An academic library is a library, attached to a higher education institution which serves two complementary purposes to support the school's curriculum, to support the research of the university faculty and students. It is unknown. An academic and research portal maintained by UNESCO links to 3,785 libraries. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are an estimated 3,700 academic libraries in the United States; the support of teaching and learning requires material for student papers. In the past, the material for class readings, intended to supplement lectures as prescribed by the instructor, has been called reserves. In the period before electronic resources became available, the reserves were supplied as actual books or as photocopies of appropriate journal articles. Academic libraries must determine a focus for collection development since comprehensive collections are not feasible. Librarians do this by identifying the needs of the faculty and student body, as well as the mission and academic programs of the college or university.
When there are particular areas of specialization in academic libraries, these are referred to as niche collections. These collections are the basis of a special collection department and may include original papers and artifacts written or created by a single author or about a specific subject. There is a great deal of variation among academic libraries based on their size, resources and services; the Harvard University Library is considered to be the largest strict academic library in the world, although the Danish Royal Library—a combined national and academic library—has a larger collection. Another notable example is the University of the South Pacific which has academic libraries distributed throughout its twelve member countries; the University of California operates the largest academic library system in the world, it manages more than 34 million items in 100 libraries on ten campuses. The first colleges in the United States were intended to train members of the clergy; the libraries associated with these institutions consisted of donated books on the subjects of theology and the classics.
In 1766, Yale had 4,000 volumes, second only to Harvard. Access to these libraries was restricted to faculty members and a few students: the only staff was a part-time faculty member or the president of the college; the priority of the library was to protect the books. In 1849, Yale was open 30 hours a week, the University of Virginia was open nine hours a week, Columbia University four, Bowdoin College only three. Students instead created literary societies and assessed entrance fees in order to build a small collection of usable volumes in excess of what the university library held. Around the turn of the century, this approach began to change; the American Library Association was formed in 1876, with members including Melvil Dewey and Charles Ammi Cutter. Libraries re-prioritized in favor of improving access to materials, found funding increasing as a result of increased demand for said materials. Academic libraries today vary in regard to the extent to which they accommodate those who are not affiliated with their parent universities.
Some offer borrowing privileges to members of the public on payment of an annual fee. The privileges so obtained do not extend to such services as computer usage, other than to search the catalog, or Internet access. Alumni and students of cooperating local universities may be given discounts or other consideration when arranging for borrowing privileges. On the other hand, access to the libraries of some universities is restricted to students and staff. In this case, they may make it possible for others to borrow materials through inter-library loan programs. Libraries of land-grant universities are more accessible to the public. In some cases, they are official government document repositories and so are required to be open to the public. Still, members of the public are charged fees for borrowing privileges, are not allowed to access everything they would be able to as students. Academic libraries in Canada are a recent development in relation to other countries; the first academic library in Canada was opened in 1789 in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Academic libraries were small during the 19th century and up until the 1950s, when Canadian academic libraries began to grow as a result of greater importance being placed on education and research. The growth of libraries throughout the 1960s was a direct result of many overwhelming factors including inflated student enrollments, increased graduate programs, higher budget allowance, general advocacy of the importance of these libraries; as a result of this growth and the Ontario New Universities Library Project that occurred during the early 1960s, 5 new universities were established in Ontario that all included catalogued collections. The establishment of libraries was widespread throughout Canada and was furthered by grants provided by the Canada Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, which sought to enhance library collections. Since many academic libraries were constructed after World War Two, a majority of the Canadian academic libraries that were built before 1940 that have not been updated to modern lighting, air conditioning, etc. are either no longer in use or are on the verge of decline.
The total number of college and university libraries increased from 31 in 1959-1960 to 105 in 1969-1970. Following the growth of academic libraries in Canada during the 1960s, there was a br
Jean Augustine is a Grenadian-Canadian educational administrator, advocate for social justice, politician. Alongside caucus colleague Hedy Fry, she was one of the first two Black Canadian women elected to the House of Commons. From 1993 to 2006, Augustine was a Liberal member of the House of Commons of Canada, representing the riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore in Ontario, she served as a member of Cabinet. Before her election, she had been a school principal. Augustine served as the Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien from 1994 to 1996. Augustine was born in 1937 in Grenada, but immigrated to Canada in 1960 under the West Indian Domestic Scheme, she studied at the University of Toronto where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education. After university she worked as an elementary school principal with the Metropolitan Separate School Board in Toronto, she was actively involved in Toronto's Caribbean community, sitting on the first committee to organize the Caribana Festival in 1967.
She has become engaged in numerous organizations for education and social justice, serving with the National Black Coalition of Canada, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, the Board of Governors of York University, the Board of Trustees for The Hospital for Sick Children, the Board of Directors of the Donwood Institute, the Board of Harbourfront, Chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority. She was named National President of the Congress of Black Women of Canada in 1987. In the 1993 federal election, Augustine became the first Black Canadian woman elected to the Parliament of Canada. In February 2002, Augustine was elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. While in office, Jean Augustine was responsible for championing legislation to recognize February as Black History Month in Canada with a unanimous vote of 305–0; this statement allowed Canadians to honour their Black history during the same time that their Americans had for generations. Augustine was the first Black Canadian woman appointed to the federal cabinet.
On May 26, 2002, Augustine was appointed Secretary of State. In December 2003, she was re-appointed to the new Cabinet as Minister of State. In 2004, she was appointed to the position of Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole, making her the first Black Canadian to occupy the Speaker's Chair in the Canadian House of Commons. Augustine was the founding chair of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population & Development, chair of the National Sugar Caucus, chair of the Micro-credit Summit Council of Canadian Parliamentarians, chair of the Canada-Slovenia Parliamentary Group, chair of the Canada–Africa Parliamentary Group. On November 28, 2005, Augustine announced her intention to retire from the House, saying that she would not be a candidate in the 2006 Canadian election, she endorsed Liberal Michael Ignatieff to succeed her. In 2007, Augustine was nominated by the Government of Ontario to become the first Fairness Commissioner, a position created to advocate for Canadians with foreign professional credentials.
Augustine retired from the position of Fairness Commissioner in March 2015. In 2007, Augustine donated her personal records to the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University. "Pushing buttons, pushing stories" is a digital exhibit of Augustine's personal political buttons. In 2008, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education was established in the Faculty of Education at York University. Augustine was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from University of Toronto. In 2009, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from McGill University. In 2017, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Trent University, she has received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, the Kay Livingstone Award, the Ontario Volunteer Award, the Pride Newspaper Achievement Award, the Rubena Willis Special Recognition Award, the Toronto Lions' Club Onyx Award. In 2009, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada "for her distinguished career as an educator and advocate for social justice in Canada", she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to education and politics.
The Jean Augustine Scholarship Fund was named for her. It assists single mothers to undertake post-secondary study at George Brown College. Jean Augustine Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario is named for her. Toronto District School Board Girls’ Leadership Academy. How'd They Vote?: Jean Augustine's voting history and quotes Jean Augustine – Parliament of Canada biography Jean Augustine archives held at the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University Libraries, Ontario "Pushing buttons, pushing stories"
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Archibald MacLeish was an American poet and writer, associated with the modernist school of poetry. MacLeish studied English at law at Harvard University, he saw action during the First World War and lived in Paris in the 1920s. On returning to the US, he contributed to Henry Luce's magazine Fortune from 1929 to 1938. For five years MacLeish was Librarian of Congress, a post he accepted at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. From 1949 to 1962, MacLeish was Boylston Professor of Oratory at Harvard University. MacLeish was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his work. MacLeish was born in Illinois, his father, Scottish-born Andrew MacLeish, worked as a dry goods merchant and was a founder of the Chicago department store, Carson Pirie Scott. His mother, was a college professor and had served as president of Rockford College, he grew up on an estate bordering Lake Michigan. He attended the Hotchkiss School from 1907 to 1911. For his college education, MacLeish went to Yale University, where he majored in English, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, was selected for the Skull and Bones society.
He enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. His studies were interrupted by World War I, in which he served first as an ambulance driver and as an artillery officer, he fought at the Second Battle of the Marne. His brother, Kenneth MacLeish was killed in action during the war, he graduated from law school in 1919, taught law for a semester for the government department at Harvard worked as an editor for The New Republic. He next spent three years practicing law with the Boston firm Hall & Stewart. MacLeish expressed his disillusion with war in his poem Memorial Rain, published in 1926. In 1923 MacLeish left his law firm and moved with his wife to Paris, where they joined the community of literary expatriates that included such members as Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, they became part of the famed coterie of Riviera hosts Gerald and Sarah Murphy, which included Hemingway, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Fernand Léger, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, John O'Hara, Cole Porter, Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley.
He returned to America in 1928. From 1930 to 1938 he worked as a writer and editor for Henry Luce's Fortune magazine, during which he became politically active with anti-fascist causes. By the 1930s, he considered Capitalism to be "symbolically dead" and wrote the verse play Panic in response. While in Paris, Harry Crosby, publisher of the Black Sun Press, offered to publish MacLeish's poetry. Both MacLeish and Crosby had overturned the normal expectations of society, rejecting conventional careers in the legal and banking fields. Crosby published MacLeish's long poem Einstein in a deluxe edition of 150 copies. MacLeish was paid US$200 for his work. In 1932, MacLeish published his long poem Conquistador which presents Cortés's conquest of the Aztecs as symbolic of the American experience. In 1933, Conquistador was awarded the first of three awarded to MacLeish. In 1938 MacLeish published as a book a long poem "Land of the Free", built around a series of 88 photographs of the rural depression by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn and the Farm Security Administration and other agencies.
The book was influential on Steinbeck in writing The Grapes of Wrath. American Libraries has called MacLeish "one of the hundred most influential figures in librarianship during the 20th century" in the United States. MacLeish's career in libraries and public service began, not with an internal desire, but from a combination of the urging of a close friend Felix Frankfurter, as MacLeish put it, "The President decided I wanted to be Librarian of Congress." Franklin D. Roosevelt's nomination of MacLeish was a controversial and political maneuver fraught with several challenges. MacLeish sought support from expected places such as the president of Harvard, MacLeish's current place of work, but found none, it was support from unexpected places, such as M. Llewellyn Raney of the University of Chicago libraries, which alleviated the ALA letter writing campaign against MacLeish's nomination." The main Republican arguments against MacLeish's nomination from within Congress was: that he was a poet and was a "fellow traveler" or sympathetic to communist causes.
Calling to mind differences with the party he had over the years, MacLeish avowed that, "no one would be more shocked to learn I am a Communist than the Communists themselves." In Congress MacLeish's main advocate was Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley, Democrat from Kentucky. With President Roosevelt's support and Senator Barkley's skillful defense in the United States Senate, victory in a roll call vote with sixty-three Senators voting in favor of MacLeish's appointment was achieved. MacLeish was sworn in as Librarian of Congress on July 10, 1939, by the local postmaster at Conway, Massachusetts. MacLeish became privy to Roosevelt's views on the library during a private meeting with the president. According to Roosevelt, the pay levels were too low and many people would need to be removed. Soon afterward, MacLeish joined the retiring Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam for a luncheon in New York. At the meeting, Putnam relayed his intention to continue working at the Library, that he would be given the title of Librarian Emeritus and that his office would be down the hall from MacLeish's.
This meeting further crystallized for MacLeish that as Librarian of Congress, he would be "an unpopular newcomer, disturbing the status quo." It was a question from MacLeish's daughter, which led him to realize that, "Nothing
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
Archives of Ontario
The Archives of Ontario are the archives for the province of Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1903 as the Bureau of Archives, the archives are now under the responsibility of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services; the main offices of the archive are located at York University in Toronto. The Bureau of Archives, as it was known, was first located in the Ontario Legislative Building, under the leadership of Alexander Fraser, a prominent Scottish-born Toronto journalist and militia officer who held the position of Provincial Archivist from 1903 to 1935. During his tenure, Fraser remained a prolific author and amongst other things prepared annual reports for publication describing progress in making records available to the public, presenting the full texts of major document collections, he summarized his vision for the scope and work of the Archives in a paper he presented to the American Historical Association at Buffalo in 1911. In it he described the popularity of the Archives annual report volumes amongst historians and members of the public.
It is ironic that the publications issued over the course of Fraser's career to fulfill the Archives mandate are blocked from Internet access by Crown copyright. In the Depression era, the Archives was put on a precarious footing by Premier Mitch Hepburn's desire to close it down as a cost-cutting measure. Fraser was targeted for retirement and his assistant James J. Talman became acting head while tasked with heading the Legislative Library. Talman was able to save the Archives by agreeing to move its office and collections to basement vaults. Talman took new employment as Chief Librarian at the University of Western Ontario, where he started an archives collection that became the Regional History Division at UWO. Fraser's private papers as Provincial Archivist found their first home there; the Ontario Archives was not returned to a solid footing until the late 1940s under Helen McClung. The Archives moved to the Canadiana Building on the University of Toronto campus in 1951, at which time it was known as the Department of Public Records and Archives.
During the period the Archives was located there, staff archivists, including Edwin Guillet, became well known for their research work in support of the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board - which placed historical site plaques throughout the province - and for preparation of historical surveys of many regions of the province that were published as part of a series of volumes describing the work of conservation authorities in Ontario - restricted from Internet access by Crown copyright. The Archives relocated to 77 Grenville Street in 1972 and its name was changed to the Archives of Ontario; the reading room at the Grenville building closed on March 26, 2009 as part of the move to new facilities in North York. The official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Archives of Ontario building on the York University grounds, which houses the York University Research Tower, was on April 30, 2007; the groundbreaking was attended by former Minister of Government Services Gerry Phillips and former York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna Marsden.
The building was opened to the public on April 2, 2009 and is expected to be the site of the Archives for at least the next thirty-five years. In addition to preserving the records of the Ontario government, the Archives has from the outset sought records of private individuals and organizations that reflect Ontario's history. In the words of Alexander Fraser, "The Province has been so long neglected that when I undertook to organize the department I decided that the most valuable service I could render to the public was to acquire, to collect, safely preserve whatever material I could find, believing the day would soon come when the value of such material would be realized and the necessary office assistance provided to enable me to make the accumulated archives conveniently accessible to the public." Notable private records include the fonds of Eaton's, Conn Smythe, Moriyama and Teshima Architects. The head of the Archives has been known as the Archivist of Ontario since 1923, prior to that they were known as the Provincial Archivist.
Nicholas A. Basbanes
Nicholas Andrew Basbanes is an American author who writes and lectures about books and book culture. His subjects have included the "eternal passion for books". Nicholas Basbanes is the son of two first-generation Greek-Americans, he graduated from Lowell High School in 1961, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1965. Following a year of graduate study at Pennsylvania State University, he did research for his master's thesis in Washington, D. C. entered U. S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, he attended the Defense Information School in the spring of 1968 and received his master's degree in journalism in 1969 while serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany during the first of two combat deployments he made to Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of Vietnam. Discharged from active duty in 1971, Basbanes went to work as a general assignment reporter for The Evening Gazette in Worcester, specializing in investigative journalism.
In 1978, he was appointed books editor of a sister publication, the Worcester Sunday Telegram, a full-time position that included writing a weekly column for which he would interview more than a thousand authors over the next twenty-one years. When Basbanes left the newspaper in 1991 to complete his first book, he continued writing the column and distributed it through Literary Features Syndicate, an agency that he formed that placed it in more than thirty publications nationwide. Two selections of his literary journalism were collected in Editions & Impressions and About the Author. Basbanes' first book, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles and the Eternal Passion for Books, was published in 1995, it has since appeared in eight hardcover editions and more than twenty paperback printings, surprising figures for a work of nonfiction whose topic was dismissed as too arcane for a general readership by many New York editors who had passed on the opportunity to publish it. Its topic is book collecting, but its focus is human nature – what Basbanes calls the "gentle madness" of bibliomania.
Of the many people profiled in A Gentle Madness, none has created more interest than Stephen Blumberg, arguably the most accomplished book thief of the twentieth century, to this day a subject of fascination for the bizarre methods he used to steal volumes from more than three hundred libraries in North America. A Gentle Madness was named a New York Times notable book of the year, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction for1995. In 2010, the Wall Street Journal named it one of the most influential works about book collecting published in the twentieth century. In 2012, an updated paperback edition and a new electronic version of the book were published. By 2003, with the publication of A Splendor of Letters, Basbanes was acknowledged as a leading authority on books and book culture. One reviewer commented, "No other writer has traced the history of the book so or so engagingly," and Yale University Press chose him to write its 2008 centennial history, A World of Letters, which chronicled the inside stories of its classic books from conception to production.
Basbanes' ninth book, On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History, is not only a consideration of paper as a principal medium for the transmission of text over the past ten centuries, but a wider examination of the ubiquitous material itself. The eight-year project, released in October 2013, was supported in part by the award of a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship in 2008, it was named a notable book by the American Library Association. In addition to his books, Basbanes writes for numerous newspapers and journals, he writes the "Gently Mad" column for Fine Books & Collections magazine, lectures on book-related subjects. In July 2015, Basbanes received one of the inaugural grants from the Public Scholar program, a major new initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities, for his work-in-progress, Cross of Snow: The Love Story and Lasting Legacy of American Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; the Public Scholar program is designed to promote the publication of scholarly nonfiction books for general audiences.
The Cushing Memorial Library and Archives of Texas A&M University acquired Basbanes' papers as the Nicholas A. Basbanes Collection in December 2015; the collection includes archives of Basbanes' professional career as an author and literary journalist, as well as a significant portion of his personal library. Highlights of the collection include research materials related to the writing of his nine books and eight hundred books inscribed to him over the course of his career. On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013 About the Author: Inside the Creative Process, Durham, NC: Fine Books Press, 2010 A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008 Editions & Impressions: Twenty Years on the Book