Robert Darnton

(Robert Choate Darnton)

Quote Topics Cited
… most censorship took place in the heads of writers, and what the writers failed to cut usually got filtered out by editors in publishing houses. Freedom & Liberty
The Great Firewall of China and the unrestricted surveillance by the National Security Agency illustrate a tendency for the state to assert its interests at the expense of individuals. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
To dismiss censorship as crude repression by ignorant bureaucrats is to get it wrong. Although it varied enormously, it usually was a complex process that required talent and training and that extended deep into the social order. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Walt Whitman’s famous poem, “Leaves of Grass” was catalogued by Google Books under “Gardening”. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
All of us are citizens in a republic much larger than the Republic of America. It is the Republic of Letters, a realm of the mind that extends everywhere, without police, national boundaries, or disciplinary frontiers.
As a graduate student at Oxford in 1963, I began writing about books in revolutionary France, helping to found the discipline of book history. I was in my academic corner writing about Enlightenment ideals when the Internet exploded the world of academic communication in the 1990s. History
As president of the American Historical Association, I started a programme to make dissertations into e-books in 1999. Before I knew it, I was involved in other electronic projects. Harvard invited me to become director of the libraries in 2007.
Digital data are more fragile than printed material.
I arrived from Harvard, where I had studied philosophy and the history of ideas, with a bias toward literature and formal thought. History
I believe we should celebrate new possibilities of combining the printed codex with electronic technology... The information ecology is getting richer, not thinner. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I want to continue to strengthen Harvard's fabulous collections in old printed material, but at the same time, I want to help Harvard move into the world of digitized information. Time
I was very fortunate to be elected to the Society of Fellows at Harvard, which is, in effect, a small research center where you are given three years to do whatever work you want. Society ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I worked for a brief spell as a journalist, but soon I discovered that I didn't want to be a journalist - I wanted to be a historian.
I would not minimize the digital divide, which separates the computerized world from the rest, nor would I underestimate the importance of traditional books.
It simply is not true that everything is now on the Internet, but it is true that the digital resources available through the Internet have enormous potential for education and even for self-empowerment of individuals. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It's important to make clear to all the schools at Harvard the central role of the library.
My work has taken me from historical research to involvement in electronic publishing ventures to the directorship of the Harvard University Libraries. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
People sometimes announce that we have entered 'the information age' as if information did not exist in other times. I think that every age was an age of information, each in its own way and according to the available media.
People think that when you use Google you're finding exactly what you need, but really, you need expert help.
Texts are always in flux.
Thanks to modern technology, we now can deliver every text in every research library to every citizen in our country, and to everyone in the world. If we fail to do so, we are not living up to our civic duty. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The American revolutionaries believed in the power of the word. But they had only word of mouth and the printing press. We have the Internet. Power
The fact that I spend a lot of time in the 18th century doesn't mean I'm not concerned with the 21st. Time
The idea of a national digital library has been in the air for a long time, and there was a danger that some people would feel that it's their property, so to speak. Time
The notion of 'history from below' hit the history profession in England very hard around the time I came to Oxford in the early 1960s. Time ;History
We are living in one of those rare moments in history when things may come apart and be put back together again in ways that will determine the future for decades or more, despite the endless innovations of technology. Future ;History ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
We need librarians who can handle this tremendous jumble of information that is in cyberspace.
When you tell people you're in history, they give you this pained expression because that was the course they hated in high school. But history can be exciting, intellectually rigorous, and fun. History
While confronting the problems of the present, I often find myself thinking back to the world of books as it was experienced by the Founding Fathers and the philosophers of the Enlightenment.