The gathering of collective memory. A pre-literate notion of memory, in a communal way, something commemorative rather than putting a memory in a container. What we thought it was going to be changed completely. We are in that way changing our memory of what it was supposed to be. What are you able to collect? Memories? Objects? People? A collection of texts and people, collecting and composing each other? Somehow it's not even important that we have all the knowledge, what's important is the living, generative sense of the collection.


Simon Browne


see also bootlegging, diversifying through use, multiplying form

Samizdat publishers considered a printed text to be officially published if it came in an edition of at least 5 copies. The library considers this to be excessive, and reduces that number to 1. One copy of a text can be shared and enriched by the accumulated annotations of many readers. A one-to-many-publishing model distributes texts to the widest possible public. The library instead insists on a many-to-one model, drawing many readers to one text. Republishing the one text many times creates a multiplicity of form, and subsequently a multiplicity of publics in each instance.

Image: Staff working at Publication Studio, London.1

  1. Publication Studio is a federated publishing network with studios located worldwide. Books ordered from the shared catalog are printed and bound one-at-a-time by the closest studio. Differences in availability of paper and machinery at each studio mean that the materiality of each instance of a printed text will vary depending on where and how the books are made.