“Sit in your local coffee shop and your laptop can tell you a lot, especially if you wield your search terms adeptly. But if you want deeper, more local knowledge, you will still have to take the narrower path that leads between the lions and up the stone stairs. There – as in great libraries around the world – you will use all the new sources, all the time. […] But these streams of data, rich as they are, will illuminate rather than eliminate the unique books and prints and manuscripts that only the library can put in front of you. For now, and for the foreseeable future, if you want to piece together the richest possible mosaic of documents and texts and images, you will have to do it in those crowded public rooms where sunlight gleams on varnished tables, as it has for more than a century, and knowledge is still embodied in millions of dusty, crombling, smelly, irreplaceable manuscripts and books” (Anthony Grafton, “Codex in Crisis,” Worlds Made by Words).
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