Friday, November 7, 2008

Gloves Off

There is a nice, brief piece in The New York Times about exposing undergraduates to rare book (something I do regularly).

Here is a snippet:

[Robert] Darnton asks his students to “diagnose the symptoms” of a book—bits of petticoat in rag-based pages, symbols stamped in the binding, scribblings in the margins, called marginalia. By examining a book’s physical attributes, he says, “you can enter a world we have lost and understand it as it was.”
—“Handle This Book!” available from:

An interesting slideshow, “The Past Between Two Covers,” accompanies the article online: