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Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They became significant in Early Modern Europe.  "Commonplace" is a translation of the Latin term locus communis (from Greek tópos koinós, see literary topos) which means "a theme or argument of general application", such as a statement of proverbial wisdom. In this original sense, commonplace books were collections of such sayings, such as John Milton's commonplace book. Scholars…

Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They became significant in Early Modern Europe. "Commonplace" is a translation of the Latin term locus communis (from Greek tópos koinós, see literary topos) which means "a theme or argument of general application", such as a statement of proverbial wisdom. In this original sense, commonplace books were collections of such sayings, such as John Milton's commonplace book. Scholars…

An 1884 notebook in which Mark Twain, “toying with the notion of a physician trying to write a play,” experimented with several hilarious character names.

A Peek Inside the Notebooks of Famous Authors, Artists and Visionaries

An 1884 notebook in which Mark Twain, “toying with the notion of a physician trying to write a play,” experimented with several hilarious character names.

Artisan of History: Commonplace Books.  Jonathan Edwards, early 1700's How might you rethink the format of a book? Jonathan Edwards did so by dint of necessity: his style called for it. That happened to Marcel Proust, too, who edited so much his manuscripts became layered and pasted

Artisan of History: Commonplace Books. Jonathan Edwards, early 1700's How might you rethink the format of a book? Jonathan Edwards did so by dint of necessity: his style called for it. That happened to Marcel Proust, too, who edited so much his manuscripts became layered and pasted

"According to the inscription in the flyleaf, this book was owned by a Sara Jenkins in the early nineteenth century. It is described as a commonplace book that improves on John Locke’s method of categorizing information, and in its introduction quite vehemently criticizes Locke’s “inconveniences”. Despite the criticisms, it is conspicuous that the book is riding on Locke’s name for its promotion. The book remains mostly blank, with only seven entries written and signed by Sarah Jenkins."…

"According to the inscription in the flyleaf, this book was owned by a Sara Jenkins in the early nineteenth century. It is described as a commonplace book that improves on John Locke’s method of categorizing information, and in its introduction quite vehemently criticizes Locke’s “inconveniences”. Despite the criticisms, it is conspicuous that the book is riding on Locke’s name for its promotion. The book remains mostly blank, with only seven entries written and signed by Sarah Jenkins."…

Sara Coleridge

Beautiful Commonplace Books By Lewis Carroll, Nancy Cunard and More (Photos)

Project: Start a Commonplace Book | Self Made Scholar - Free Self Education Classes Online

Project: Start a Commonplace Book | Self Made Scholar - Free Self Education Classes Online

Famous commonplace books.

Beautiful Commonplace Books By Lewis Carroll, Nancy Cunard and More (Photos)

The Glass Box And The Commonplace Book | Before we had Pinterest to log all of our favorite quotes, there was this.

The Glass Box And The Commonplace Book | Before we had Pinterest to log all of our favorite quotes, there was this.

The commonplace book was the primary tool used by Enlightenment savants to record and classify valuable thoughts encountered in their reading. In the New York R

Proteotypes: A Little Common Place Book (reading tool)

The commonplace book was the primary tool used by Enlightenment savants to record and classify valuable thoughts encountered in their reading. In the New York R

A Writer's Commonplace Book. I keep one but call it my Curiosity Book. As much as it's for recording ideas and passages, I also store answers to questions that have come up in life. Some questions can never be answered, which makes me feel safe. It has less to do with me as a writer or designer; more about what it means to be human. It helps. Every day I realize how limited my scope is, and how the ordinary world is filled with beauty — and extraordinary stories.

A Writer's Commonplace Book. I keep one but call it my Curiosity Book. As much as it's for recording ideas and passages, I also store answers to questions that have come up in life. Some questions can never be answered, which makes me feel safe. It has less to do with me as a writer or designer; more about what it means to be human. It helps. Every day I realize how limited my scope is, and how the ordinary world is filled with beauty — and extraordinary stories.

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