All of us are citizens in a republic much larger than the Republic of America. It is the Republic of Letters, a realm of the mind that extends everywhere, without police, national boundaries, or disciplinary frontiers.
Category Archive: Robert Darnton
My work has taken me from historical research to involvement in electronic publishing ventures to the directorship of the Harvard University Libraries.
The idea of a national digital library has been in the air for a long time, and there was a danger that some people would feel that it’s their property, so to speak.
We need librarians who can handle this tremendous jumble of information that is in cyberspace.
We are living in one of those rare moments in history when things may come apart and be put back together again in ways that will determine the future for decades or more, despite the endless innovations of technology.
I worked for a brief spell as a journalist, but soon I discovered that I didn’t want to be a journalist – I wanted to be a historian.
It simply is not true that everything is now on the Internet, but it is true that the digital resources available through the Internet have enormous potential for education and even for self-empowerment of individuals.
The American revolutionaries believed in the power of the word. But they had only word of mouth and the printing press. We have the Internet.
Digital data are more fragile than printed material.
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.