About This Class

The purpose of The Social Life of Books class was to see books in a new light. We did just that as individuals and as a collective whole. Individually, we looked at books from our own school’s archives or special collections and collectively came together with new findings each week. Being on different campuses across the nation, we were able to talk about different books due to the variety of collections on each campus. We looked beyond the printed words and uncovered the hidden lives of these books – as well as questioned what can actually be considered a book. We were able to construct stories based off of who owned or borrowed books and that in itself was a journey.1

I chose to do my final project over the book, Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson. This is the oldest book on the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s campus. Just by looking at the book, you can see the visible wear-and-tear, which only makes it more interesting. Most of my work throughout of the semester has been focused on this book and my goal for this project is to complete the story.

This project will allow me to inform readers about Notes on the State of Virginia, and fill in any gaps that may be missing from my previous assignments. Apart from the background information about the book, this site will allow me to inform readers about the different editions that are in various Oklahoma university libraries. I will also talk about the significance of the book to Oklahoma. Overall, with this project, I would enjoy nothing more than to provide knowledgeable information to those who are interested in either the book, Thomas Jefferson, or a mixture of both.

As far as the tools used, I utilized:
Timeline JS to create a timeline of the different editions of the book
Google Maps to create a map relating the publication cities of the books to the Oklahoma universities
Meta Slider to create a slideshow of the 1801 New York edition the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s campus holds in its Nash Library

By any means, this project site will not be completed. It will be completed for the sake of the end of the semester, but it is an ongoing project. By doing this research, I can hopefully add to the information that is already out there and bring some new things to light. I sincerely hope you enjoy this journey through the life of a revolutionary book.


1. “Social Life of Books” Course Page