On ‘The Political Histories of UK Public Libraries and Access to Knowledge’ | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

flavoursofopenscience's bookmarks 2020-04-21


This week for our COPIM project reading group we are turning to the forthcoming Stuart Lawson, ‘The Political Histories of UK Public Libraries and Access to Knowledge’, in Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access, ed. by Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2020), pp. 161–72. This work is not yet published but will be openly accessible when it is, hopefully later this year. The work is also derived from Stuart’s Ph.D. thesis, which is openly accessible.

This chapter might, in some ways, be otherwise titled ‘The Mythology of Libraries’. In contemporary circles of scholarly communications it is common to speak of libraries’ missions as though they were driven by ahistorical, transcendental values. It has ‘always’ been libraries’ missions to provide access to knowledge for everyone, it is sometimes claimed. What Lawson shows in this chapter is that a ‘historical perspective reveals that access to knowledge has undergone a long, slow process of change, related to social, technical, and political developments in printing, mass literacy, universities, and libraries’ (161).




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oa.new oa.uk oa.libraries oa.history_of oa.copim oa.publishing oa.books oa.infrastructure oa.libraries.public

Date tagged:

04/21/2020, 07:04

Date published:

04/21/2020, 03:04