Book Review: For the Love of Old Paper

For the Love of Old Paper 1

AFP Photo Patrick Kovark

A room in the French National Archives, 2001

At a time when news about archives is focused on budget cuts or digitization projects, Yale University Press has issued the first English translation of Arlette Farge's 1989 book, Le Goût de l'archive, or, as Yale has it, The Allure of the Archives. In our digital age, what is the interest in a book about tasting and smelling old documents? Farge's ode to the joy of researching, of plowing through thousands of pages of hard-to-decipher