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In 1991, the artist and printer Walter Hamady (1940–2019) gave Terry Belanger four copies of Gabberjab 6—each elaborately inscribed to him. This copy contains numerous messages to his bibliophilic friend. Hamady inscribed the first leaf and the verso…

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This book of domestic entertainments was marked up in blue pencil and purple ink by its publisher, G. W. Carleton (1832–1901), for a new edition of the book that was planned in 1877 and provisionally titled “That Pleasant Evening.” Revisions include…

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This Buddhist text features no less than seven ownership seals. Yet, owing to their age and wear, they are difficult to decipher. The black color of the seals suggests that they are not modern. The colophon informs readers that woodblocks were cut at…

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Seals began to be used in China in the 6th century, if not earlier, to designate ownership. Displayed here are four personal ex libris seals that were created for RBS faculty member Soren Edgren’s Guanhailou Library and that are also used for…

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This copy of Petrarch’s poems bears some remarkable marks of use: portions of Petrarch’s “Babylonian Sonnets” have been heavily censored in manuscript in iron-gall ink. In the margins, a censor has written “est p[ro]hibitu[m]” (“it is prohibited”),…

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This volume comes from a larger set of works by Daoist philosophers printed in the Jiajing period. This copy contains the ownership seals of Li Jian (1747–1799), Li Xialing (1768–1823), and Li Gonglin (1898–1979). It was annotated in 1794 by Li Jian,…

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This edition of Chung sŏl—just one of two known copies—is a Chinese philosophical work that was printed from the Korean kapchinja bronze type font of 1484. It contains no fewer than twelve seals impressed by nine collectors. On display are the seals…

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This copy of Neil Gaiman’s novel, The Graveyard Book, includes deliberate markings in colored crayons, as well as stickers, pasted-in cuttings from magazines and computer printouts, and pencil flip-book drawings. These alterations to Gaiman’s text…

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At RBS, course participants examine legacy storage formats such as these 3. in. Verbatim diskettes that formerly belonged to UVA IT staffer Sarah G. Kent. The handwritten labels on these digital storage devices are an interesting remnant of…

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Inscribed copies of books are those that have been signed or autographed by the author, usually with a sentiment or message, for another person. This copy of In the Mecca was inscribed by the poet Gwendolyn Brooks to the poet Sam Cornish (1925–2018).…
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