Friday, August 14, 2009

How good we have it

For all of the problems computers can give us, consider this. I've been processing a collection called the Registry of Noteworthy Research in Pathology, a compilation of personal papers, lab experiments, photos, correspondence, and so on of pathologists of note. Among them is Esmond R. Long, who published A History of Pathology in 1928 and A History of American Pathology in 1962 (among other books). In a letter to his publisher about the expected size of a new book, he asks if the publisher wants the Notes at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. He wants the publisher to, "Please decide now, so that I can number the pages accordingly." For us, in our cut-and-paste world and automatic renumbering, not a big deal, but for his 400-page book, I'd say it would be a pretty big inconvenience.

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