Opening the Early Modern ToolBox:
 The Digital Interleaf and Digital Commonplace Book


  • Scott Schofield University of Victoria
  • Jennette Weber



Proximity, Note-taking, Handwriting, Archiving, Interleaf, Annotation


This paper considers how early modern note-taking practices can inform the design of digital reading environments.  In particular, it argues that proximate, handwritten note-taking is essential for both memory retention and archiving, and that digital readers should work within structures that allow for such practices.  The Digital Interleaf, the first of two conceptual prototypes introduced, offers one response to that need: a multi-layered page designed for individual and social annotation.  The Digital Commonplace Book, the second of the prototypes discussed, provides a method for indexing notes from the Digital Interleaf.  These two interoperable concepts are the first in a suite called the Early Modern Toolbox.

Author Biographies

Scott Schofield, University of Victoria

Dr. Scott Schofield 
INKE Postdoctoral Fellow in the History and Future of the Book 
University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STS CNC
Victoria, BC
V8W 2Y2 

Jennette Weber

Jennette Weber is a designer specializing in user experience and user interface design. She holds a bachelor degree in graphic design from the York/Sheridan Joint Program of Design, as well as a Master of Information, with a concentration in Critical Information Studies and Book History and Print Culture, from the University of Toronto. She now works in Toronto, designing a range of mobile applications and web services.







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