Manuscript, paleography, and book history resources

by Nick

Printed sources have generally been at the vanguard of early modern digitisation projects, but manuscript sources are starting to catch up, together with resources on the technological aspects of books (printing, binding etc). Here are some links I’ve seen floating round the blogosphere in the past few weeks.

First, the Beinecke now has a Flickr photostream. It includes the Paleographical Commons, a collection of early modern handwriting. The material has a Creative Commons atribution licence, so you can copy and distribute it so long as you attribute it to them. Here are some gems (all courtesy of the Beinecke, naturally).

Medical recipes from an anonymous late 17th century MS collection, compiled by a member of Cambridge University. This page includes liquorice balls and cakes for colds:

Doodles from the beginning of a mid-seventeenth century collection of poems:

Address and broken seal from a letter by Henry Rich, first earl of Holland, to Frances Rich, Lady Paget:

First page of the same letter:

Another useful resource is hosted by the English Faculty at Cambridge, which is in the final year of its 3-year Scriptorium project. It’s digitising various manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books from between 1450 and 1720. Not a great deal is online at the moment, but more is scheduled to go up soon. It also has the fantastically useful early modern handwriting course.

Princeton has a great online exhibition about hand bookbindings. More useful resources can be found in this post at bookn3rd (a great blog about book history by a postgrad at the University of London).