Bringing Early Manuscripts into the Classroom

For several years, I have been creating paleography assignment for my book history courses. Well, when I say “creating” I really mean linking this excellent website with self guided tutorials from the National Archives. In addition to providing an informative … Continue reading

Increase Mather Went to London, and All I Got Was This Bibliographic Headache

(This post is a slightly edited version of the talk I gave at the Society of Early Americanists “London and the Americas, 1492-1812” conference at Kingston University, July 17-21, 2014. The presentation was part of a round table entitled “Puritan Studies … Continue reading

John Pynchon, teenage sermon notaker (American Antiquarian Society)

When I sent the my book off for publication, there was some uncertainty about who exactly this notetaker was. The catalog record at the American Antiquarian Society reads “[Pinch/Pyncheon?, John]. sermon notes; possibly those of John Pinch (1625-??).” Only after … Continue reading

Daniel Russell, sermon notebook page detail (American Antiquarian Society)

Reading 17th-century handwriting can be difficult. Daniel Russell’s handwriting here is quite consistent, even if the shapes of the letters are unfamiliar to the modern reader. In fact, Russell’s notebook contains careful copies of his own sermons, so the handwriting … Continue reading

Daniel Russell, sermon notebook pages (American Antiquarian Society)

Although Daniel Russell records copies of his own sermons in this notebook, the style is common for auditor notes. The oblong format (not unlike the modern reporter’s notebook or steno pad) allows the recorder to go all the way to … Continue reading