Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, birth certificate to death certificate. Our lives are bound in paper, from crumpled receipts to prized diplomas. But where does all that stuff go?
Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents digs into the recycling bin of history to answer that question, dusting off mimeographs and microfilm to reveal their revolutionary impact. You can practically smell the musty libraries and government archives mentioned.
For a book about massive amounts of paper, the tour is surprisingly short—150 pages in four slim chapters. But it feels longer, due to the heavy academic tone and mundane terminology. Patience is rewarded though, with lively anecdotes on the subversive use of photocopying, including zines and the Pentagon Papers leak.