Since the 1950s, some of the world's greatest libraries have, as a matter of common practice, dismantled their collections of original bound newspapers and books, replacing them with microfilmed copies. The originals, often irreplaceable, are cut up to be sold as birthday gifts or are pulped. In this book the real motives behind the dismantling of our recorded heritage is examined. The libraries argue that paper is too fragile to be stored in their archives, and point to the so-called brittle paper crisis. The author argues that paper can be stored for years and that libraries are under budgetary pressure to save space.