New PARcast, "Research Libraries: the Viewpoint of a Scholar Poet," now available

Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at the University of St Andrews, and well-known poet, talks with John MacColl about scholarship, the importance of digitized archives and the inspiration his poetry derives from new technologies.

The discussion includes details about the scholarship which supported "Scotland's Books," a recently published book about the history of Scottish literature, and a forthcoming biography of Robert Burns. Also included is Robert's description of the importance of digitized archives as well as the pleasure of working with paper in archives such as that at St Andrews, with hundreds of years' worth of undigitized materila still to be charted.

In addition, Robert discusses the inspiration his poetry derives from new technologies, which is nonetheless inflicted by anxiety about the loss of democratic access to the works which form a common heritage, and the uncritical adoption of the virtual world in preference to a natural world which needs our urgent attention. He finishes by reading his recent poem, "The Digital Library, St Andrews."

This is the ninth podcast in our continuing series of interviews in which we ask the question, "What's keeping you awake at night?" of people we come across in our travels who are thinking ahead, worrying about the next big issue or imagining the next big thing. It is availble online on the OCLC Programs and Research PARcast page and in the iTunes Store.

For more information:

John MacColl
European Director, RLG Programs
OCLC Programs and Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Programs and Research