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Library graffiti at the University of Chicago

July 8, 2009 |  9:43 am

Librarygraffiti_b
Song lyrics, lovelorn notes and math problems  appear on the walls of the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library, all graffiti left there by students. In some, like the photo above, a chain of comments was left that may not have been seen by the original defacer — but probably served to amuse those who came after. Sometimes the graffiti is literary.

Graffiti_soitgoes
Perhaps the students who read this thought of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five." Or maybe they just thought it was kind of profound. Or recognized Shakespeare in this, below.

Graffiti_tempest

There is graffiti in Arabic, Greek, Russian, Latin, Hindi. There are warnings — "Never take a class by Edward Wallace" — and declarations, like the one below, that get high marks from a reader ... who has spelling anxieties.

Graffiti_favorite

Nerd storage ... after the jump.


Graffiti_nerdstorage

Graffiti_helliswarmer

There are plenty of critiques, praises, paens. Sometimes rendered graphically.

Graffiti_coffee 

There are pleas and reassurances.

Graffiti_dropout 

There are political statements, of course.

Graffiti_darfur

Poetry seems to lend itself to the project of graffiti.

Graffiti_yeats

But sometimes, it's not enough to read the classics. You have to take a poll.

Graffiti_homer

All photos by Quinn Dombrowski, a new technologies staffer and researcher at the University of Chicago. Thanks to her for using Creative Commons, so we could repost the photos here. To get a full sense of the scope of the graffiti she found in the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library, check out her Flickr set of more than 700 photos.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credits: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

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