Thanks to modern technology, we now can deliver every text in every research library to every citizen in our country, and to everyone in the world. If we fail to do so, we are not living up to our civic duty.
I am too weary to listen, too angry to hear.
People sometimes announce that we have entered ‘the information age’ as if information did not exist in other times. I think that every age was an age of information, each in its own way and according to the available media.
The simple truth of our finiteness is that we could, by whatever means, go on interminably only at the price of either losing the past and, therewith, our identity, or living only in the past and therefore without a real present. We cannot seriously wish either and thus not a physical enduring at that price.
I want to continue to strengthen Harvard’s fabulous collections in old printed material, but at the same time, I want to help Harvard move into the world of digitized information.
While confronting the problems of the present, I often find myself thinking back to the world of books as it was experienced by the Founding Fathers and the philosophers of the Enlightenment.
For a scientific theory of him to be possible, man, including his habits of valuation, has to be taken as determined by causal laws, as an instance and part of nature.
Most enlightened men now recognize that General Jackson is not fitted to fill the office of President; his limited experience of anything to do with civil government and his great age make him incompetent.
The fact that I spend a lot of time in the 18th century doesn’t mean I’m not concerned with the 21st.
As president of the American Historical Association, I started a programme to make dissertations into e-books in 1999. Before I knew it, I was involved in other electronic projects. Harvard invited me to become director of the libraries in 2007.