Spem in alium: Orchestrating preservation

[These remarks were delivered to the Preservation Administration Interest Group at the American Library Association’s 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. By way of context, it was just announced that I was taking up the position of Director for Preservation at the Library of Congress. I spoke about preservation in libraries, but I believe that these apply as well to preservation in archives, museums, and other collecting institutions.]
I worry what Emily Post might say about lecturing on semiotics at 9 in the morning on a week-end, but Richenda got me a little bit fired up the need for a critical theory of preservation last night, so I’m going to start today with Heidegger’s thoughts on early Romantic period music and food storage:

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