The Colgate Scene
March 2000
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A Shakespeare folio from 1623
From grunting and pointing, communication has evolved. Storytellers bridging generations around smoky fires. Paint on cave walls. Ocher on papyrus. Wandering minstrels spreading topical views, resolute monks laboriously transcribing heavenly texts. Moveable type. Cathode rays. Even against this backdrop of constant change it is difficult to imagine the university without books. Recorded history, organized reference, the art of language preserved. From the textured linen pages of Shakespeare's 1623 folio to sumptuous leather-bound first editions, books contain more than ideas. They are a comfort, a décor, a resource, a memory. Library stacks, professors' shelves, nightstand piles. Today, possibilities seem even more limitless than they must have for Gutenburg. The evolution continues, whither books? JH

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