Getting Away With History

“A thief who steals rare books and manuscripts is a specter haunting our libraries. And unlike graduate students, researchers, and others who hope to gain from the scholarship libraries make available, the thief aims to profit from the money that irreplaceable pieces of cultural history can bring on the market. Those who steal rare material from libraries commit a different kind of larceny than their bank-robbing counterparts: The items they take have both monetary and cultural value. This sentiment was noted by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who presided over the case of book thief Daniel Spiegelman, when he said Spiegelman had “deprived a generation of scholars and students of the irreplaceable raw materials by which they seek to discern the lessons of the past.” (via ITI)

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