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Idle hands

Keith Moore takes a look at some of the annotations and scribblings that can be found within the Society's collection.

'If you go far enough back in time, yesterday’s vandals can become today’s research treasures.'

Care for the removal of fingers, Yakuza style? Then try scribbling in a book under the eyes of a reading room librarian. I can assure you there are times when we make your average gangster look positively cuddly.

Of course, if your name happens to be Benjamin Franklin, you can get away with just about anything and, yes, one of his works in our Royal Society Library collection contains his annotations. If you go far enough back in time, yesterday’s vandals can become today’s research