Preservation and Destruction

The complexity of the problems which may arise when the collection and organization of research material is envisaged as a whole is instanced in a memorandum on the destruction of documents prepared by Professor N.S.B. Gras, which develops the thesis that “destruction is the necessary correlation to preservation. If repositories keep on growing, there may […]

New Tools for Men of Letters: The Lost Paragraphs

New Tools for Men of Letters: The Lost Paragraphs

Binkley’s essay “New Tools for Men of Letters”, published in the Yale Review in 1935,1 is the work that has gained the most attention among digital humanities scholars today. The published version was based on a 32-page memorandum that Binkley wrote for the Joint Committee on Materials for Research in November, 1934, under the title […]

A 1938 Family Letter

A 1938 Family Letter

This is a letter from Robert C. Binkley to his family in California. It was written toward the end of the 1937-38 academic year, when he was a visiting professor at Columbia. His office (assuming Fayerweather Hall has not been renumbered) still belongs to a history professor. The letter is his contribution to the “circulate”, […]

Where all this is leading

Now that I’m almost finished writing about the summer of 1929 (Bob’s annus mirabilis), and I’m pressing ahead with scanning Binkley’s papers from the early ’30s, I’m getting a clearer idea of where I want to take my research. My big question is: how did Binkley develop the ideas about research, publishing, and amateur scholarship […]

Barnwoggler's Invention: Binkley Anticipates Bush

Barnwoggler’s Invention: Binkley Anticipates Bush

RCB in the Hoover Library, 1925. Insofar as documentary reproduction was concerned, the decade 1936-1946 might appropriately be termed from Binkley to Bush.1 So Vernon Tate described the history of American documentation from Robert C. Binkley’s Manual on Methods of Reproducing Research Materials, which laid out the process and economics of microfilm and near-print publication, […]