One of the good things about this weekend's conference was discovering common interests with fellow presenters. During one of those common-interest-finding conversations, I had an idea: "Wouldn't it be neat," I said, "if there were some kind of working group for people who work on both the history of the book and what's happening with digitization and new media?" "Will you start it?" said my interlocutor, who, like me, is interested in both of those things [hi, J., if you're reading this!]. And, really, the more I think about it, the more I think it ought to exist, if it doesn't already. Because there are just too many interesting parallels (information overload past and present; how eighteenth-century periodicals were the blogs of their day; early modern remix culture; etc. etc.) to pass up.
So, in the spirit of "'someone should...' means 'I will'," I'm going to look into starting such a group. I've already started thinking of people who've done relevant research, and organizations that I should check out — SHARP and the Institute for the Future of the Book, to start with, and maybe ACH, and I probably know at least a few people who might be interested. The question is, what might such a group want to accomplish? And how might it organize?
I'm going to be pondering all of this in my copious spare time. In the meantime, Reader, if you're interested, or if you know of other people already doing something along these lines, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.