After searching in the library for at least an hour in addition to when I had searched during class on Tuesday, I finally found some writing in a 19th century book! It seems like I probably went through 50 before I could find one that actually had writing in it outside of just underlining marks. Going through this many old, dusty, mildew-y books sure did spark my allergies up, but at least I can say that it was worth it because I found what I was looking for!
Book Name: Novels and Tales, Vol. 10
Author: Maria Edgeworth
Publisher: New York Harper & Brothers, 1846
To be honest, I picked this book up because it looked really worn and torn. My inner detective had a feeling it had to be old – and it was! It was published back in 1846, making it a 169-year-old book. The outside of this book looked nothing special. There was only an inscription on the spine and neither on the front nor back covers. Due to its worn nature and the state that the binding of this book was in, I can make an inference and say that it probably still has its original cover and binding from 1846. Opening up the book, there is a stamp mark that says “STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LIBRARY NEW PALTZ, N.Y.” On the opposite side, was writing dating back to 1849.
The apparent guess to make here is that M.R. Fisher received this book on December 25, 1849 (or at least a few days around there) as a gift for the holiday. I believe that this was written with a fountain pen.
I have to say that this lab was a super interesting and informative experience! Looking at my finding as well as the cool marginalia that my classmates have found in our very own STL showed me how much we really do overlook how much history is hiding here at SUNY New Paltz. I had never in a million years imagined that we would have these old treasures in such a public place like our general stacks collection, but I am so glad that we did.