Book Traces @ UVA: Digitizing Readers' Marks in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Material Description

We propose to digitize at 735 uniquely-modified books of American literature from the circulating collection at the University of Virginia. Each book has been identified as containing at least one reader intervention such as marginalia or insertions. We believe that most of the books were donated to the Library by Virginia residents; 75% of the books bear bookplates indicating their provenance and about 150 different names appear on the bookplates.

Year Added:



The University of Virginia


Ms. Kara McClurken
University of Virginia Library

Mr. Andrew Stauffer
University of Virginia

Date Range

1800 - 1922

Geographic Scope

All the selected books are American literature. Nearly all the imprints are American, predominantly Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, although a handful of Virginia imprints (including Richmond, Charlottesville, and Shadwell) and other American cities are represented as well. A small minority are of British, Canadian, or unknown imprint.


  • 735 Books