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Matthew Battles

Born: , in Petersburg, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Battles was born and raised in Petersburg.

Biography: Matthew Battles is a program fellow at the Berkman Center of Harvard University, where he is associate director of metaLAB, a research group exploring the bounds of networked culture. He has written about language, culture, nature, technology, and history for the American Scholar, the Atlantic Online, the Boston Globe, and the Wilson Quarterly, among other publications. Battles is the editor and lead writer at, a blog covering science, technology, and culture. He also blogs at


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction


Selected Titles

Library :
ISBN: 0393020290 OCLC: 51305782

"From the clay-tablet collections of ancient Mesopotamia to the storied Alexandria libraries in Egypt, from the burned scrolls of China's Qing Dynasty to the book pyres of the Hitler Youth, from the great medieval library in Baghdad to the priceless volumes destroyed in the multi-cultural Bosnian National Library in Sarajevo, the library has been a battleground of competing notions of what books mean to us. Battles explores how, throughout its many changes, the library has served two contradictory impulses: on the one hand, the urge to exalt canons of literature, to secure and worship the best and most beautiful words; on the other, the desire to contain and control all forms of human knowledge."--Jacket.

The library beyond the book
ISBN: 9780674725034 OCLC: 861478375

With textbook readers and digital downloads proliferating, it is easy to imagine a time when printed books will vanish. Such forecasts miss the mark, argue Jeffrey Schnapp and Matthew Battles. Future bookshelves will not be wholly virtual, and libraries will thrive although in a variety of new social, cultural, and architectural forms. Schnapp and Battles combine deep study of the library s history with a record of institutional and technical innovation at metaLAB, a research group at the forefront of the digital humanities. They gather these currents in The Library Beyond the Book, exploring what libraries have been in the past to speculate on what they will become: hybrid places that intermingle books and ebooks, analog and digital formats, paper and pixels. Libraries have always been mix-and-match spaces, and remix is their most plausible future scenario. Speculative and provocative, The Library Beyond the Book explains book culture for a world where the physical and the virtual blend with ever increasing intimacy.--Publisher's description.

Widener :
ISBN: 0674016688 OCLC: 56647060

Harvard College Library, Cambridge, Mass. : ©2004.

"Since its opening in 1915, the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library has led a spirited life as Harvard's physical and, in a sense, its symbolic heart. Originally intended as the memorial to one man, it quickly grew into a symbol of the life of the mind with few equals anywhere - and like all symbols, it has enjoyed its share of contest and contradiction." "With illustrations and narrative, Widener: Biography of a Library is not only a record of benefactors and collections; it is the tale of the students, scholars, and staff who give a great library its life."--BOOK JACKET.