The Edition of an Important Work

“Over forty years ago, a colleague and I drew up a plan by which his department, which was English and Comparative Literature, and mine, which was History would encourage Ph.D. candidates to offer as their dissertation the edition of an important work that was out of print, or in print but in need of editing. The plan was coupled with a proposal to the university press for the publication of these books, some possibly in paperback for class use. We were turned down, of course, on all sides, with indulgent smiles at our youthful idiocy. And being young, we gave up. We should have kept at it. The press came to favor the idea, but by then my colleague had retired, and I, being chief academic officer of the university, had no right to entertain or push ideas for academic use.” (Jacques Barzun, The Bibliophile of the Future, 1976)