Essayes (1603), tr. John Florio

by Michel de Montaigne; transcription and encoding by Sabrina Smith

Annotated copy of the first English translation of Montaigne's Essais. Features extensive seventeenth-century manuscript annotations by an anonymous reader, who also kept a detailed index at the rear of the volume listing Montaigne's self-references. This copy also bears the hand corrections of the translator John Florio.

Pseudodoxia epidemica, Second Edition (1650)

by Sir Thomas Browne; transcription and encoding by Mark Gallagher

Copy of Browne's Pseudodoxia, which has been hailed as a seventeenth-century Mythbusters, featuring the contemporary manuscript annotations of Thomas Turner of Gray's Inn. Turner's notes create a dense network of cross-references within the text. Turner also references other works by Browne as well as several English and Continental books.

An account of ... the life of a private gentleman (1708)

by Anonymous; transcription and encoding by Sabrina Smith

Bears extensive eighteenth-century manuscript notes and markings by Thomas Austen, Vicar of Hoo, Kent. At the front of the volume Austen has recorded a key to the symbols he writes in the margins. His marginalia include autobiographical commentary and other devotional notes.

A Natural History of English Song-Birds (1779)

by Eleazar Albin; transcription and encoding by Samantha Morse

A book about English birds significantly enhanced by the manuscript notes of Judith Gowing, who added commentary on avian care and taxidermy to the volume's blank spaces in the early nineteenth century.

The Morals of Confucius (1724)

by Confucius; transcription and encoding by Samantha Morse

Annotated by a rather cantankerous reader, this English translation (of an earlier French translation) presents excerpts from Confucius' Analects. An angry and not-so-likeable reader is on full display here: his notes contain criticisms of the translation, negative assessments of Chinese religion and culture, and other polemical remarks.


The Art of Contentment (1675)

by Richard Allestree; transcription and encoding by Samantha Morse

Featuring a range of emendations (including supplementary marginal notes, textual corrections, and even a new title-page image), this copy was most likely prepared by an editor and printer as the basis for a new printed edition of the book. The book's manuscript content also includes "casting-off" marks, which are used to determine page breaks in a new edition.

A Report and Discourse (1570)

by Roger Ascham; transcription and encoding by Philip Palmer

With primarily indexical contemporary manuscript notes by William Yelverton, who annotated this copy using both secretary and italic scripts. One annotation offers a not insubstantial piece of commentary on Machiavelli. The unusually wide surviving margins in this copy ensured Yelverton's marginalia could be read by today's scholars.

Three poems upon ... Oliver Cromwel (1682)

by John Dryden et al.; transcription and encoding by Mark Gallagher

This item contains highly satirical manuscript commentary on one of the most infamous books of the seventeenth-century: Dryden's mid-century panegyrics on Cromwell, reprinted during the Restoration to embarrass the poet. This reader creatively augmented the printed text by adding a manuscript poem titled "Postscript of a Wit."

Prince Arthur. An Heroick Poem (1695)

by Sir Richard Blackmore; transcription and encoding IN PROGRESS

In 1696 John Dennis would publish an attack on Blackmore's Prince Arthur titled Remarks on a book entituled, Prince Arthur. This copy bears the rough notes that would later become Dennis's printed Remarks and thus functions as a kind of rough draft.

Dictionnaire Philosophique (1765)

by Voltaire; transcription and encoding PENDING

Formerly owned by the eighteenth-century French bibliophile Fran├žois-Louis Jamet, this copy contains substantial manuscript commentary in the hand of its owner. In most cases these notes augment the printed text with new entries in manuscript. The Clark owns over a dozen early printed books annotated by Jamet.