I return to the woeful fate of marginalia in the digital age. It’s worth noting that the image above first startled me as a spider tacked into a tawny tome. But this blessing of mistaken identity introduced me to Book Traces, and I am the richer (and more distracted) for it.
Book Traces is a crowd-sourced web project aimed at identifying unique copies of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century books on library shelves. Our focus is on customizations made by original owners in personal copies, primarily in the form of marginalia and inserts.
Sponsored by NINES at the University of Virginia and led by Andrew Stauffer, Book Traces is meant to engage the question of the future of the print record in the wake of wide-scale digitization… (Source: Book Traces)
As for that musty, magical photograph above?
Title: The Changed Cross and other Religious Poems
Publication date: New York, 1872
Library: Richter, U Miami
Call number: PR 1191 .R24
Submitted by: Andrew Stauffer
Description: Memorial volume for Annie R. Deering, wife of Charles W. Deering and daughter of Rear Admiral A. Ludlow Case. Annie died just a few days short of their first wedding anniversary. Charles was 23 at the time, and Annie probably about the same age. Printed death notice attached. Gift inscription from Charles to Mary E. Deering, dated a few days after Annie’s death (on their wedding anniversary), November 3, 1876. Flower pinned to dedication page, with small slip dated Dec. 20, 1877. (Source: Book Traces)