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The Nature of Notebooks - Matthew Daniel Eddy


The Nature of Notebooks: How Enlightenment

Schoolchildren Transformed the Tabula Rasa

Matthew Daniel Eddy


When considering digital note-taking techniques, how do tabula figura compare to digital images? Nowadays, many students studying maths and engineering use codes to generate all the layout and figures precisely that even normal word documents can not achieve. What’s the future of paper-based note-keeping, will that be replaced as technology develops rapidly?


“The mind was a piece of white paper, or wax, to be moulded and fashioned as one pleases.”

(John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education)

“A COMMONPLACE [note]book, conducted without any method is an exact picture of the Memory of a man whose inquiries are not directed by philosophy. And the advantages of order in treasuring up our ideas in the mind, are perfectly analogous to its effects when they are recorded in writing.”

(Duglas Stewart)

“Diagrams drawn on paper, are copies of ideas, and not liable to the uncertainty that words carry in their signification.”

(John Locke)


It’s really impressive to see various structures and techniques of note-keeping from Enlightenment Scotland students. The study of notebooks is important for both the pedagogical system and school students nowadays. Techniques for molding, writing and drawing are able to combine in different ways. The reading inspired me a lot in developing the way I take notes, especially in visualization and layout.


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A Vocabulary for Fieldnotes - Roger Sanjeck

Reading FIELDNOTES – The Making of Anthropology Roger Sanjek A Vocabulary for Fieldnotes Question “My own published work shows, that I let this kind of work take precedence over pratically everything


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