Anonymous Copybook

Our new intern, Alondra Morillon, wrote a blog post. Please enjoy!

As a new intern, I wanted to do some poking around in the special collections to acquaint myself with the Fondren Library. In my search, I stumbled across a “copybook,”  which are books intended for others to copy the handwriting that was inside. This little book happened to be full of sermons, letters and fables that were all handwritten in cursive.

Open book displaying cursive writing

The book’s contents were listed at the very beginning, which were also listed in the Fondren Library finding aid page. The sections titled, “Useful and Wholesome Reflections” and “Useful and Amusing Conversations” were what caught my eye initially, but after reading through, the section on “Reflections on Voltaire’s Semiramis” was the most entertaining.

Table of contents in cursive

This little book broke in half when I handled it— the pages were also brittle and falling apart, but the handwriting was still clear and legible. Though, how anyone is expected to copy down this type of cursive is a feat in itself! I wonder if this book was intended for children or for adults. Depending on the subject matter, I’m inclined to believe it was intended for adults or teenagers. 

Showing brittle pages

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