Elizabeth Diefendorf (essay date 1996)
SOURCE: An introduction, in Books of the Century, Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 2-7.
[Diefendorf is the chief librarian of the general research division of the New York Public Library. In the following essay, Diefendorf offers a librarian's perspective on the obstacles—and the value—of compiling a list of definitive books of the twentieth century, as determined by the New York Public Library.]
The New York Public Library's Books of the Century grew out of an exhibition created to celebrate the Centennial of the New York Public Library. One of many events, publications, and displays that marked our anniversary year, the exhibition drew on the enthusiasm...
(The entire section is 1280 words.)