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Robert DarntonRobert Darnton, the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and librarian at Harvard University, will wrap up the Humanities Center Distinguished Lecture Series at on Wednesday, April 1, speaking about the future of books and libraries in today’s digital world.

Known as a pioneer in the history of the book, Darnton will present a talk titled “Books, Libraries and the Digital Future.” The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of John C. Hodges Library. It is free and open to the public.

Darnton contends that—contrary to assumptions that they will become obsolete—books and libraries will become increasingly important in the digital future. One way to increase their importance, he says, is to democratize access to knowledge.

The Digital Public Library of America, which went online in April 2013, exemplifies the possibilities of democratization. It aims to make America’s cultural heritage available free of charge to everyone in the world.

Darnton graduated from Phillips Academy and Harvard University and received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

He worked briefly as a reporter at the New York Times and then joined the faculty at Princeton University. In 2007 he attained emeritus status at Princeton and took his current positions at Harvard.

He serves as a trustee of the New York Public Library and the Oxford University Press. He also has served as president of the American Historical Association.

Darnton was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1982. He received the National Humanities Medal conferred by President Obama in 2012 and the Del Duca World Prize in the Humanities from the Institut de France in 2013.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,