Assignment #1: Blog post for Thursday, January 19

Note: Please post this to your individual blog by 8pm on Wednesday, January 18th so that everyone has time to read the other students’ posts.

To prepare for this first blog post, you should make an appointment with your university’s archivist or special collections librarian—you’ll need at least a half hour of their time, and perhaps more, so be sure to plan ahead.

After your meeting, write up what you’ve learned about your local collections.

Things to ask your university’s archivist or special collections librarian about:

  • Identify the oldest book in your library’s collection. Where was the book printed and who owned the book before your university acquired it? Construct a history of the book and tell us what it tells us about the people who owned it and the period in which it was produced.
  • Select a book from your collection that bears evidence of reader use (marginalia, insertions, marks of ownership, etc.). What does this evidence tell us about how past readers used this book?
  • Identify a specific collection/bequest in the library. What items are in the collection? Is there a unifying theme to the collection (are particular subjects or genres more common throughout)? Who collected these books and why? How and why did the collection come to the library?

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