A tension between Morris and me (more of a comic routine, really) is that I’m always throwing out things in which he sees value. By value, I mean value for posterity. For instance, this summer I purged the filing cabinet in my office of files for some old Blake Quarterly issues, much to his dismay. We joke that at least I don’t work in rare books (The Gutenberg Bible? That old thing? I put it in the bin last week).
But now I’ve done something that even Morris doesn’t object to—a while ago I thinned our stock of back issues from an entire downstairs storeroom
to a single bookcase outside my office
Previously every issue had its own box; now there’s a box for each volume (four issues). In a post in March 2015 I mentioned the coming of this day, and indeed the online repository of back issues has reduced the need for a large number of hard copies. In thinking about this post last night I planned to add that I hadn’t received a request for a hard-copy issue in months; of course that thought tempted fate and I got an inquiry today from an institution that would like a complete run, the holy grail of back-issue trading.
In related news, items from our 1960s issues (which have been in the online repository since June) now have links in our index. The index had been somewhat selective about the 1960s, as it’s harder to classify pieces from the earliest issues—as a rule I don’t index news items, but some early news items and queries are worthy of inclusion. So along with the links I was adding entries as well. That means the index is completely up to date, as least until the 1970s issues go online. Hallelujah.