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 have expanded this usage to include any manuscript that collects material along a common theme by an individual.
Such books were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator's particular interests.
Other articles related to "commonplace book, commonplaces, books, commonplace books":
... writers, it would appear how large were their indebtedness to their diary and commonplaces ... have copied out fine passages from the classics here are lists of books to be read and here, most interesting of all, lists of books that have actually been read, as the reader testifies with some youthful vanity by ... of characters including Klaus Baudelaire and the Quagmire triplets keep commonplace books ...
Famous quotes related to commonplace book:
“For anyone addicted to reading commonplace books ... finding a good new one is much like enduring a familiar recurrence of malaria, with fever, fits of shaking, strange dreams. Unlike a truly paludismic ordeal, however, the symptoms felt while savoring a collection of one mans pet quotations are voluptuously enjoyable ...”
—M.F.K. Fisher (19081992)