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 […]

A Notebook Full of Colors

This is so cool… an artist hand-wrote and painted this book in an attempt to document every color in the world:   “In 1692 an artist known only as “A. Boogert” sat down to write a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. Not only would he begin the book with a bit about the use […]

A 15th Century Sketchbook

Interesting– you don’t usually hear the term “sketchbook” applied to things this old. I think back then paper was a more valuable commodity and wasn’t used as much for practicing and doodling, as some of these pages seem to have been. Or else those rough pages just didn’t survive, and were perhaps erased and re-used. […]

French Factory Worker’s Notebook

Isn’t this a lovely old notebook? Seems to be phone numbers and assorted jottings kept by a guard named Andre who worked at a now-defunct Renault factory, from what I was able to translate of the website where I found it. “Prenez un bleu et suivez moi à travers le carnet de André. Lui était […]

A French Artist’s 1948 Diary

The 1948 diary below belonged to Martin Vivés, an artist who lived in southwestern France. He also seems to have been a museum curator there in the 1940s-1960s, and he met some famous artists including Raoul Dufy, as shown in the notes made in the diary. March 2 shows the phrase “visite Dufy.” It’s an […]

Notebook with Paris Transit Maps

Oh the wonderful things you can stumble across online… an old notebook with transit maps of Paris!  I love the composition book look, typography, and the design of the maps! Very cool… if this online auction hadn’t ended long ago, I would have snapped it up!       “Carnet format 10 cm x 16,8 […]

World War 2 Diaries Found in Attic

A cool story from the Manchester Evening News:   Angela Prince, 74, found the dust-covered notebooks while clearing the attic of her aunt and uncle’s attic in Partington. They appear to be written by children of the Hall family, who ran the medical herbalists Hall’s Hygiene in Salford until the 1970s. Retired secretary Angela, who […]

The Sketchbook / Memorandum Book of W.G. Read

I just love this. A beautiful old notebook with wonderfully drawn little sketches. I’ve come across a few other examples of these T. J. Smith’s “metallic memorandum books” online (and posted about one here). I just wish I’d find one in a junk shop somewhere so I could own one of these treasures myself! Read […]

Restoration of a 19th Century Naturalist’s Notebook

I’d love to flip through this old notebook: “This notebook was owned by the 19th Century poet, preacher, and naturalist, George Crabbe. The binding was damaged, and split along the joint, and some of the sections were loose. However, of most concern were the loose plant and insect specimens that were pressed between the pages.” […]