Robert Darnton: The Case for Books

Robert Darnton hat vor kurzem ein neues Buch publiziert, welches eine Reihe seiner Aufsätze zur Buchgeschichte, zur Digitalisierung und zu Google Books in sich vereint:

Enlarged Book Jacket

Robert Darnton:
The case for books  : past, present, future  / Robert Darnton . – New York  : PublicAffairs , 2009 . – XVI, 218 S.
ISBN 978-1-586-48826-0

Aus der Verlagsanzeige:

A renowned historian and pioneering scholar in the history of the book—a lead voice in the debate about the digital future of books and knowledge—distills his experience and insight in The Case for Books

The invention of writing was one of the most important technological, cultural, and sociological breakthroughs in human history. With the printed book, information and ideas could disseminate more widely and effectively than ever before—and in some cases, affect and redirect the sway of history. Today, nearly one million books are published each year. But is the era of the book as we know it—a codex of bound pages—coming to an end? And if it is, should we celebrate its demise and the creation of a democratic digital future, or mourn an irreplaceable loss? The digital age is revolutionizing the information landscape. Already, more books have been scanned and digitized than were housed in the great library in Alexandria, making available millions of texts for a curious reader at the click of a button, and electronic book sales are growing exponentially. Will this revolution in the delivery of information and entertainment make for more transparent and far-reaching dissemination or create a monopolistic stranglehold?In The Case for Books, Robert Darnton, an intellectual pioneer in the field of the history of the book and director of Harvard University’s Library, offers an in-depth examination of the book from its earliest beginnings to its shifting role today in popular culture, commerce, and the academy. As an author, editorial advisor, and publishing entrepreneur, Darnton is a unique authority on the life and role of the book in society. This book is a wise work of scholarship—one that requires readers to carefully consider how the digital revolution will broadly affect the marketplace of ideas.

A former professor of European History at Princeton University, Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the Harvard University Library. The founder of the Gutenberg-e program, he is the author of many books. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Website des Verlags:

Unter anderem sind einige seiner Artikel über Google Books und über Bücher allgemein darin enthalten, die er im New York Review of Books veröffentlicht hat (das VÖBBLOG hat bisweilen darauf bereits verwiesen). Die folgende Liste führt die teilweise frei, teilweise nur beschränkt zugänglich Beiträge Darntons im New York Review of Books auf, wobei jüngere zu Google Books, die nicht im Buch enthalten sind, ebenfalls angeführt wurden (vollständige Liste hier):

Eine etwa einstündige Veranstaltung im Harvard Book Store, in der Robert Darnton „The case for books“ vorstellte, war auf C-SPAN2 in der Sendung Book TV (22. Februar 2010) zu sehen. Diese Sendung kann online unter angesehen werden.

Ein Interview von Lewis Lapham (Bloomberg) mit Robert Darnton:

Ein weiteres Interview mit Robert Darnton in der Diane Rehm Show:

Rezensionen zum Buch:

PS: Robert Darntons „The case for books“ kann bislang anscheinend nur an der ÖNB und an der FH Eisenstadt eingesehen werden (

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