Monthly Archives: October 2019

Is a Historian’s Library an Archive or a Living Thing?

This week I purged my bookshelves. As a Ph.D. historian, it initially felt like a risky move — somewhere in between disowning my former self and cutting out part of my brain.

In the end, though, I think the effect will be closer to pruning a big, old, tangled shrub so that it has some energy and breathing room to send out new growth.

When I moved with my family to a New Jersey suburb a decade ago, I clung to every last one of my books…

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