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As an increasingly virtual society anticipates the decline of print, it looks to the keepers of the written record to maintain continuity with its past. Libraries cannot formulate intelligent collection and preservation policies without taking into account current perceptions of the fragility of historical memory. Understanding the symbolic role they play in the cultural imaginary will help libraries to map a future that addresses public concerns about the preservation of the historical record.doi:10.1353/pla.2001.0075 fatcat:6qofqwb6azaixamsxvst6vmh34