Columbia Library columns (v.9(1959Nov-1960May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.9,no.2(1960:Feb): Page 3  


Why I Am Presenting My
Papers to Columbia


Ren]arks at the presentation in Low Memorial Library, on Jamiary
18, i960, at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Columbia

" R. BARRETT, Mr. Kirk, and .Mr. Barzun, thank you
for being here, and thank all of the Friends of the
Libraries for being here, and for being "friends."
I hope I am one of those myself. I do not want to talk very long—
I am here merely to present these so-called "papers" (the word
embarrasses me a little bit) to the Libraries of the University. Let
me explain: the word "papers" sounds rather formal; it sounds as
if—well, for one thing, as if I had lived in another century.

I mean to present them, but to say first a few things about them,
chiefly by way of making it clear how simple the reason is that
they exist, how simple the reason is that I am giving them to

They exist because I am afraid of fire. About thirty-five years
ago I began to be aware that some copies of things I had written,
lying around my house, might burn if the house burned, and it
occurred to me to take them to my office in Hamilton Hall, which
is a relatively fireproof building. I took them there, put them in

  v.9,no.2(1960:Feb): Page 3