1 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2021
    1. AS PAPER became ever more abundant from the fourteenth century onward, note-taking proliferated, expanding from erasable wax tablets (the method used by Cicero and medieval wool merchants) and erasable donkey skin to permanent slips of paper and notebooks. An early-modern term for notes was “scraps.” Piles of them were called scrap heaps, and tragically for historians, most notes ended up there. Yet notes made in the margins of great printed books survived, and they are like rare seashells in the sands of the libraries.

      Early versions of annotations. Sad to realize that most of them likely perished.

      Interesting to think of this problem of note taking actually coining the phrase "scrap heap".