Lodge Libraries

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by tomasball, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Wayfarer

    Wayfarer Registered User

    The main problem with digital media is one can't open 8 or 10 books, spread them around, and use them as reference simultaneously when writing papers or taking notes. It is very difficult to glance from book to book to book or have those serendipitous moments when themes fortuitously emerge from comparing passages in different works while flipping through them. Digital books are useful, but impose a different mode of thought than the printed word, just as the printed word cannot replicate the forms of knowledge involved in an oral culture -- Socrates thought an important element of knowledge was lost when it was put down in writing and not imparted mouth to ear (a reason why most of the great teachers of the ancient world wrote nothing permanent).

    Writing and printing took away memory; electronic media further constricts the forms of reasoning possible opened up by the printed word. It's better to have all three: oral culture; printed culture; and electronic culture.
  2. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    I've proposed the idea of building a library to my lodge brothers, and I think the idea is growing on them. For research purposes, I think it's important that we digitalize our older manuscripts and books before they're altogether forgotten. Preston and Webb material, Moore's Trestleboard, information from the Baltimore Masonic convention, etc. I was discussing these topics with a brother recently, and he has books I would kill to find, yet they're nowhere to be found on most of my usual sites.

    Edit: I also agree with wayfarer. When writing a research paper or just chasing down a particular topic of interest, I find it invaluable to have my books splayed out before me. Can't really do that on a Kindle, nook, etc. Adobe Reader on dual monitors is about the closest I've come to that.

    To be fair to digital media, the ability to search a pdf instantaneously for a given word is invaluable. Why spend hours searching through a book for a section on your interest, when a 2 second digital search will tell you it's not to be found? ;)
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  3. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    This is a great idea. On top of all that sometimes when you open and old book you can almost smell the history contained within it. I love the old books. The look and the feel of the workmanship that went into it is something you don't find today. When I am using electronic format I love my Linux because I have multiple desktops to "spread" everything out on.

    Sent from my iPhone using Freemasonry

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