Celebrating Research

 

Introduction

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by Nicolas Barker

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) was born on 29 December 1932, three weeks after the present writer. For half our lives thereafter, we pursued different courses, and it was only in 1970 that our paths first crossed. At the beginning of that year I went on a pilgrimage that took me from the east to the west of North America and back again. In 31 days and 35 flights, I visited 70 campuses and libraries in places other than universities. Mohawk, Eastern, Piedmont, Delta, Braniff, PanAm, Ozark, and other forgotten names shimmered on what seemed always the same plane, as I sped from New York to New Haven, up to Syracuse and down to Washington, DC, plunged south to Raleigh and Atlanta, across to Baton Rouge and Austin, on to Los Angeles (stopping five times en route on what was then Continental’s only out-of-state flight), north to San Francisco and Vancouver, east to Chicago, deviating to Toronto, Urbana, and St. Louis, and finally to Boston and Providence. [read full Introduction...]

About the Author

Nicolas Barker is editor of the Book Collector, “the leading English-language journal on book collecting, and the only one that bridges the worlds of the scholar, the librarian, the bookseller, and the private collector.” He has written many books, among them Stanley Morison (1972), Bibliotheca Lindesiana (1977), and Aldus Manutius and the Development of Greek Script and Type in the 15th Century (2nd ed. 1992). He is the editor of John Carter’s classic ABC for Book Collectors and in recent editions its author.

Nicolas Barker was the first head of conservation at the British Library, and in 1986–87 William Andrews Clark Visiting Professor at UCLA; he is a faculty member at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, and is a familiar figure in North America, having been a regular visitor at special collections here from coast to coast.