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"Our paper-based inheritance" - G. Thomas Tanselle

G. Thomas Tanselle in the Times Literary Supplement: "'We have to protect our paper-based inheritance'. The most fundamental reason for this necessity – this increasingly urgent necessity – is simply that manuscripts and printed books are artefacts; and all artefacts, being physical survivors, give us direct access to parts of a vanished world ..."
Published on 20 Sept. 2018

Books as Artefacts


“’We have to protect our paper-based inheritance’. The most fundamental reason for this necessity – this increasingly urgent necessity – is simply that manuscripts and printed books are artefacts; and all artefacts, being physical survivors, give us direct access to parts of a vanished world. They not only carry with them clues to their own production history; they also furnish the basis for reconstructing the visual and tactile experiences that their physical form provided for individuals in the past.”

Read the whole Letter to the Editor in the Times Literary Supplement, December 2, 2009

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