Preserving Brontë – What do we lose when we no longer have paper?


It was one of the best things I ever worked on at the Morgan; perhaps one of the best things I’ve ever worked on. I couldn’t quite get over the fact that I was working on a letter that Charlotte Brontë had written with her own hands. She had selected the paper, dipped her pen in that brown ink; her hand had moved across the page in direct connection with her thoughts. Letters are such intimate things, even when the subject matter is unremarkable. All that lay between Charlotte’s mind and my own was the mere matter of 150 years.

I’m not a luddite, but surely digital creation doesn’t have the same historical nuances which bring this level of pleasure? I’m glad, like with everything, there is room for more than one way of doing things

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