Saturday, April 04, 2009

William James Barrow, paper preservation pioneer

I was just asked if I'm related to William James Barrow, a pioneer in research into paper preservation, and that reminds me of a story. Back in the Sixties I was attending Bowling Green State University and wondering about family genealogy. I went to the public library and checked some of their resources, finding a William James Barrow listed. I got really excited, as that was my father' name, until I saw that it was some fellow in Virginia who studied paper acidification. Boooring, I decided. This was the Sixties, remember, and everything had to be relevant to Saving the World, not old paper, so I rejected that as something I'd ever care about. Now, of course, I'm Special Collections Librarian at the Cleveland State University Library, and very much concerned with old paper preservation. This is one of all too many examples of how I should have kept my mouth shut in my youth, as I'm eating those words today.

Labels: ,