Monday, October 30, 2017

Reformation Day

Oct 31st is Reformation Day, which commemorates Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and, though he may or may not have actually nailed them to the door, it is almost certain that he did mail them to his Archbishop on this day in 1517.  This year marks the 500th anniversary of that act.  While the history and significance around this event and Luther’s actions and theology is complex, there were some important implications for information science.  This time period was being influenced by the Gutenberg Press on which the Gutenberg Bible had been printed in the 1450s.  Luther used Gutenberg’s printing press to spread his ideas and to print his German translation of the Bible making it available to many people. This ushered in an era of knowledge being spread much more broadly with numerous impacts, including an important place in the history of libraries. 

The printed word and books continue to have revolutionary and profound effects both on society and on individuals.  In Canada, our recent history has been profoundly impacted by the Truth and Reconciliation Report.  I have found it personally meaningful as I continue to learn more about indigeneity to understand the history of the place where I live.  As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, I am interested to know what book or books you think have shaped the world or that you have found personally meaningful.

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