An academic librarian and scholar of historical book banning debriefs after his third trip to visit the holdings of Harvard’s Houghton Library — including rare books that once appeared on the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books.
Are admissions policies at the world’s most exclusive colleges fair? How do they even determine what “fair” is? And does this presence or absence of fairness affect our intellectual freedom?
As an academic librarian with a deep interest in historical and contemporary book censorship, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my vacation than with the very books deemed too dangerous to read. This post is my first dispatch as a visiting fellow in publishing history at the Houghton Library, Harvard’s main repository of rare books and manuscripts.