- The Public Library Movement, the Digital Library Movement, and the Large-Scale Digitization Initiative: Assumptions, Intentions, and the Role of the Public
- Information & Culture: A Journal of History
- University of Texas Press
- Volume 52, Number 2, 2017
- pp. 229-263
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This article compares and contrasts the assumptions and motivations behind the American public library movement in the nineteenth century to the assumptions and motivations behind the digital library movement of the 1990s and early 2000s. It suggests that although the motivations between these two initiatives were starkly different, their motivations dovetail within the more recent phenomenon of large-scale digitization of the sort pursued by the Google Books Library Project and the Internet Archive. The article also interrogates the role of the public (or lack thereof) in the initial shaping of all three phenomena: public libraries, digital libraries, and large-scale digitization initiatives.