September 19: Library Lineages

soomness, Morgan Library, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

FIELD TRIPS: 4-5pm: Morgan Library, 225 Madison Ave @ 36th Street, 4-5pm – please arrive @ 3:50 to check your coats and bags; 5:15-6:15pm: NYPL Library Stacks (we’ll run a little late; you’re welcome to leave early, if necessary)

Readings Handout (in lieu of in-class discussion)


To prepare us for our field trip:

Contrast the Morgan as a physical environment with the material concerns (and opportunities) of other institutions:

  • Noah Arjomand, “The Struggle for Kabul’s Libraries,” Public Culture 26:3 (2014): 378-92.
  • Skim Matthew Battles & Jeffrey Schnapp, “Scenarios” in The Library Beyond the Book (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014): 55-119.
Libraries Without Borders’ Ideas Box


Jan Assman, “Libraries in the Ancient World – with Special Reference to Ancient Egypt,” Trans. Robin Benson, In Susanne Bieri & Walther Fuchs, Eds., Building for Books: Traditions and Visions (Boston: Birkhäuser, 2001): 51-67; Thomas Augst & Kenneth Carpenter, Eds., Institutions of Reading: The Social Life of Libraries in the United States (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007); Thomas Augst & Wayne E. Wiegand, Eds., Libraries as Agencies of Culture (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002); Lionel Casson, Libraries in the Ancient World (New Haven: Yale 2001); Roger Chartier, “Libraries Without Walls” Representations 42 (Spring 1993); Sean Cubitt, “Library” Theory, Culture & Society 23:2-3 (2006): 581-606; Daniel Heller-Roazen, “Tradition’s Destruction: On the Library of Alexandria” October 100 (Spring 2002): 133-153; Edward Howland, “The Public Libraries of the United States,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine  (April 1877): 722-30; Fred Lerner, The Story of Libraries: From the Invention of Writing to the Computer Age (New York: Continuum, 1999); Alberto Manguel, “The Library as Myth” [Tower of Babel & Library of Alexandria] + “The Library as Space” [on Diderot’s Encyclopedie] The Library at Night (Toronto Knopf Canada, 2006): 6-34, 81-89; Shannon Mattern, “Collected Notes on the Morgan Library for an Article I Meant to Write in 2003 But Never Did” [unpublished]; Shannon Mattern, “Marginalia: Little Libraries in the Urban Margins,” Places (May 22, 2012); Allison Meier, “Researchers Bury Their Noses on Books to Sniff Out the Morgan Library’s Original Smell,” Hyperallergic (February 28, 2017); Konstantinos Sp. Staikos, The Great Libraries: From Antiquity to the Renaissance (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press & The British Library, 2000); Alex Wright, Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008): “The Universal Library”: 70-5 [Alexandria] + “After Alexandria”: 75-7 [Roman libraries] + “Houses of Mumblers”: 86-91 [Cassiodorus, Vivarium scriptorium, subject-level classification, annotation, craft textual production].

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