Fill Your Home with Obsolete Technology: Rare Book Collecting 101

Talk by Laura Massey (she/her)

Friday from 11:40 AM - 12:10 PM in Stage B

Many people believe that books are becoming obsolete, and that rare book libraries have little to contribute to modern society. Others love books, but may not consider themselves "real collectors" because they don't fit the image presented in popular culture. In this talk I'll go beyond the typical arguments for books ("they smell good", "they're pleasurable to handle") and discuss the more complex reasons old books matter, primarily how collecting them can inform scholarship and change the way we see the world. I’ll present examples of real book collections that ask and answer important social and historical questions; challenge the idea that book collecting is only for wealthy people who want to acquire status symbols; and provide practical advice on how to go from book buyer to book collector.

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