Author lecture features renowned book collector

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    By Joseph Ghiz

    Guest speaker for the annual author lecture, Dr. Mauro Giancaspro, is speaking this week in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium about the importance of book collecting.

    As the director of the Italian National Library at Naples, Giancaspro has been a key figure in securing contractual agreements for preserving ancient records between the Italian government and BYU.

    “This is the day of the joining between two libraries,” Giancaspro said. “We work together for the freedom and life of the book.”

    Giancaspro is also in Utah to meet with the members of the Institute for Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts.

    They have been working with the Italian library for the past two years deciphering and preserving ancient papyri, which was nearly destroyed in 79 A.D.

    “By recovering ancient writings we are able to travel back in time,” Giancaspro said.

    As an author of several books, Giancaspro said his most recent work, “The Disease of Guttenburg,” analyzes the effects of reading on individuals.

    On Wednesday at 4 p.m., Giancaspro will speak in the library auditorium about literary tradition and the history of libraries in Italy.

    At 11 a.m. on Thursday he will speak again in the auditorium about reading, libraries and bibliomania.

    Giancaspro summed up his feelings about literature when he said, “Long live the book.”

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