Have you ever wondered why some books look brand new even when they are fifty or more years old, while others look like a good candidate for the trash can?

Welcome to the Proctor Library's digital exhibit highlighting twenty-three categories of damaged books with explanations of what caused the damage, and how the damage can be avoided. Each book was selected as one of our best examples of a certain type damage, but one problem is rarely all a book suffers from; therefore, for your convenience, whenever another type of damage appears in the pictures of the book, we explain those too. If you want to see other examples of a certain type damage, use the tags to see a listing of all the records flagged as being similarly effected.

The original version of this exhibit was an in-person event on Thursday, November 14, 2019 entitled "Does Your Damaged Book Need a Little TLC?" as part of the Archives' and Special Collections' series, Meet the Collections and Curators. The panel descriptions were written by the Special Collections Librarian, Miss Katherine Owens, with assistance from her Work-Study Student, Miss Megan Lepak.

This event was offered a year after our "Beautiful Books" event to show the converse of those - ugly books. Most books are damaged in one way, shape, or form during their life, and while unsightly, does not always detract from the original beauty of the covers, illustrations, or typefonts. Patrons like to see books in Special Collections that are pretty to look at, but we felt it was important to give a day to highlighting sad books and explaining what has happened to them since the day they were new and shiny. Although held a year apart, we saw these two events as mirror images of one another and so as you go through this exhibit you will see links to Beautiful Books where appropriate. Curiously enough, these two events were turned into digital exhibits, one year apart as well!

We also have 5 digital puzzles we invite you to complete of books in this collection: Great Exemplar, A History of Florida, Home Life in Florida, Legends of St. Augustine, and One Thousand Gems


This digital exhibit was created in the Spring semester 2021 by Special Collections Spring Intern, Miss Juliann Ramos. Assistance came from the Special Collections Work-Study Student, Miss Megan Lepak, under the supervision of the Special Collections Librarian, Miss Owens. Technical production assistance for the videos came from Proctor Library Work-Study Student, Mr. Wyatt Parks, with guest apperances from: Director of Library Services, Mr. Brian Nesselrode, Teaching & Learning Librarian, Dr. Jack Daniels, Flagler College Archivist, Mrs. Jolene DuBray, and Proctor Library Work-Study Student, Miss Lillian Hayward.

Any and all questions about this site, contents, or the books should be directed to Miss Owens. Her email address and phone number are located in the footer of each page of this site. Thank you!