Category Archives: News

SCS: Almost 40% of 19th-Century Library Books Potentially at Risk

Andy Breeding of Sustainable Collections Services has a new blog post presenting data that suggests up to 39% of 19th- and early-20th-century volumes in OCLC Libraries could be at risk, depending on what criteria are used.

If we assume that titles existing in 50 or more copies nationally are potential candidates for weeding, especially if they have been checked out no more than once, then approximately 39% could be discarded.  If libraries require a zero-checkout threshold for discards, that number drops to 30%.  It’s a good argument for going into your local library and checking out some old books: let’s use the data to save the collections.

You can see Andy Breeding’s blog post here: “Potential Weeding Candidates among 19th and Early 20th Century Books”







Book Traces inspires “Hidden Collections” Grant for UVA Library

In 2015-16, Book Traces founder Andrew Stauffer will serve as Co-PI on a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections grant to discover and process unique 19th-century books in the circulating collections in Alderman Library at the University of Virginia.

More from UVA Today here:

University of Virginia
Hidden in Plain Sight
Principal Investigators: Kara McClurken and Andrew Stauffer

Our project will create metadata to record significant unique characteristics of titles in the circulating collections of the University of Virginia Library, focusing on 19th century titles.  Many titles in our 19th century circulating collections have evidentiary or artifactual value due to characteristics such as marginalia, inserts, unique bindings, etc.  Although these books are in the catalog, the unique, distinguishing features of the books are undocumented and therefore undiscoverable, hidden in plain sight in our stacks. We will provide enhanced metadata for these titles, and create a protocol for the discovery and sorting process which we will share so that institutions can cooperate on preservation and retention projects.

NYU Students at the Book Traces event in Butler Library

Professor Amanda Licastro‘s students from New York University came up to Columbia for the October 8 Book Traces event, and participated in the hunt for marked books in the Butler Stacks.

One student called this experience “simultaneously one of the nerdiest and most interesting events I have participated in since moving to New York.” Another  remarked, “I love everything about old books so getting to handle so many was a really great experience.”

You can read more about what the NYU students found, and about their reactions to the experience, on Licastro’s course blog here: