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A Book of One's Own: examples of library book marginalia
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science.
2008 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses concrete evidences of performed readings of literary works: marginalia. Although book history to some degree does deal with that topic, it is primarily the marginalia of prominent authors that is being researched (sometimes resulting in scholarly editions), while the scribbles and notes of ”common” readers form a rare topic (some examples are Jackson, Fadiman, Golick, and Gingerich). Readers' marginalia in library books is an even smaller field within book history (see Meiman). Taking my point of departure, and showing examples, from a Swedish art work from 2007 by Kajsa Dahlberg, I will discuss such marginalia in general and in library books in particular. The artist collected all the underlinings, highlightings, drawings, notes and other visible evidence of social use from more than 100 public library copies of one and the same edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own from 1929. With the use of a lightboard, all these marginalia and ”social evidence” were copied and projected into one and the same base document, resulting in a quite literal form a ”reader's edition” of Woolf's work. The result was printed and published as a facsimile edition (of 1000 copies). In the printed book, the one edited text by Woolf is therefore foreshadowed by the many added texts of its readers, making the book something very different from a traditional scholarly edition of a literary work – an anti-edition, if you will. I suggest that this kind of work of art directs our attention to e.g. the roles between readers, editors and writers within primarily the world of scholarly editing. As an atypical piece of work, it also provides an opportunity to discuss the typical nature of facsimile editions and the “typical” book and edition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
Keyword [en]
libraries, transmission, marginalia, book history
National Category
Information Studies History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-5968Local ID: 2320/4097OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-5968DiVA: diva2:886651
Conference
Evidence of Reading, Reading the Evidence, University of London 21-23 July 2008.
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf