National Library of Israel, Jerusalem

Yahuda Collection


MS. Var. 294

Pocket memorandum book, 1667.

A memorandum book created from an interleaved copy of Goldsmith’s 1667 Almanack.

The almanack: Goldsmith, 1667. An almanack for the year of our Lord God 1667. Being the third after Bissextile or Leap year: and from the creation, 5616. Wherein is cntained many observations, pleasant, necessary and usefull. With a description of the highways and fairs. The like is not extant by any other[.] Composed by John Goldsmith. London, printed by T. R. for the Company of Stationers, 1667.

12o, 110 × 55 mm. A-B12 (the first gathering is unsigned), [48] pages.

Locke’s memorandum book: The memorandum book was created by interleaving the first gathering of the Almanack and by adding (initially) blank sheets at the front and back of the volume. The volume was then bound in leather, with two metal clasps. The completed book contains 100 leaves; the leaves are not numbered as such, but “folio” numbers will be used in the following description as a system of reference that applies consistently to the whole book.

The Almanack is preceded by a single unnumbered sheet (f. 1) and two unsigned gatherings. The single sheet is a flyleaf, conjugate with the pastedown inside the front cover. The first unsigned gathering currently consists of 11 leaves (ff. 2-11); however a leaf appears to have been torn out between the current sixth and seventh leaves; the gathering was thus originally a standard duodecimo gathering; the “missing” leaf was torn out before the pages were numbered by Locke. The second unsigned gathering consists of 12 leaves (ff. 12-23) The pages of the two gatherings are numbered 1-44 (ff. 2-23); each of these preliminary pages is headed “M”, except for pages 1 and 13.

The memoranda continue on sheets interleaved in the first gathering of the Almanack; two leaves were inserted between each leaf of the Almanack. The first three interleaved sheets are numbered pages 45-50 (ff. 25, 26 and 28); the remaining interleaved sheets are unnumbered and blank. Pages 46-49 are headed “M”.

The Almanack is followed by 28 leaves in two unsigned gatherings (ff. 72-99) plus a final flyleaf (f. 100) which is conjugate with the pastedown inside the back cover. The first of these unsigned gatherings consists of 16 leaves (ff. 72-87); the second consists of 12 leaves (ff. 88-99). Locke used this section of the notebook by turning the volume back-to-front and beginning at the (now) outer leaf (f. 100); the writing in this section is thus reversed in comparison with the writing at the rest of the volume (including the Almanack). The first 9 leaves in the reversed section were numbered pages 1-17 (ff. 100-99v); each of these pages is headed “Q”. The remaining sheets of this section (ff. 72-91) are unnumbered and are blank, apart from some notes on ff. 79r (which are written in the same orientation as the Almanack and is headed “Q”) and 80r (which are written in the reverse orientation of pages 1-17 rev.).

The resulting volume is structurally complex and difficult to represent in a collation formula. However, the following attempts such a formula. It uses italics to indicate unspecified signatures and page numbers. It uses uppercase letters for the signatures of the Almanack and lowercase letters to represent the signatures of the added and interleaved sheets added to the Almanack. The corresponding folio numbers are included in square brackets, although the sheets are not numbered.
12o, 110 × 55 mm. a2 [=the pastedown + f. 1] b12 (- b5-b6) [=ff. 2-11] c12 [=ff. 12-23] A12/d24 [=A1 d1 d2 A2 d3 d4 A3 d5 d6 A4 d7 d8 A5 d9 d10 A6 d11 d12 d13 d14 A7 d15 d16 A8 d17 d18 A9 d19 d20 A10 d21 d22 A11 d23 d24 A12] [=ff. 24-59] B12 [=ff. 60-71] e16 [=ff. 72-87] f12 [=ff. 88-99] g2 [=flyleaf (f. 100) + pastedown]

The preliminary section contains memoranda in Locke’s hand. Many of these are dated. The first dated note (on page 4) mentions a loan made on “Jan. 10” (almost certainly 1667); the last dated note (on page 49) was made on “Jan. 6” (almost certainly 1668). A large portion of the notes (on pages 11-32) relate to Locke’s visit to the West Country in the spring of 1667; there is a note on page 7 to some books “recd at Exeter house. May. 24” [1667].

The section following the Almanack (with reverse numbering) contains notes in Locke’s hand, mostly referring to books. Near the foot of page 8 rev. (f. 95v) there is a horizontal line with the date “67”, probably indicating that preceding entries fall before the beginning of the new year on 25 March 1667. The only other date in this section is the penultimate note (on page 17 rev.; f. 91r) dated “Dec. 18” [1667]; an almost identical entries with the same date is found in the first section of the notebook (on page 47).

The memorandum book is currently in the National Library of Israel, Jerusalem. It was formerly in the collection of Sydney Edelstein in New York. There is a microfilm copy in the Bodleian Library, MS Film 79.