Tag Archives: provenance

Puzzling Out Ownership

Most of the books at Burns Library have passed through the hands of many owners before arriving on our shelves. Discerning a book’s sequence of owners, or provenance, is fascinating, and the inevitable comparisons to puzzles and mystery solving are … Continue reading

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The Personalized Library: Links Between People and Books

It’s a near universal rule that you should never write in any library book. However, you can nevertheless find notes in many of our books, remnants of their pasts before being acquired by Burns Library. These marks provide hints about … Continue reading

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A Rare Vellum Printing

A book may be interesting on the basis of its physical features, its intellectual content, or its history of ownership. Here we have the trifecta: a book of unusual, even beautiful, material construction, containing a text of scholarly interest, and … Continue reading

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Internal Context: A Look Into the Inclusion Files

One of the most rewarding aspects of rare book cataloging is seeing and decoding the various markers of history that make their way into the pages. Most of these markers are permanent – bookplates, sellers’ and binders’ tickets, annotations, and … Continue reading

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