It’s hard to imagine what sort of evidence, we as humans living now, will leave for others to find in a few century’s time. The concept of looking at a schoolboy’s marginalia in an amazingly preserved 16th century book is fantastic. The fact it survived such a lengthy journey through time is testament to some amazing craftsmanship (some mean binding!) and probably the reverence that we still collectively place on books as intrinsically important objects of beauty, knowledge and insight.
It also shows students haven’t changed either!
The scribbles of a 16th-century Welsh schoolboy have given researchers an intriguing insight into the history of a medieval book in the collection of the National Library of Australia (NLA).
The English Psalter — a book of psalms — was made between 1330 and 1350, most likely by monks for a wealthy lay person.
It features Latin text in iron gall ink and illuminated letters and decorations.
NLA conservator Freya Merrell said pencil annotations by a boy called Thomas indicated the book might have been smuggled into Wales after Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1536.
"He's written his name and the date in there and he's done some little squiggles during his class time probably," Ms Merrell said.