Book Traces @ UVAReport
Book Traces @ UVA is a large-scale project to find and record historical readers’ interventions in the circulating collections of the University of Virginia Library, focusing on volumes published before 1923. Based on the ongoing Book Traces initiative (http://booktraces.org), this project aimed to develop a protocol for the discovery and cataloguing of uniquely-modified volumes in the stacks, while also gathering data regarding the nature and distribution of such modifications. Many titles in our nineteenth-century circulating collections were acquired by donation from private owners and have unique evidentiary or artifactual value due to characteristics including marginalia, inscriptions, artwork, and inserted objects such as photographs and correspondence. Although the books themselves have always been discoverable in the catalog, the unique artifactual features of the books have previously been undocumented and therefore undiscoverable, hidden in plain sight in our stacks. We have created a protocol for surveying large swaths of the collection and identifying the interventions we find using a controlled vocabulary. We are adding enhanced metadata to the catalog for books with unique interventions and we are eager to share the adaptable protocol we have developed.
marginalia, Book Traces, unique copies, protocols, book history, weeding, shared print collections, collections management
University of Virginia
Council on Library and Information Resources
This white paper is a research result of a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections grant.