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Article contents

The importance of museum collections in paleobiology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2016

Warren D. Allmon
Affiliation:
Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, New York 14850. E-mail: wda1@cornell.edu
Corresponding
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Extract

For most people, the destruction of books has universally come to be thought of as a symbol of barbarity (e.g., Eco 1983). The burning of the library in Louvain, Belgium, by the German army in 1914 was, for example, seen around the world not only as an act of terror but also as an act against posterity (Tuchman 1962). Nazi book-burning is a virtual icon of anti-intellectualism and social malignancy (Rose 2001). The 1992 destruction of the main library in Sarajevo, the Vijecnica, during the Balkan war (which took place 78 years to the day after the destruction of the library in Louvain) was seen by many as one of that conflict's most tragic incidents (see Riedlmayer 1996; Zeco 1996; Basbanes 2003). Even if we justifiably bemoan the anti-intellectualism of much of modern society, Western culture at its best cherishes books and libraries as symbols of civilization, humanity, and intellectual freedom.

Type
Matter of the Record
Copyright
Copyright © The Paleontological Society 

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