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  1. Last 7 days
    1. Popularized in a previous period of information overload, theIndustrial Revolution of the eighteenth and early nineteenthcenturies, the commonplace book was more than a diary or journalof personal reflections

      Commonplace books were popularized in the late 1400s/early 1500s in handbooks by Desiderius Erasmus, Philip Melanchthon, Rudolphus Agricola, and others along with the rise and accessibility of printed books.

      Would have been nice to have some more background and history on their development and evolution. Mentions of florilegia, vade mecum, others perhaps? Other cultures?

  2. Dec 2021
    1. Simultaneously, there was a revival of the old art of excerpting and the use of commonplace books. Yet, the latter were perceived no longer as memory aids but as true secondary memo-ries. Scholars, in turn, became increasingly aware that to address the informa-tion overload produced by printing, the best solution was to train a card index instead of their own individual consciousness.

      Another reason for the downfall of older Western memory traditions is the increased emphasis and focus on the use of commonplaces and commonplace books in the late 1400s onward.

      Cross reference the popularity of manuals by Erasmus, Agricola, and Melanchthon.

  3. Nov 2021
    1. pedagogues in the humanist tradition, from Erasmus to Drexel,were routinely hostile to the arts of memory.

      On Erasmus’s preference for “study, order and care” over places and images, see Erasmus,De ratione studii(1512), quoted in Yates,The Art of Memory,p. 127

      What other pedagogues were hostile to memory?

      This is another point in the decline of memory traditions from the 1500s onward.

      What effect did cheaper books and paper have on this decline?

      Keep in mind that Erasmus had written a treatise on commonplacing which was also a point in the history of note taking though Blair doesn't acknowledge his contributions in her list here. Also Agricola and Melanchthon

  4. Jul 2021
    1. I'm particularly interested here in the idea of interleaved books for additional marginalia. Thanks for the details!

      An aspect that's missing from the overall discussion here is that of the commonplace book. Edwards' Miscellanies is a classic example of the Western note taking and idea collecting tradition of commonplace books.

      While the name for his system is unique, his note taking method was assuredly not. The bigger idea goes back to ancient Greece and Rome with Aristotle and Cicero and continues up to the modern day.

      From roughly 900-1300 theologians and preachers also had a sub-genre of this category called florilegia. In the Christian religious tradition Philip Melanchthon has one of the more influential works on the system: De locis communibus ratio (1539).

      You might appreciate this article on some of the tradition: https://blog.cph.org/study/systematic-theology-and-apologetics/why-are-so-many-great-lutheran-books-called-commonplaces-or-loci

      You'll find Edwards' and your indexing system bears a striking resemblance to that of philosopher John Locke, (yes that Locke!): https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/john-lockes-method-for-common-place-books-1685