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Re: [BKARTS] Degrees and Bushwacking [quite short]



>I'm a bit startled by the amount of animosity I've seen directed on this
>list towards academically-employed conservators -- I had no idea the book
>arts were so riven by town-gown prejudices.

They are not simply prejudices.

I worked at one time for a wealthy private scholar, neither town nor
gown. He left his estate to a major university and I went along with
it. Shortly before dying he said that he had made a mistake in his
choice of beneficiary and that I would find the experience
"interesting". You have to load that word with all the irony it is
capable of bearing. He was right. The place was hopelessly corrupt,
and should have been shut down in spite of the qualities and
achievements of many of the individuals it sheltered. It bore and
bears still a heavy responsibility for the conservation of many of
the worst features of the social and intellectual structures of the
country in which it is located.

Until well into the nineteenth century, most universities were
devoted primarily to the production of priests and other servants of
the establishment. They have developed dramatically since then, and
have assumed the role of primary and universal providers of
knowledge. They have not yet come of age in this capacity and I am
myself doubt, through two decades of experience rather than
prejudice, that they ever will.

AB

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