The historian-in-training known to the phone book as Greg Afinogenov and to Hatters as slawkenbergius sent me a link to something he’s been working on for quite a while which is finally launching: TakeNote. He says, “It’s a virtual exhibition, tied to a conference happening at Radcliffe next month, of historical notes from all kinds of sources in Harvard libraries, with high-quality images and a tagging/commenting system.” The site itself says:

The contributions to this virtual exhibit exemplify the great range of note-taking that furthers intellectual or artistic activities (excluding commercial or administrative kinds of notes, among others). Most past note-taking does not survive at all, either because the notes were designed to be temporary (like notes on post-its today) or because they were discarded intentionally or unintentionally at some point. When notes survive, institutions such as libraries and archives have typically played a key role in their survival. This exhibit celebrates the role of agents of preservation as well as the role of note-takers themselves in offering us a glimpse into the working (and thinking) methods of past readers and writers.

It’s well worth looking into.


  1. I very much enjoyed this. Thanks, Slawk. I couldn’t find any architects’ notes, but they mostly write things on very flimsy yellow tracing paper, so that may be why.

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