Skip to navigation
Derrida's Library Reference List Interventions Visualization

Derrida’s Margins

Inside the personal library of Jacques Derrida
And yet did we not know that... only in the book, coming back to it unceasingly, drawing all our resources from it, could we indefinitely designate the writing beyond the book?

- Jacques Derrida

For Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), reading was an active process: he read texts by thinkers like Rousseau, Heidegger, Lévi-Strauss, Hegel, and Husserl with a writing utensil in hand.  As Derrida affirmed in a late interview, the books in his personal library bear the "traces of the violence of pencil strokes, exclamation points, arrows, and underlining."  

Derrida’s Margins invites scholars to investigate these markings while unpacking the library contained within each of Derrida’s published works, beginning with the landmark 1967 text De la grammatologie (Of Grammatology).  Additional Derrida works will be added as the project continues.

The website catalogues each reference (quotation, citation, footnote, etc.) in De la grammatologie and allows users to explore Derrida's personal copies of the texts he cites. Due to copyright restrictions, only annotated pages corresponding to references in De la grammatologie are shown here; users may also view external images of each book as well as images of the numerous insertions (post-it notes, bookmarks, calendar pages, index cards, correspondence, notes, etc.) Derrida tipped in to his books.

The website includes the following sections, accessible via the links in the four corners of this page: Derrida's Library, where users may browse or search Derrida's copies of the books referenced in De la grammatologieReference List, where users may browse or search the nearly one thousand references to other texts found in the pages of De la grammatologie; Interventions, where users may browse or search Derrida's annotations, marginalia, and markings that correspond to the references in De la grammatologie; and Visualization, which provides users with alternative ways of exploring the references in De la grammatologie.  Users may search a particular section or the entire site at any time by using the search field at the top of every page.   

The Library of Jacques Derrida is housed at Princeton University Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections.

  • Project Director
  • Katie Chenoweth
  • Project Manager
  • Alexander Baron-Raiffe
  • Technical Lead
  • Rebecca Sutton Koeser
  • Project Designer
  • Rebecca Munson
  • User Experience Designer
  • Xinyi Li
  • Database Designer
  • Jean Bauer
  • Web Developers
  • Benjamin Hicks
  • Kevin Glover
  • Nick Budak
  • Graduate Research Assistants
  • Renée Altergott
  • Chad Córdova
  • Austin Hancock
  • Chloé Vettier
  • Undergraduate Research Assistants
  • Jin Chow
  • Elise Freeman
  • Madeleine Marr
  • Jianing Zhao
  • Advisors
  • Avital Ronell
  • Eduardo Cadava
  • Geoffrey Bennington