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Sep 29, 2015

A commonplace book, as eighteenth-century British people generally understood the term, was a handwritten document within which memories of various kinds could be captured and reused. But what was the purpose of this mnemonic exercise, and in what context were they created? Was there a contemporary fashion for maintaining records of this type? And what can we, as historians, do with the resulting artefacts, which survive in significant numbers? In this lecture, David Allan answers these and other questions, and demonstrates how aspects of the past experiences of literate human lives can be recovered.