What’s 830 pages, thirty-six pounds, and read all over? Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library has the answer: an oversized scrapbook that I. A. Persinger, a barber in Fredonia, Kansas, began compiling in 1928. This unusual relic, which the library recently acquired, started as an album of clippings of the adventure comic strip Wash Tubbs, by Roy Crane. But as the Depression took hold, Persinger expanded the book into a journal of drawings and inscriptions by himself and his customers. The library plans to scan the book, while fulfilling the humble barber’s admonition, on one of the pages, to “Handle This Book Carefull.”
This article appears in the Winter 2021-22 print edition of Columbia Magazine with the title "Snips, Strips, and Quips."