How can people understand 21 22 The past in pixels relative differences in age? The computer screen makes no distinction, and requires visual knowledge that is beyond the capacity of most people. In the nineteenth century the best route seemed to be via museums and exhibitions – of classical sculpture, of old master paintings, of the works of early printers, of manuscripts. Old and new achievements and inventions were frequently exhibited side by side.

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