Although libraries and museums for many centuries have taken the lead, under one rational or another, in recovering, storing, and displaying various kinds of culture of their periods, lately, as the gap between elite and popular culture has apparently widened, these repositories of artifacts of the present for the future have tended to drift more and more to what many people call the aesthetically pleasing elements of our culture. The degree to which our libraries and museums have ignored our culture is terrifying, when one scans the documents and artifacts of our time which, if history in any wise repeats itself, will in the immediate and distant future become valuable indices of our present culture to future generations. As Professor Schroeder dramatically states it, "No doubt about it, it is the contemporary popular culture that is the endangered species." The essays in this book investigate the reasons for present-day neglect of popular culture materials and chart the various routes by which conscientious and insightful librarians and museum directors can correct this disastrous oversight.
About the Author
Fred E.H. Schroeder is director of the Program in Humanities at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. In addition to several dozen articles on art, architecture, literature, history, biography, and teaching, Dr. Schroeder is the author of Outlaw Aesthetics; Arts and the Public Mind and editor of 5000 Years of Popular Culture, Popular Culture Before Printing. He has written a Technical Leaflet for AASLH entitled Designing your Exhibit: Seven Ways to Look at an Artifact and is a frequent consultant to schools, museums and historical societies. A member of the Board of Trustees of the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center, he has served on planning committees for the Depot Square "old town" reconstruction and for the interpretive programs for the Immigration Room of the Union Depot in Duluth.