I’m not sure, but I think I might have picked the one book in our Special Collections library with the absolute least notable owners in the entire world.

I don’t mean to say that any of them led boring lives, don’t get me wrong. I mean that despite the abundance of names in the provenance available to me, exactly zero of them turned up in genealogical databases, and exactly zero of them had a hand in any other publications I could find. It didn’t help that none of them had the decency to include their location (or at least, a legible one).

But I digress. Even though none of the owners seemed to leave a lasting footprint in history, it was fun to figure out who might have come first and what they did with it. It’s a fairly outdated concept, so it doesn’t see much use today, but judging from the number of names in it I suspect that it saw a great deal of use from religious figures or followers. I’m fairly certain that I’m the first person to have sifted through it so deeply in a long while.

This was an adventure. For someone as unversed in technology as me, Timeline JS might as well have been rocket science the first time I saw it despite how simple it actually was once I got down to it. The problems I encountered were mostly nuanced (often user error) so I have to say that the tool itself was actually quite useful.

So, here: the product of my puzzling. Behold the vast amount of dead-end (but still cool) provenance. I view it as a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people.