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Distinguished Lecture Series

The Distinguished Lecture Series brings eminent and influential guest speakers to Cardiff University and a wider audience to showcase their work.

The series has the specific objective of contributing to the establishment and consolidation of Cardiff's international reputation for academic impact.

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Professor Darnton

Professor Robert Darnton - Harvard University

Jefferson's Taper and the Future of Books

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In his lecture entitled Jefferson's Taper and the Future of Books, Professor Robert Darnton, illuminated the campaign to create the Digital Public Library of America: a resource that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. He traced the journey of the exchange of ideas, from Jefferson's Taper his ideal of a shared culture - to the commercialisation of the internet arguing that although the internet seems to translate Jefferson's ideal into a viable system of communication, commercial interests are exploiting digital technology in order to fence off large parts of our cultural commons. As a result, these commercial interests may dominate the future of books. He cited the campaign to create a Digital Public Library of America as an answer to that threat.

Professor Darnton is the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University and Director of the Harvard University Library. He is a leading cultural historian who is internationally recognised for his research into books, digital scholarship and French cultural history.