*** When We Are No More by Abby Smith Ramsey

 

When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future ambitiously explores memory, individual and especially institutional, from the invention of writing to today’s internet. Written by a historian who once worked for the Library of Congress, it spends a bit too much time telling us about the history of this particular institution (although I enjoyed learning that its initial stock was replenished after a devastating fire by purchasing Jefferson’s personal library) but gives a solid historical perspective of the shifts from the oral culture to the written culture, to the establishment of libraries, and to today’s increasingly corporate-driven data guardianship.

If you ever thought that librarians were boring or perhaps behind the times, read this book to understand how we need to find solutions to preserving information that no longer resides in physical objects.

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