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Finding Aid for the Commonplace Book, 1684-1720
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Commonplace Book
    Date (inclusive): 1684-1720
    Collection number: 170/053
    Creator: unknown
    Extent: 59 leaves extant : paper ; 145 x 96 mm. bound to 150 x 100 mm.
    Abstract: This commonplace book's unidentified author was a student at Oxford. Much of the small volume is filled with accounts and receipts; these include statements of the author's expenses, ranging from tutors and booksellers to tobacco and candles. It also includes short letters, verse and prose entries, and directions for drawing and painting. Written in English, with some Latin and Hebrew.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English, Latin, Hebrew.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Commonplace Book (Collection 170/53). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4230403 

    Processing Note

    Cataloged by Manushag Powell, with assistance from Jain Fletcher and Laurel McPhee, in the Center For Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), July 2004.


    The author is a student at Oxford during the reign of James II. He is thus likely teenaged, and certainly male.

    Scope and Content

    The book is a miscellany written in a single hand. It appears that the pages in the volume were filled at different times (and in no particular order), but the bulk seems likely to have been between 1684 and 1686. Contents include accounts of the author's expenses while at Oxford University, including tutors and booksellers, clothes, shoes, handkerchiefs, foodstuffs, and his pocket money. It also contains a few short letters, verse and prose entries, the latter often in Latin, and a few acrostics/puzzles in both English and Latin. The author also seems to be taking Hebrew lessons, and occasionally practices his Hebrew characters. One section of the book is devoted to directions for drawing and painting, and on cleaning artwork as well as mixing chemicals and paints. This includes recipes for mixing paints of a wide variety of colors, often with somewhat whimsical names. Towards the end of the book is a section of Biblical studies.
    Binding: Original sheep binding.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Genres and Forms of Material


    Related Material

    Bound Manuscripts Collection (Collection 170)  . Available at the UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.