Sign of the Times

May Berenbaum, the chair of UI’s entomology department, with her library of printed scientific articles on the way to the recycle bin. May’s literature collection is now entirely electronic.


photo details:
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L lens on a Canon EOS 7D
ISO 100, f/4, 1/160 sec, indirect strobe bounced off ceiling

12 thoughts on “Sign of the Times”

  1. Wow, incredible piles of work!

    Ooof, I know how that feels. My editor was extremely insistent that I take as many boxes of my published papers as I could with me. Hopefully, when things become more electronic, they become available to anyone who wants that particular information.

  2. I am a slave to paper. There. I said it. How am I supposed to highlight things and jot meaningful scribbles in the margins if I don’t have paper??? (Don’t say “use the highlighter and comment tools on your pdf reader”…it’s not the same, darnit.)

  3. Yes, I prefer hard copies of my work as well. When my teachers put up their readings on the school website in pdf form, I simply print them out. That way, they’ll be accessible in class as well as on my laptop. That, and I’m too lazy to scroll up and down.

  4. I did as May did with a lot of my reprint collection, too. Didn’t have to move it and find a place for it in the new house (or at the office) that way, and (virtually) all is available online. I’ve never done a lot of scribbling in the margins, so I don’t miss that.

    1. May is ageless and timeless. Perhaps those are the very same jeans worn back in 1978 in Cornell grad school; they do look familiar.

  5. Three cheers for May! If I could get all of the paper out of my life, I’d be ecstatic.

    A friend of mine actually cuts up his old books, scans them, and makes PDFs out of them. Sometimes I wish I had his patience and his fortitude; it would be hard for me to do, but not because I love holding a book that much. It’s just that it would take SOOooo much time … but unfortunately, the mere fact of already owning a book in hardcopy doesn’t permit you to download it without further charge from an e-bookstore. Drat.

  6. I’m with May and James Trager and with others about moving to the PDF and on-line stuff but I do like to highlight and writing in the margins — my PDF files do not allow me to do so on them…but I sometimes use OneNote to write up my comments, etc. in journal format which I find helpful…

    May Berenbaum also has a neat book out : The Earwig’s Tail: a modern bestiary of multi-legged legends…worth a look (2009. Harvard University Press)

  7. Pingback: Browsing the tables of contents | Small Pond Science

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