Bodleian Library, Oxford University

MS. Locke d. 10

A large notebook with the title “Lemmata Ethica, Argumenta et Authores 1659” on the flyleaf. Most of the notes were made before 1668, but it was used again in 1681-1682 and between 1693 and 1700.

The notebook is organized according to one of Locke’s early methods of commonplacing. Using the left-hand (verso) pages only, he allocated five pages to each letter of the alphabet, for the initial letter combined with one of the vowels, e.g. AA AE AI AO AU; these two-letter combinations were written in the upper left-hand corner of each verso page. These pages were then ruled into five columns; pinholes for making the vertical rules between columns can be seen at the top and bottom of many of the blank pages in the notebook. The five columns were again used for the five vowels. The result was that words could be located by their initial letter plus the first two vowels; for example, the note captioned “Ecclesia” is located on the page marked EE in the column marked I. Each note begins with a keyword, appropriately located in the proper page and column. The notebook is thus one extensive self-indexing alphabetical sequence of notes. Notes are written on the verso (left-hand) page of each opening, with occasional continuations on the opposite recto. Some of the recto pages are numbered by Locke; he began the numbering sequence with the first note on a verso page, thus the recto pages bear even numbers.

v, 531 p. (pp. 190-531 are mostly blank). 189 × 239 mm. The format is difficult to determine, but the leaves seem to be folio sheets cut in half horizontally; I cannot determine how they are quired. The volume is handsomely bound in calf, with raised bands and blind tooling.

Individual items in the volume include:

pp. 43-44:

Ecclesia (1682)

p. 95:

Liberum Arbitrium 95 (1695)

p. 161:

Superstitio (1682)

p. 163:

Traditio (1682)

p. 177:

Unitarian (1695)