Saturday, August 30, 2008

I am here in New York and found a box waiting for me in my daughter's Columbia University mail. A librarian at Columbia Teacher's College has been going through the books that are being discarded, and he had contacted me about one in specific that was being thrown out... Paper Sloyd by Ednah Anne Rich. He held that one for me and collected more having to do with the early days of Manual Training in the US.

These books are a treasure. Unfortunately, at Universities throughout the US, the role of the hands in learning has become a thing of the past, something they just don't get, and sadly, Columbia University and Columbia Teacher's College are no exception. Thankfully, there is a librarian here who loves books and enjoys putting them in the hands of those who will read and enjoy. Don't you just love librarians?

Columbia University and Teacher's College had played an important role in the early days of Manual Training in the US, and Charles A. Bennett, author of the two volume set on the History of Manual Training, and the founder of the Manual Arts Press in Peoria, was a PH.D graduate from Columbia.

Times change, and what goes around comes around again. We are in the process of a reawakening to the significance of the human hand. Our hands are the foundation of creativity and human culture. We are diminished in creativity and intelligence when we fail to explore hands-on our physical reality. Check back in the days to come. I will have things to share from these new old books.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Well, I understand that you have a soft spot for librarians.
    And that librarian who saved the books for you is a treasure!