Digital Commonwealth

Commonplace Books (NEHGS)

New England Historic Genealogical Society

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A commonplace book is a volume in which the owner recorded items they wished to remember. Typical elements found in commonplace books include sermon quotes or summaries, Bible passages, lines from poetry or prose, lyrics, newspaper stories, recipes, biographical details, and interesting facts and dates. These resources are often studied by scholar seeking insights into social attitudes, popular culture, local customs, and other influences upon the compilers. This collection contains selected commonplace books from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries found in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Locations in this Collection: