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Title:Kepler and his custody: Scholarship and conservation policy
Author(s):Krummel, Donald W.
Subject(s):Preservation of materials
Library materials--Conservation and restoration
Abstract:Johannes Kepler ends the preface to his Harmonice mundi of 1619 with these sentiments: "The die is cast; my book is written, to be read either now or posterity, I don't care. It may wait a century for a reader, much as God has waited six thousand years for an audience." This moving statement of faith epitomizes the conservator's cause before the world of scholarship. Its sentiments are worth remembering; for if our libraries are to survive, their cause will need to be supported by the modern Keplers who use them, and who expect them to keep their work around for readers a century from now. What really can be expected from our scholarly researchers, thousands of them strong, spread across a Babel of disciplines and inquiries around the world, each of them preoccupied with the importance of their efforts and their centrality to learning and to the human condition? The researcher's first contribution is to the dialogue on policy; and it is problematical insofar as it is ideological and political. The second involves practices of handling library materials; and it is basically so self-obvious as to be insulting. The third involves the prospect of better control over access and use; and it is painful to consider. All three involve commitments by scholars that are essential to the survival of our libraries; and each involves deeply felt attitudes, ingrained as part of the practice of their art, science, or craft. The 1976 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Detailed Specifications are right in affirming "the fundamental requirement that seen as an inseparable part of the broader objective of extending access to recorded information...." The problem is merely one of reconciling diachronous access and synchronous access: in order for Kepler to be accessible tomorrow, what must we do, and ask readers to do, today?
Issue Date:1983
Publisher:Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:Krummel, D.W. (1983) Kepler and his custody: Scholarship and conservation policy. In K.L. Henderson and W.T. Henderson (eds) Conserving and preserving library materials (Papers presented at the Allerton Park Institute November 15-18, 1981): 165-179.
Series/Report:Allerton Park Institute (27th : 1981)
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-03-30

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