Penn Libraries Presents: Amanda Licastro and Andrew Stauffer
Join the Penn Libraries as we present the work and research of our Library Staff. Today's event features:
Amanda Licastro (University of Pennsylvania) and Andrew Stauffer (University of Virginia)
Amanda Licastro (University of Pennsylvania) and Andrew Stauffer (University of Virginia) will present about their work on Book Traces, a collaborative web project aimed at discovering, cataloging, and preserving unique copies of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century books on library shelves.
Their focus is on circulating books (not special collections) that were customized by their original owners, who left in them marginalia, annotations, inscriptions, and insertions. At least until the 1950s, academic libraries in particular built their collections from donations, collecting secondhand books from alumni, local families, faculty, and others. These books thus constitute a massive, distributed archive of the history of reading and book use, hidden in plain sight in the stacks of libraries. Thousands of such books—marked or otherwise customized by nineteenth-century owners—are on library shelves. The Book Traces project hopes to inspire the development of processes for discovering them, cataloguing them more fully, preserving them, and making better-informed decisions about print collections management.
Further, Amanda and Andrew hope to model this process as part of a national effort for coordinating the management of nineteenth-century printed materials in academic libraries. Find out more at https://booktraces.org/.