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Widener Library has often been characterized as one of the most efficient research plants in this country. Whether or not it deserves this praise, Widener's function, among others, is to provide adequate material for scholars who would delve into the past and collect material for future scholars. In seeking to fulfill this function the library subscribes to and keeps on file a number of supposedly representative periodicals. It does not subscribe to a paper directed by the Hearst policy.
The Crimson is the last institution which would ask approbation for Hearst journalism. However, if Harvard intends to preserve a record of the present generation for future scholars it must cover all factors which influence the American scene today. And Hearst is a definite factor. With an estimated audience of twenty-four millions of readers, the Hearst editorials control a deal of American voters. Without the information and stimulation, even though it be subversive, revealed in Hearst publications, the researcher of 1950 might, for instance, be at a loss to understand some of our modern unintelligent legislation.
Among the important publications which the library does keep are "The Boston Courier," a hotel periodical; "The Groton Landmark"; the "New Militant," a socialist publication; Giustizia e Liberta," another socialist paper; and "The Watertown Tribune and Enterprise." Certainly this list is no more important from a research point of view than a Hearst publication.
While quite properly such dailies as the New York Times and Herald Tribune are preserved to represent the moderate, reasoned influences at work in the nation today, intellectual or moral qualms should not allow it to neglect the most typical of the opposite forces.
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