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1.438 ?! themes to choose from!
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What has been accomplished this summer

Of the roughly one hundred Lyonese books viewed earlier this year, thirty volumes have traces of use. Screening the books and entering the data into Devonthink resulted in some 80 tags which specify the traces of use. Having finally made the time to find my way into the program, Devonthink is a godsend; it calls itself 'Your Smart Information Assistant' and that it is! Entering the data is a matter of concentration and getting it done. For once no computer-glitches! As I go along the tagging will become more specific, joining some tags together and pulling some apart.
The screenshots below show some of the possiblities within the Devonthink interface.

Above: a selection of annotated pages.
  Below: copious annotations on the endpapers of Petrus Tateretus, Expositio etc
(Lugduni: Claudius Davost, ca. 1509) UvA callnumber OTM: OG 6-4.

Above: a selection of manuscript ownership, usually found on paste down, front endpaper or title page.
Below: detail of multiple ownership marks in Joan. Ludoc. Vivaldo, Opus regale
Lugduni: Stephanus Guyenard, 1509. UvA call number OTM: 973 F 31.

Manuscript ownership: ’Pertinet fratribus sancte crucis in Embrica Ex donatione magistri Arnoldi Holt Oretur pro eo.’ The words ’fribus sce crucis’ have been crossed out and ’pastori’ written above. The ownership stamps are those of the University of Amsterdam and of Jacob Buyck (1549-1599). Through the years the University of Amsterdam has used different stamps, by which, theoretically, it should be possible to roughly  date the acquisition of the book by the UvA library. Bibliophile pastor Jacob Buyck has been mentioned earlier in this blog. Thirty years after his death a large part of Buyck's books ended up in the Amsterdam 'Stadsbibliotheek'. Former UvA bookhistorian Kees Gnirrep has reconstructed the extraordinary story of the formation and survival of Buyck's library

Devonthink will accommodate serendipity.


Juvenile traces of use

Johanna Spyri, Heidi. Translated By Helen B. Dole. Illustrated by William Sharp. 
Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., (1945). Illustrated Junior Library. 
Originally published in 1880 in German as Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre  
with a sequel in 1881, Heidi kann brauchen, was es gelernt hat

All-time favourite and (re)printed in many languages, this copy of Heidi landed in my bookcase when I was young and, like millions of other children, I let my imagination flow reading about Heidi's adventures on a mountain in Switserland. Jackson's observations concerning a student's annotations in an 18th century copy of French grammar are confirmed in the traces of use I left in my copy of Heidi. All notes are on the endpapers, there are no notes in the text. In fact there are no notes having any connection with the story in the book. The squiggles and writings are instructive, of a child learning to read and write her name, words she has just learnt and exercising the basics of artithmetic.

It is not uncommon for children to annotate their books in this way. Jackson goes so far as to say that 'a case can be made for their [the childrens annotations] revealing fundamental readers' attitudes in a particularly raw state', annotation being a tool for understanding a text. The childish writing and re-writing of one's name and other words serve the same purpose as the more mature students annotations, translations, paraphrases etc., namely the internalization of a written or printed text.
A quick search in the Lyon imprints of the research corpus reveals that adults also use endpapers of books for writing exercises. Below the penmanship of Franciscus Lutrini in a copy of Albertus Magnus Compendium theologicae veritatis.

Albertus Magnus, Compendium theologicae veritatis. N.p., n.d. [Lyon: Guillaume Balsarin, ca. 1487]
UvA call number OTM: Inc 261. Verso of free back endpaper.

Jackson, H.J. ,  Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2001. 'Chapter One. Physical Features'.


My last post was too long ago

How often does one read this or a similar line in a blog?
Almost three blogless months, but they have not been idle. I have found five more Pinto bindings, written an introductory article on researching traces of use and, after uploading a new version of my web-builder, the tracesofuse.eu site of course needed some repairing and maintenance.
Now, ready to roll the blog again, lined up for the next blog entry are juvenile traces of use, found in a copy of Heidi. A textbook case which confirms what H. Jackson writes on the subject in Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books.