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This is the fifth time I have composed this overview of current writings on American library history, which means that for the past ten years I have carefully monitored the amount and variety of scholarship that has appeared every two years from the little band of scholars who continually explore our corner of the historical canvas. As usual, our colleagues have been busy providing the rest of us with a wealth of writings and interpretations of our library past that will in turn foster yet more research and more thought about the role libraries, librarianship, and book culture have played in our nation's journey to the present. So with this brief introduction, let us now begin our journey through this most recent outpouring of scholarship on American library history.


This article is from Libraries & Culture, 39, no. 2 (2004): 175–211.

This is a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Libraries & Culture following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available through the University of Texas Press.

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University of Texas Press



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