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Harvard Library Director to Speak on Old Books & E-Books

Harvard University Library director and historian Robert Darnton will deliver a lecture titled "Old Books and E-Books."

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February 16, 2009 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Harvard University Library director and historian Robert Darnton will deliver a lecture titled "Old Books and E-Books" Monday, March 2, at Northwestern University.

A collaboration of Northwestern's Center for Historical Studies and University Library, Darnton's presentation will mark the inauguration of an annual lecture series on the history of the book. The lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Hardin Hall at the Rebecca Crown Center, 633 Clark Street, Evanston. It is free and open to the public.

Also the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor of History at Harvard, Darnton is an internationally known scholar on the history of the book and the literary world of Enlightenment France.

An entrepreneur in books, Web publishing and other new media forms, Darnton has written and edited more than 20 books. "The Business of Enlightenment: A Publishing History of the Encyclopedie," published in 1979, was an early attempt to develop the history of books as a field of study.

His most popular work is probably "The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History," which has been translated into 16 languages and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Among his other books are "The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France," a study of the underground book trade; "Berlin Journal: 1989 to 1990," an account of the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of East Germany, and "George Washington's False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century."

A former Rhodes Scholar and MacArthur Fellow, Darnton worked briefly as a reporter for the New York Times before joining the history faculty at Princeton University, where he taught for close to 30 years. He became director of Harvard University Library in 2007.

For further information about the lecture, call (847) 467-0885 or e-mail efp@northwestern.edu.