July 29, 2005

Commonplace Books Yale's Beinicke Library has a nice collection of digital images of commonplace books.

Ann Bowyer's commonplace book was compiled by the daughter of a Coventry draper, one of the 'middling sort'. Adam Winthrop's commonplace book includes his observations on the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, and of Sir Walter Raleigh. The practice of keeping a commonplace book continued in the colonies. More on the signficance and meaning of commonplace books.

  • Gah, I see the search page link doesn't work. Here's some of the image sets and page images: 1;2;3;4;5.
  • Yeah I got an error off the link too.. Perhaps you could look into that AC as it seems to work for you.
  • Can't find a way to isolate the particular search I wanted Dr. (some frame set-up under asp), but those numbered links above should take you to some of the sets and other images of pages.
  • Links work fine for me. Tons of good stuff here. Very interesting post, thanks Abiezer. Could the lists of MoFi and Mofirc taglines and quotes as collected on the Wiki be a type of modern-day Commonplace book?
  • I had that in mind a bit Moth - I smiled at the idea in that last link that commonplace books were in part a response to what people thought of as an information overload brought on by the easier availability of books to to that new-fangled printing. Googling around for stuff to add here also brought up several blog posts exploring the idea in the modern age, for example this one (at a blog with a title we should like)
  • Some writers/poets carry a small notebook in which to jot ideas, new words and interesting phrases, etc down in. In some ways these remind me of such writers' notebooks. Went ahead and bookmarked 'em for this weekend's reading. Thanks,