The Orphan Library

These books are all orphans that I found through a systematic search in the online catalogs of the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library.
1. Search for anonymous works of any kind.
2. Identify which of these works are not yet in the public domain.
3. Attempt to find the publishing house or other distributor.
4. Isolate the books that had no extant copyright available.
5. Select, from among these, a group to use.

After selecting, I scanned* all the books, making digital physical objects** out of the original material. I then printed all the scanned files and bound them into book form, creating a physical digital object.**

*The array of sensors used in flatbed scanning technology creates a particularly palpable digital physical object. This image faithfully recreates the sense of three dimensions of the original object in a way that a photograph, an image made with lenses that are subject to distortion, reflection and shadows, may not.

**These are terms I invented. A “physical digital” object is an object that only exists because it was a digital file first. A “digital physical” object is a digital “object” (set of information in a readable form) that only exists because it was a physical object first.


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