Bodleian Library, Oxford University

MS. Locke f. 25

A bound volume containing notes on chemical experiments and chemical books. The volume is marked “Adversaria 4 Pharmacopaea” inside the front cover and on the opposite flyleaf. The number “4” is written twice on the fore-edge (facing both directions). The early parts of the book (pp. 2-23) are arranged and indexed according to Locke’s commonplacing method. As Locke continued to enter notes on experiments, however, he modified his system (pp. 26-57a), entering instructions for the experiment on the left (verso) and results on the right (recto); still later (pp. 49-277), he reversed this, giving the instructions on the right and results on the left. At this point (pp. 278 ff) he reverts to his usual commonplacing method. There are two indexes; one according to Locke’s method of commonplacing (pp. 368-369) and another using an earlier technique, with headings indented under an alphabet across the top of the page (pp. 377-378).

The experiments described seem to be based on the lectures of Peter Stahl, probably in 1663. Locke’s sources of some notes is indicated and includes Robert Boyle and Dr. David Thomas, as well as Stahl. Several of the entries are dated, all for 1666 (pp. 33, 55, 136, 169, 276, 322, 354), indicating that Locke continued to use the notebook until about 1667.

vi, 378 pages (= 380; pp. 48-57, 289, 317, 365 repeated; 324-334 omitted in sequence). 148 × 90 mm.