Jeff Garrett is lecturing for The Alumnae's Course B on Tuesday afternoons in Fall Quarter 2023.
Course B: The Library in the West: A 5000-Year History
Jeff Garrett, Librarian emeritus, Northwestern University Tuesdays, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Norris University Center The oldest libraries were shamans and storytellers. With the invention of writing, libraries could be gatherings of writings on bark or baked cuneiform tablets stored in baskets. Then came scrolls, then the Graeco-Roman invention of the codex book. In this course, we will start at the very beginning, with the cognitive preconditions for libraries. Then we move through centuries and civilizations, stopping to remember Alexandria, Roman, and medieval libraries, and then the astonishing monastery libraries of the Baroque. We conclude with a consideration of modern research libraries - Northwestern’s will do! - and modern public libraries - why not Evanston’s?