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These Finders Are Keepers

Curbed – Archivists, librarians, and staff check back in. “It’s easy to convince yourself, after a year in virtual space, that most of the world’s knowledge is either online or can be acquired with a couple of Amazon clicks. Spend five minutes with Julie Golia — curator of history, social sciences, and government information at the New York Public Library — and you’ll realize how wildly wrong that is. “One thing that historians learned this year is that digitization can never replace the archives,” she says. A single collection (out of many at the NYPL) “will have tens of thousands of pieces of material.” Billions of pages are a long way from being scanned. But also, their physicality is information: what was filed next to what, who’s next to whom, which pages are most worn from handling. “That’s information that digitization wipes away.”…

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