Posted on April 30, 2014
From Andrew Stauffer and Nines.org comes a new project to find unique copies of 19th and early 20th century books on library shelves that are at risk from digitization initiatives. Many of these books are not marked as ‘rare’ or ‘unique’ and are in danger of being discarded as copies. As the site’s home page says:
Thousands of old library books bear fascinating traces of the past. Readers wrote in their books, and left notes, pictures, letters, flowers, locks of hair, and other things between their pages. We need your help identifying them because many are in danger of being discarded as libraries go digital. Books printed between 1820 and 1923 are at particular risk. Help us prove the value of maintaining rich print collections in our libraries.
The site also looks to be a fascinating archive of marginalia and the ephemera of literary culture in the making. Check out the examples already up at booktraces.org and submit your own examples. All they need are a few pictures and a basic description. Be a book history superhero, armed with no more than a smartphone!