Knowledge is under attack. In our digital age, we are drowning in information, faced with new and complex challenges around data preservation and organisation; at the same time, libraries and archives are suffering huge funding cuts, media censorship is a global phenomenon and fake news is rife. Now, more than ever, libraries have to fight for their existence.
Burning the Books is a deep thematic history of the destruction of knowledge over the last two and a half millennia, from the fire that destroyed the Library of Alexandria and the burning of Byron's papers in the name of censorship to the 1992 Serbian shelling of the Sarajevo library. But it is also a story of people and the heroic lengths they will go to preserve and rescue knowledge, and how civilisation against all the odds survives.
Richard Ovenden, the director of the Bodleian library reveals unique insights into the vital role of libraries and librarians in creating the world we live in today. Burning the Books is a timely reminder of the power of knowledge and the importance of preserving the past.