Roland Thaxter’s Sketchbook, from the Biodiversity Heritage Library

You can find some amazing things in online archives. Below are some pages from a sketchbook by a botanist named Roland Thaxter, who lived from 1858-1932 (read more about him here).   The actual sketchbook is in a library at Harvard, but it is shared via The Biodiversity Heritage Library, which “works collaboratively to make […]

Explorers’ Sketchbooks

This looks like a lovely book, full of travel sketches and notes on flora and fauna found in uncharted places: Explorers’ Sketchbooks. “This remarkable book showcases 70 such sketchbooks, kept by intrepid men and women as they journeyed perilous and unknown environments—frozen wastelands, high mountains, barren deserts, and dense rainforests—with their senses wide open.” Available […]

Vintage Notebooks from My Collection

Most of my notebooks are ones that I’ve bought new and filled with my own notes and sketches. But I also occasionally succumb to my weakness for collecting other people’s used notebooks when I see them at flea markets or on eBay. Here’s a few that I’ve picked up along the way. This Rice-Stix notebook […]

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. […]

Moleskine Monday: Paper Weights Revealed!

Moleskine has always been rather cagey about revealing the actual weight of their paper, unlike rival notebook makers such as Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Fabriano and many others who specify their paper weight in GSM (grams per square meter). GSM isn’t the only factor in how a paper performs, but it’s a good indicator, as thicker paper […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sketches of the Surface

Did you ever wonder how someone came up with the design for the Microsoft Surface tablet? Apparently it started with these early concept sketches in Ralf Groene’s notebook:   Read more at Microsoft’s Surface tablet started off life as this doodle in a sketchbook | The Verge

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 […]

Lineaturen Notebook

Here’s something similar to the Grids and Guides notebook I posted about a few weeks ago. It’s called “Lineaturen” in German, which seems to translate to “line structures.” I spotted this notebook at the Centre Pompidou store and thought it was quite neat, not just as a notebook but as an exploration of the various […]