January 2010 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Book Marks

Here's an online version of an amazing exhibit that ran last year at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, curated by Dr. Teresa Vann and Jill Dubbeldee Kuhn.

...The books in this exhibit all bear the marks left by previous generations of readers, who wrote in them, marked them, damaged the covers, or warped the bindings. Some people might think these books have been damaged by previous owners. Book Marks invites you to consider these books as archeological objects, providing us with a window to the lives and thoughts of past users and the sometimes surprising way they used books...

Ever find an interesting bookmark or book mark (marginalia) in an old book? I once found a press pass that belonged to William Shirer tucked into a first edition of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. I spent a pre-Google year chasing the details of the press pass and concluding that Shirer and Miller were probably friends.