Ann Blair


On her book Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age

Cover Interview of July 05, 2011


Examining the working methods of scholars in the 16th and 17th centuries, as they faced an overabundance of books on a hitherto unprecedented scale, can help us see ourselves in a long history of managing information.

We still rely on techniques devised in the middle ages and the early modern period even as we develop new digital tools as well.

Some techniques with a long history (like alphabetization) may become obsolete as others take their place.  And yet, through all the changes underway and still to come, I hope that we will continue to cultivate the qualities of mind that have always been at the root of intellectual reflection: human attention and memory and well-honed judgment.

© 2011 Ann Blair