ATG Quirkies: What Did the Morgan Library Smell Like in 1906?

Photo by Christine Nelson

In an effort to solve this olfactory riddle, researchers are burying their noses in books to sniff out the Morgan Library’s original smell.” But it’s not as straightforward as merely smelling a few old books and recording your impressions.  Complicating the effort is the realization that “street smells from Gilded Age New York could have wafted through the windows, mingling with the collection of rare tomes from across various eras, and the cigar puffing of Morgan himself.” 

Rising to the challenge, intrepid “students and researchers are delicately capturing the smells of different objects and historic areas of the 1906 Morgan” by using a variety of traditional and cutting-edge techniques and tools. 

(Thanks to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies)

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