Traces in the Stacks

Andrew Stauffer, University of Virginia

Join us for a treasure hunt in Ekstrom Library for traces of nineteenth-century readers—autographs, doodling, pressed plants, souvenirs, bookmarks, and other ephemeral inserts.

We will spend about 45 minutes in the stacks, looking for evidence of nineteenth-century readers, and then we will reconvene to share our discoveries.

Prof. Stauffer has found, through his "Book Traces" project, that many miscellaneous books in the stacks of most libraries contain important markers of human experience and everyday sentiments. This unique record is being lost to history with digitization; such shabby books are at risk of being discarded when there is a digital record of one copy.

Personal and unique objects, these books should be recorded – and saved. He has discovered over 700 books with traces, and recorded them here:



Monday, September 11, 2017 at 11:00am to 12:30pm

Ekstrom Library, room 117A.

Event Type

Signature University Events


Students, Faculty/staff, Alumni, Public


Arts & Sciences, English



Contact Name

Deborah Lutz

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University of Louisville

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