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Rare book curator Daniel Traister defends the keeping of ‘unread books’ in upcoming lecture
Rare book curator Daniel Traister defends the keeping of ‘unread books’ in upcoming lectureMarch 14, 2007Pamela McLaughlinpwmclaug@syr.edu
Daniel Traister, curator of reader services in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Dietrich Library, will give the presentation “Who Is John Galt?” on Friday, March 30, at 4 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of E.S. Bird Library.
His talk, sponsored by the Syracuse University Seminar in the History of the Book, is free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in the Marion lot.
The John Galt who is the topic of Traister’s lecture is not the Ayn Rand character from “Atlas Shrugged,” but rather an early 19th-century Scottish novelist, dramatist and “man of letters” — a representative of now-forgotten dead writers. What are their books good for? Why do they lumber our shelves? Traister suggests “sometimes it is from such lumber that new houses get built.”
A graduate of Colby College, Traister earned a master’s degree at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in English literature at New York University. He has worked at The Library Company of Philadelphia, the Bodleian Library (Oxford University), Lehigh University, The New York Public Library and, since 1982, at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also teaches English literature. He has published and spoken frequently about literature and librarianship.
The History of the Book Seminar Series at Syracuse University is sponsored by the University Library, the School of Information Studies and The College of Arts and Sciences.