- Apr 2022
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Cook, Trevor. “Review: Blair, Ann M. Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. Pp. Xv, 397. ISBN 978-0-300-11251-1 (Hardcover) $45.” Renaissance and Reformation 33, no. 4 (December 12, 2011): 109–11. https://doi.org/10.33137/rr.v33i4.15975.
Note that they've accidentally used the word "in" instead of "Before" in the title of the book.
The bookitself participates in the history it recounts: it has a title page, table of contents,footnotes, a bibliography and an index to assist the reader, while the digitalcopy enables the reader to search for individual words and phrases as well asto copy-and-paste without disfiguring a material object.
Some scholars study annotations as part of material culture. Are they leaving out too much by solely studying those physically left in the books about which they were made, or should we instead also be looking at other sources like commonplace books, notebooks, note cards, digital spaces like e-readers that allow annotation, social media where texts are discussed, or even digital marginalia in services like Hypothes.is or Perusall?
Some of these forms of annotation allow a digital version of cut and paste which doesn't cause damage to the original text, which should be thought of as a good thing though it may separate the annotations from the original physical object.