For the archivist, it means that the paper they once collected – manuscripts for novels, notepads, UN speeches and what have you – no longer exist, or never came into existence. What paper material that arrives for archiving now is more ephemeral: thank-you notes, ticket stubs, dinner-table seating plans and cocktail-napkin sketches. Manuscripts now exist almost entirely electronically, and there’s apparently not that much interest in a laser printout of a book in its early stages, or even in the final drafts where a back and forth with an editor is evident. Archivists want the first draft only, and they want it written by hand, the thinking being that with handwriting you have a true neurological record of a book’s pregnancy and birth.
Read the full article @ The Financial Times.