From the Mailbag

From Dave: a link to a page with some beautiful calligraphy in a sketchbook: And also a link to a TV promo video with some glimpses of animated notebook pages in the first 20 seconds:   Bluejay is looking for these notebooks, spotted in a Tumblr post, anyone know where to find them? Raymond shares […]

A Paleontologist’s Field Notebook

Catching up on some old links I’ve saved, here’s a nice wrap-up of some books featuring the pages of artists’, designers’, and scientists’ notebooks, including the one below from Field Notes on Science & Nature: “A typical notebook page detailing the thoughts and events of a day doing fieldwork at Olorgesailie, Kenya, with a personal […]

Frances G. Spencer’s Notebook

Here’s an interesting historical notebook– one of dozens that belonged to Frances G. Spencer, who traveled around the country collecting sheet music in the mid-20th century. Her collection, one of the largest in the US, is now housed in the archives of Baylor University. “The Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music contains […]

Artists’ Diaries at the Smithsonian

I was in Washington DC over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and thanks to a tip from a reader, I went to one of the Smithsonian museums to see a cool little exhibit on artists’ diaries: A Day in the Life: Artists’ Diaries from the Archives of American Art. It’s not a huge exhibition, and the […]

In Search of Notebooks: Paris and Amsterdam

I recently took a trip to Paris and Amsterdam. Searching for notebooks wasn’t the sole purpose of the trip, of course, but I did a better job than usual of preparing for the journey with some research on places to buy notebooks. In Amsterdam, I had less time to devote to stationery shopping, as I’d […]

From the In-Box

Catching up on various tips  and questions people have sent in! From S, a link to an old episode of Fresh Air Weekend: ‘Let’s Explore': David Sedaris On His Public Private Life: The best-selling author and humorist has kept journals for 36 years. Those diaries have been the jumping-off point for the personal essays that […]

Julien “Seth” Malland’s Art

I came across some really interesting work by an artist called Julien “Seth” Malland. He seems to have done graffiti art in Paris, as well as other paintings and collages in notebooks, such as the one below. It looks like an old ledger, which he’s partially covered and painted over, incorporating the old handwriting into […]

Rosa Bonheur Sketchbook

I love the random things I sometimes find from online archives, usually via Google alerts. This one is from the Getty Research Institute: Rosa Bonheur Sketchbook, 1847   Title: Rosa Bonheur sketchbook, 1847. Author/Creator: Bonheur, Rosa, 1822-1899. Creation Date: 1847. Physical Desc.: 1 sketchbook Summary: The sketchbook contains studies of plants, peasants, farm tools, decorative […]

Facsimile of John Wilkes Booth’s Diary

Wow, this is really cool– an amazingly detailed reproduction of the diary of John Wilkes Booth, reproducing all the interior pages, and housed in a painstakingly crafted leather exterior. I love how it’s a wallet and notebook all in one, with lots of handy pockets.   Lots more photos at I have a Booth diary! […]

From Readers

Paul sent photos of this fascinating eBay find: a one-month diary from 1887. I’ve never seen this kind of promotional diary covering only one month!   Anastasija from Macedonia invites you to visit her Etsy shop called Eleusa, where she sells handmade journals and other items:   Marush from Guatemala has a line of notebooks […]