Volume 47, number 1 (February-March 2012)

Editorial: Changes to the Journal

By William Aspray

pp. 1 - 3


This issue witnesses a number of changes for the journal: a new title, a new scope of coverage, and a new editor. For the past six years, Libraries & the Cultural Record has principally focused on library history but occasionally covered other topics that fall under what the previous editor, David Gracy, calls the history of the "information domain."

Rabelais and Saint-Victor’s Revisited

By Brett Bodemer

pp. 4 - 17


The seventh chapter of François Rabelais’ Pantagruel concludes with a list of books attributed to the Abbey of Saint-Victor. The chapter’s brief narrative foregrounds the catalog by touching on aspects of intellectual life in Paris, mentioning both the “great University of Paris” and “the seven liberal arts.” It is not surprising, then, that critics have viewed the catalog as a broad critique of scholasticism. Evidence presented here warrants the addition of a further layer of nuance to this critique, directly related to this Abbey’s contributions to education, reading, textual organization, and library classification.

Playpens for Mind Children: Continuities in the Practice of Programming

By Patricia Galloway

pp. 38 - 78


Like most activities, the practice of computer programming involves real people trying to get their work done, and it has a complicated, if relatively short, history in its modern manifestation. This article addresses some of the early computer science discussions of programming and theories about how it should proceed. It closes with a discussion of the more recent turn to so-called agile methods, demonstrating that some of the problems and practices of computer programming demonstrate a remarkable continuity over forty years in spite of much-promoted new approaches and changes in the computing environment.

The Origin of College Libraries in North Carolina: A Social History, 1890–1920

By Patrick Valentine

pp. 79 - 112


The creation of academic libraries at the end of the nineteenth century was a fundamental element in the rapid growth of higher education in the United States. This was the period when college and university libraries began their transformation from book depositories into centers of information retrieval, access, and dissemination. Academic libraries, however, have seldom been studied on a statewide or regional basis. Using a state as the basis of investigation provides a suitable set of examples for comparative analysis and historical insight. North Carolina is a good illustration of academic library development because it was neither first nor last in this process of transformation. The state also enjoys a wealth of archival materials about academic libraries, which facilitates their examination against a scholarly background of local and national research.

The Lambeth Palace Library: England’s First Public Library

By Norman Stevens

pp. 113 - 115


As every librarian knows, libraries typically have suffered in times of cultural, political, or social unrest. The danger that books, libraries, and reading are felt to present against those who have power, or seek to gain power, too often leads to irreparable losses in the cultural record. The Lambeth Palace Library, which was established in 1610 in the will of Richard Bancroft (1544-1610), archbishop of Canterbury, survived possible destruction early in its life, flourished until the 1930s, and was then resurrected after the building was badly damaged by German bombs during World War II.

Collaboration in Art and in Science: Approaches to Attribution, Authorship, and Acknowledgment

By Blaise Cronin

pp. 18 - 37


What does it mean to author or coauthor a scholarly paper or a painting? What conditions have to be fulfilled for authorship status to be granted? Must every researcher on a massively coauthored, high-energy physics paper have penned at least n words to warrant the appellation "coauthor"? Is the touch of the artist necessary for authorship to be granted, or is conceiving and superintending the production of the work sufficient? What kinds and scale of contributions warrant acknowledgment? This article explores authorship and attribution practices in the sciences and in the world of art.

This issue can be found on Project MUSE