Holding History Podcast
Season 1: Episode 3
What Makes a Personal Archive Special?
“I can’t tell the story of my own life to myself without thinking about my shelves and my books.”
In this episode, we talk with Suzanne Akbari, author, and professor of medieval studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
But there’s more! In addition to Suzanne’s staggering scholarly output and engaging public writing, she is also the co-host of the award-winning podcast, The Spouter-Inn.
With Suzanne, we get into the personal archive. The conversation moves between personal practices (how we arrange our shelves) and historical practices (how have centuries before maintained private collections). Through this a paradox arises, how can a personal archive be accessed by, and shared with, others?
If you enjoyed this conversation, listen to the Spouter-Inn episode on Monkey Beach, browse the PIMS conspectus, read Edward Wilson Lee’s The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books, learn more about the Mogao Caves, and view the Liber Floridus.
A transcript of this episode can be accessed here.
This episode’s Bookish Word, etymythology, was created by UW-Madison graduate students Francesca Bua and Arielle Raymos.
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