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Searching for Hidden History in the Linderman Stacks

In late October, Lehigh faculty, students and staff gathered in Linderman Library to contribute to a unique effort—one aimed at salvaging the kind of history that only traditional libraries, and good old fashioned books, can provide.

Book Traces, led by a University of Virginia professor by the name of Andrew Stauffer, is a national crowd-sourced project that aims to find unique copies of nineteenth and early-twentieth century library books. The idea is to search for “traces” in those books—inscriptions, drawings, bookplates, and other marks—and record them before they can be lost to digitization.

All books found during these national book hunts are photographed and submitted to the Book Traces website.

Lehigh visual storyteller Stephanie Veto visited Linderman during the “book hunt” to find out more about the project.

For photos from the event, check out Lehigh photographer Christa Neu’s work at her Tumblr, Scenes from South Mountain.

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