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Since the 1950s, our country’s greatest libraries have, as a matter of common practice, dismantled their collections of original bound newspapers and so-called brittle books, replacing them with microfilmed copies. The marketing of the brittle-paper crisis and the real motives behind it are the subject of this passionately argued book, in which Nicholson Barker pleads the case for saving our recorded heritage in its original form while telling the story of how and why our greatest research libraries betrayed the public trust by auctioning off or pulping irreplaceable collections. The players include the Library of Congress, the CIA, NASA, microfilm lobbyists, newspaper dealers, and a colorful array of librarians and digital futurists, as well as Baker himself — who eventually discovers that the only way to save one important newspaper is to buy it. Double Fold is an intense, brilliantly worded narrative that is sure to provoke discussion and controversy.
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The ostensible purpose of a library is to preserve the printed word. But for fifty years our country's libraries-including the Library of Congress-have been doing just the opposite, destroying hundreds of thousands of historic newspapers and replacing them with microfilm copies that are difficult to read, lack all the color and quality of the original paper and illustrations, and deteriorate with age.
With meticulous detective work and Baker's well-known explanatory power, Double Fold reveals a secret history of microfilm lobbyists, former CIA agents, and warehouses where priceless archives are destroyed with a machine called a guillotine. Baker argues passionately for preservation, even cashing in his own retirement account to save one important archive-all twenty tons of it. Written the brilliant narrative style that Nicholson Baker fans have come to expect, Double Fold is a persuasive and often devastating book that may turn out to be "The Jungle of the American library system.
“Got me, as he intended, hopping mad. Bless his obsessive-compulsive heart.”–David Gates, The New York Times Book Review
“There’s no mistaking the passion and intelligence he brings to his task or the fiery zest with which he relays his most damning anecdotes.” –Chicago Tribune
“Provocative . . . impassioned and compelling.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“A magnificent crusade and he tells its story with a novelist’s flair. . . . This book is a thumping indictment of America’s great libraries. They have much to answer for” –Chicago Sun-Times
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Book Description Random House, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375504443
Book Description Random House, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0375504443
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0375504443 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0116677
Book Description Random House, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0375504443n