Notebooks from Mussolini’s Italy

From an interesting article at Slate: “American student Barbara Donahue (then Barbara Finlay) lived in Italy between August 1937 and March 1938, when she was 7 and 8 years old. She attended a Catholic school, the Istituto Vittoria Colonna, in Milan. There, she was issued these small soft-covered government-produced student notebooks, decorated with colorful, dramatic […]

Andrew Croswell’s 19th Century Notebooks

I love stumbling on interesting antique notebooks like this! “Andrew Croswell (1778-1858) was a student at Harvard University in the late 1790s. He later studied medicine in Plymouth, MA, and practiced there and in Fayette and Mercer, ME. In the collections [at the Massachusetts Historical Society] we hold two notebooks that were kept by Croswell. […]

Einstein’s Notebook

Thanks to a tip from a reader named Raymond, I can share these images of a notebook that belonged to Albert Einstein: “Einstein’s search for general relativity spanned eight years, 1907-1915. … sometime between the late summer of 1912, when Einstein moved from Prague to Zurich, and early 1913. … [Einstein kept a notebook that was] found […]

William Turner’s Sketchbooks

I spotted this on Facebook– I especially love the simplicity of the lighthouse image!

Laura Jernegan’s Whaleship Journal

A reader named Resi tipped me off to this wonderful website where you can see the pages of a journal kept by a young girl while she was at sea on a whaling ship in 1869 (her father was the captain): Laura Jernegan: Girl on a Whaleship – Explore Laura’s Journal. It’s pretty amazing to […]

WWII Japanese Notebooks

A tantalizing glimpse of some Japanese notebooks dating back to World War II: “Long-forgotten documents on Japan’s attempt to build an atomic bomb during World War II have been discovered at Kyoto University, which experts say further confirms the secret program’s existence and could reveal the level of the research. The newly found items, dating […]

19th Century Style Leather Pocket Diary from Gilded Leaf Bindery

If you’re ever in the mood to splurge on something special, this might be a great way to do it: At $180.00, this is definitely a luxury item, but it’s gorgeous! Made by the Gilded Leaf Bindery in Tennessee, who specialize in hand bookbinding and book restoration. More details on eBay: Leather Pocket Diary Green […]

1911 Catalogue of Stationery

This is extremely cool: a catalog from 1911, featuring all manner of notebooks and other stationery. The only thing that could be cooler would be if you could find some forgotten warehouse that still had all these products in stock!   Flip through the whole catalog at Catalogue of stationery : section no. 1, blank […]

Diary of a WWI Soldier

A beautiful old notebook containing the recollections of Alfred Gougeon, a French stretcher-bearer in World War 1. It sounds like he kept daily notes during the war, and then returned to them in the 1960s to write more about his experiences, given the two sets of dates on the cover. His family kept 3 of […]

An Anonymous Sketchbook

A lovely and mysterious sketchbook from an Australian archive: “One of the most intriguing items in the James Cook University Library Special Collections is a private sketchbook dating from the end of the 19th century. It is considered an anonymous work because its creator, and/or copyright owner, is unknown and so far cannot be traced. […]