LIBR 200: STEPPING BACK AND LOOKING FOREWORD: REFLECTIONS ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANSHIP
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LIBR 200: STEPPING BACK AND LOOKING FOREWORD: REFLECTIONS ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANSHIP

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  • Good morning, everyone. This morning we will cover chapter one of our textbook: Stepping Back and Looking Forward: Reflections on the Foundations of Libraries and Librarianship.
  • This chapter covers the history of the library, from its beginnings, throughout its various historical incarnations. We’ll also cover the various developments and inventions which affected it.
  • If you’re to take away one thing from this presentation, let it be this: libraries reflect the societies in which they serve. As societies changed, so did their libraries. This is manifested in four missions that periodically crop up in past libraries: recordkeeping, religion, glorification, and scholarship. They weren’t mutually exclusive. Can you guess which ones most likely mixed?
  • We begin in Sumer in 3,000 B. C. E. With the dawn of permanent settlement came trade, and with that, the need for accurate records. Then, as now, the library was a place to store physical records.   From that, rose Cuneiform. Pictographic and complicated, it was limited to scribes. It was limited to trade by the Sumerians, though successors – the Babylonians, the Akkadians – had more uses for it.
  • In ancient Egypt, in 2,500 B. C. E., there was no separation of church and state. Temple provided social services. So then, as now, librarianship was a service occupation.   Now, what you see on the left is Egyptian hieroglyphics (duh). Like Cuneiform, it was complex and difficult to learn, and limited to the priestly class. What do you think were the repercussions?   I’ll tell you one: Egyptian hieroglyphics were associated with magic in the eyes of the Greeks and Romans. But that’s for later.
  • Ancient Assyria, in 700 B. C. E., was under the thrall of this guy, Ashurbanipal. He was the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and reigned from 668 to 627 B. C. E. He developed the first known professional reference library at Nineveh. Its collection exceeded 30,000 tablets, which were collected from all over the empire. To create his collection, he resorted to the usual methods: plunder, but also purchases.   Glorification aside, library was a grand place for learning. Scribes and professionals also used the tablets. Curses on end of tablets illustrated problems with theft: “He who carries it, may Shamash carry him off!”
  • Hellenistic Greece, 300 B. C. E.: First Cuneiform, then Hieroglyphics. But the Phoenician alphabet was something completely different. Can you guess its advantages? With literacy becoming easier to achieve, it became more widespread. And libraries became important centers of learning. The most important of these was the Alexandrian Library in Alexandria, Egypt. Like the Royal Library at Nineveh, its mission was also to collect works from all over the known work. It too, acquired texts by less-than-orthodox means. The Alexandria Library was the world’s first major academic library. It even had its own classification system, the Pinakes, developed by the scholar Callimachus.
  • Imperial Rome, 100 C. E. Libraries were seen as symbols of learning – Greek learning. Now, despite what the textbook tells you, Rome was not a time of small, private libraries only. It had large, quasi-public libraries too. Quasi-public, as much of Rome was illiterate. The idea was conceived Julius Caesar; the man did not live to see his idea come to fruition. Future emperors built more for the same reasons they built triumphal arches and threw spectacle games – glorification. Each library had a separate Greek and Roman section. There were 29 major public libraries by the end of the empire. During imperial times, the codex was invented. It was easier to carry, easier to hide, easier to manipulate and read. It was perfect for the fledging Christian community. As Christianity replaced Roman paganism in the empire, so did the codex replace the scroll.
  • Most Interesting Libraries of the World   Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries | Curious Expeditions

LIBR 200: STEPPING BACK AND LOOKING FOREWORD: REFLECTIONS ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANSHIP LIBR 200: STEPPING BACK AND LOOKING FOREWORD: REFLECTIONS ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANSHIP Presentation Transcript

  • STEPPING BACK AND LOOKING FOREWORD: REFLECTIONS ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANSHIP By Richard E. Rubin Elluminate Presentation by Caroline Han
  • MAIN POINTS: WHAT WILL WE LEARN?
    • History of the Library
      • Sumer
      • Egypt
      • Assyria
      • Greece
      • Rome
    • Significant developments
      • Alphabet
      • Codex
    • Libraries reflect the societies in which they serve
      • Missions not exclusive
    THE FOUR MISSIONS Recordkeeping Religion Glorification Scholarship View slide
  • Ancient Sumer: 3,000 B. C. E.
    • Mission: Recordkeeping
    • Origins
      • Rise of cities
      • Rise of trade and need for records
    • Cuneiform
      • Difficult to learn
      • Limited to select few
      • Adopted by successor kingdoms
    View slide
  • Ancient Egypt: 2,500 B. C. E.
    • Mission: Religion
    • Daily Life
      • Temples provided public services
      • Priests served as librarians
      • Development of papyrus and scrolls
    • Hieroglyphics
      • Similar to Cuneiform
      • Similar repercussions
  • Neo Assyria: 700 B. C. E.
    • Mission: Glorification
    • Ashurbanipal
      • Last great scholar-king of Assyria
      • Reigned from 668 to 627 B. C. E.
    • Royal Library at Nineveh
      • Exceeded 30,000 clay tablets
      • Texts from all over empire
      • First professional reference collection
  • Hellenistic Greece: 300 B. C. E.
    • Mission: Scholarship
    • Phoenician alphabet
      • Only two dozen symbols
      • Phonemic
    • Great Library of Alexandria
      • Founded by Ptolemy I
      • Texts from all over known world
      • First major academic library
  • Imperial Rome: 100 C. E.
    • Mission: Glorification
      • Libraries as symbols of learning
    • Small and private
      • Reflected personal tastes
    • Quasi-Public
      • Greek and Roman sections
    • Codex
      • Many advantages over scroll
      • Exclusively used by Christian community
  • CONCLUSIONS : TO SUM …
    • Libraries and civilization are connected
      • Function may change
      • Purpose stays the same
    • Libraries tell us
      • Who we are
      • Who we want to be
  • BOOKS: Haycock, K., & Sheldon, B. E. (2008). The Portable MLIS: insights from the experts. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited. Casson, Lionel (2001). Libraries in the Ancient World. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Brothers. Rubin, R, E. (2004). Foundations of Library and Information Science (2nd ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman. WEBSITES: Krasner-Khai, B. (2001, October/November). Survivor: The History of the Library. History Magazine . Retrieved from http://www.history-magazine.com/libraries.html Images retrieved from Microsoft Encarta: http://encarta.msn.com References
    • A) Recordkeeping B) Religion
    • C) Glorification D) Scholarship
    Bonus: What do you is this library’s main mission?