July/Aug 2018 • Vol. XL No. 4 Editor's Notes |

Editor’s Notes: What Place for Books?—Libraries as Essential Laboratories

The vast collection of papyrus scrolls in the library of Alexandria was considered one of the wonders of the world before its destruction by fire (or series of fires, military conquests, and perhaps even an earthquake, sometime after the arrival of Julius Caesar). Established explicitly to serve as a great center of cultural memory and active scholarship, it also endured for millennia as a symbol of a library’s importance in the transmission of identity and knowledge from generation to generation. Yet it also figured, of course, as a potent reminder of the fragility of books, whether papyri or the paper codices we’ve adopted since the advent of the printing press. As we are all aware, libraries have faced a different sort of assault in recent years. Just as budgets for new purchases and subscriptions have shrunk, electronic publication and the widespread scanning of existing texts have offered cheaper alternatives, easier distribution, wider readership, and increased protect

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Photo of David Lynn
David H. Lynn is the editor emeritus of The Kenyon Review, a professor of English, and special assistant to the president of the college. He was the editor of the Review from 1994 to 2020. As an author, he received a 2016 O. Henry Award for "Divergence." His latest collection, Children of God: New & Selected Stories, was published in 2019 by Braddock Avenue Books.

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Editor’s Notes

By David H. Lynn

The vast collection of papyrus scrolls in the library of Alexandria was considered one of the wonders of the world before its destruction by fire (or series of fires, military […]

Editor’s Notes

By David H. Lynn

The vast collection of papyrus scrolls in the library of Alexandria was considered one of the wonders of the world before its destruction by fire (or series of fires, military […]

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