This book would not be possible without the students who spilled their thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and doodles all over the Regenstein Library. Some of them have heard about this project and gotten in touch with me. Janice Rumschlag was asleep under this whiteboard drawing when I took the picture in April 2008; her friend Meara Charnetzki drew it for her. Meara is also responsible for the languishing knight. Sid Branca is responsible for one of my favorite pieces of graffiti [if obliquely, by being the person to say it loudly in the reading room, where someone else wrote it down] and I’ve also heard from Thomas Monson, who contributed a piece of graffiti to the larger collection. Moira Cassidy drew the girl with short hair and glasses on the “About the author” page. Daniel Choi is behind three gems: Organic Chemistry is Voodoo Witchcraft, LOLCats, and Bad Grades (see this blog post for his stories).
Without the linguistic expertise of the following individuals, much of the multilingual graffiti would still be titled “Greek graffiti”, “Chinese graffiti”, etc. The Arabic graffiti was translated by alphaprivee on Flickr; the Chinese was translated by Matthew Felix Sun and Ping Lieser, the Devanagari was translated by wally.mars on Flickr, the Greek was translated by Athanassios Vérgados, the Japanese was translated by Toshi Katayama and Lane Ware, Christian Hilchey provided Latin consultation, Bihui Li made sense out of the leetspeak, and Andy Dombrowski translated the Turkish. Lauren Osborne has translated the various pieces of Arabic graffiti, and David Yung Ho Kim has translated the various pieces of Korean graffiti.
Photographing the graffiti and putting together the book took over two years to complete, and there’s been times when my motivation has faltered. In April 2009, Molly Ammons in Monterey, California wrote the first blog post about the Regenstein graffiti. That post inspired me to get back to taking pictures in the stacks after four months of neglect. In July 2009, Carolyn Kellogg wrote a post on the L.A. Times ‘Jacket Copy’ blog that generated a lot of interest, and, with the encouragement of Sara Ware, convinced me to put together this book. The book project had begun to languish in a state of semi-completion when, in October 2009, Marcus Gilmer wrote about the graffiti on the Chicagoist. Without these gentle reminders that this was a project worth continuing, it would have remained nothing more than an unorganized, un-updated set of over 700 photos on Flickr.