The “Private Lives” of Gleeson Library’s Books

6 thoughts on “The “Private Lives” of Gleeson Library’s Books”

  1. “Private lives” is appropriate too, because we can’t see who checked out the books like we could in the old days, when each book had a card in the pocket with the names signed every time it was checked out.

    Library staff are very conscious of privacy rights, and library systems like ours today don’t even let the staff know who borrowed the book before. But [cue fogey music] I kind of miss being able to see who checked out a book before me.

    At Gleeson people used to write their addresses on the check-out cards, and some of those old cards are still in the books. Once I read a novel by Upton Sinclair that had been checked out by someone who lived in my building, 50 years before. Just think, a fellow traveler!

  2. go colette! what a great post. of course you didn’t need my help 🙂 one time i found a photo of keats’ grave from probably around the 1920s in a collection of keats’ poetry donated from the personal library of alfred sutro. that was awesome!

  3. Thanks Kelci!!! I was inspired by your posts! Ok, that picture and book sound intriguing! Is the book on our shelves?

  4. Saw this today on the Chronicle of Higher Ed. blog… “If only the metadata accompanying e-texts were as interesting as that found in used books!

    Online bookseller recently asked its vendors about the strangest things they’ve found in used books. The list will surprise you: a Christmas card from L. Frank Baum, a Mickey Mantle rookie card, a diamond ring, a strip of bacon, $40,000, a World War II U.S. ration book, and even “a holographic image of a lady who sheds her clothing,” among other items. ”

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