Will your library continue to purchase paper newspapers?
At a time when the home delivery of the paper New York Times is rising to nearly $200/year (depending on location and a variety of discounts) and a petition is being widely circulated to stop the freezing the largest historical paper collections in the world (webpage), we seem to be at a precipice in our need or appreciation for paper, in its many formats.
At the same time, those living in the New York area can pick up around two dozen free paper newspapers focused on neighborhoods and/or social groups (is anyone collecting them?) And the most interesting art exhibition of the weekend involves the intersection of newspaper text (specifically from the New York Times) and painting. Three of the eight works by Fred Tomaselli (born 1956) shown at James Cohan’s Gallery are pictured here digitally, better seen in the original.
These are disparate topics, that do seem to relate.
“In early 2020, the management of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Den Haag) made the decision that its famous paper historical collection will no longer be a “core domain” and thus be terminated in terms of curatorship. Starting in January 2021 the second largest paper collection in the world will be without an active curatorship and without further collection development, i.e. no more acquisitions of relevant objects and specialist literature. While the collection will be stored and available, ongoing and future research will be frozen.”
Perhaps this is one of many collections that no longer have the benefit of curatorial control, perhaps that is another issue. It does seem to be a moment when we are re-evaluating the importance of paper within special collections and in our lives.