The Very Existence of Libraries Affords the Best Evidence That We May Yet Have Hope for the Future of Man

T. S. Eliot? Jayne Ann Krentz? Alan Bennett? Apocryphal? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: The Nobel laureate T. S. Eliot apparently stated that the establishment of libraries provided compelling evidence that humanity had a future. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: The renowned poet T. S. Eliot died in 1965, and the earliest match known to QI appeared many years later in 1992 within the novel “Perfect Partners” by Jayne Ann Krentz who started her career as a librarian before she become a top-selling romance author. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

Since the days of ancient Alexandria libraries had stood for all the best that mankind could achieve.

The very existence of libraries held out hope for the future of the human race, as far as Letty was concerned. If people had enough sense to collect and store information and make it available to everyone, perhaps they would someday have enough sense to use that wisdom to stop wars and find a cure for cancer.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading The Very Existence of Libraries Affords the Best Evidence That We May Yet Have Hope for the Future of Man

Notes:

  1. 1992, Perfect Partners by Jayne Ann Krentz, Chapter 7, Quote Page 123, Pocket Books: A Division of Simon & Schuster, New York. (Verified with scans)