Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Library of Lost Books

A few months ago, i was asked to participate in a project launched as a consequence of Birmingham Library's clear out. This project involves the rescue, distribution and re-collection of discarded books, coming together to form a new Library of Lost Books. The project's website can be viewed at:

I received 2 volumes, numbers 5 & 6, of the Classische Theater-Bibliothek, a collection of German language play-scripts, originally sent out as a periodical in the 1800s. They were bound together by Birmingham Reference Library in 1942 and remained on the shelves, at location 808.2 for 70 years, until they were removed and sent to me.

What i was most drawn to, within Volume 5, was a slip inserted at the back of the book, stating that the Shakespeare play's were duplicate and had been disposed of. The book had then been rebound, shrinking the spine, pulling it into the book.

Hours of research led me to the realization that all the books in Volume 6 were duplicate, if one was to consider the whole world's libraries. I therefore decided to document the cataloging system of each and every play in the same format, disposing of the pages, and rebinding the book to account for its new and reduced pages. 

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