Harvard Library Director to Speak on Old Books and E-Books
Robert Darnton, internationally known scholar on the history of the book, will visit Northwestern this fall.September 15, 2009 | by Wendy Leopold
A collaboration of Northwestern’s Center for Historical Studies and the University Library, the free and public lecture will take place in Hardin Hall at the Rebecca Crown Center, 633 Clark Street, on the Evanston campus. It will be followed by a reception.
An historian at Harvard also known for his work on the literary world of Enlightenment France, Darnton is an entrepreneur in books, Web publishing and other new media forms and author or editor of more than 20 books.
His book titled “The Business of Enlightenment: A Publishing History of the Encyclopedie” (1970) was an early attempt to develop the history of books as a field of study. His most popular work probably is “The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History” (1984), 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 (1995); “Berlin Journal: 1989 to 1990” (1991), 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” (2003).
A former Rhodes Scholar and MacArthur Fellow, Darnton worked briefly as a New York Times reporter before joining the history faculty at Princeton University. He became director of Harvard University Library in 2007 and is Harvard’s Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor of History.
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