This past February we had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Anthony Grafton from Princeton University at our Humanities Symposium at Messiah College. Grafton is a formidable scholar and intellect, and a generous soul, a too rare combination. The following video is his keynote lecture for the Symposium. Grafton’s instincts are conservative, readily admitting his undying love for the codex and its manifold cultural institutions (libraries, used bookstores, even Barnes and Nobles). At the same time, he is under no illusions that the future of the book lies elsewhere. His lecture looks at what is threatened, what should be valued and protected from the fast, but also what might be a potential for the future of the book, and what values we should bring to bear to shape the book, which is, after all, a human institution.
Many thanks to Derick Esch, my work study student, for his work in filming and producing this video. Other videos from the symposium can be found at the same vimeo page.