About Traces of Use

When an antiquarian bookseller describes a book as having ‘traces of use‘ it means that the book and/or the binding is somewhat worse for the wear. The book has not been waiting on a shelf, but has actually been owned and read and this has left ownership and reading traces on the binding and inside the book. ‘Traces of Use’ is a research project that studies ownership marks and marginalia. Research that does not perceive traces of use as worse for the wear but as better for the wear as any trace of use has the potential to be of interest.

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