Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

History of an image scraper

“Shinn’s motel room contained 26 stolen books and a file full of inventory cards for another 154 volumes. He was well-educated in book history, restoration and binding, and the tools of his trade filled the room: color-stained cloths and Q-tips with jars of shoe polish, used to color-match and conceal library markings on book spines. A folder of facsimile title pages, used as replacements when a book’s true title page was stamped or contained other identifying marks. All were designed to remove libraries’ marks and render the stolen works unidentifiable and thus saleable to unsuspecting book dealers and collectors. Additionally, Shinn’s tool kit included stolen license plates, false ID papers, manuals for safecracking and disarming alarms (as well as a guide titled “How to Disappear and Live Freely”), and a 32-caliber pistol.”

Read more at Atlas Obscura

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