A book of blank pages for sticking cuttings, drawings, or pictures in.
- Oxford Dictionary

Unlike a book where we can safely assume upon opening the cover to find text and perhaps an image or two, a scrapbook can house any material its creator wishes to press between its pages. It can thus be as far removed from a book as its maker wishes, or as close an approximation to a published item as is desired. This is one of the reasons that the university scrapbook collection has remained mysterious for so long. Without physically lifting the cover of these volumes, we do not know what is inside. All we know for certain is that these hand-filled pages express an assortment of ideas, ideals and reasons through their creation. Their intrigue is created by this very fact, and the strong physical link which exists between a scrapbook and its maker. After all, once we know who has assembled a certain volume, we can enjoy the fact that the pages are a physical link with that person. These volumes are also little points of contact with different fields of research. Taken in isolation, they require an expert eye to unlock their secrets, but linked with other resources, they paint a picture which anyone can decipher.


There are a number of people who have made this showcase possible by contributing their time and efforts. The Digital York team would like to thank Elizabeth Carter for selecting these scrapbooks and coming up with the idea for the showcase. We would also like to thank Paul Shields, Kath Webb, Sarah Griffin and Jo Casey.