See it now: “one object that few can have ever seen: … a Renaissance iPad.”

New York Times writer, Edward Rothstein concludes his review of the current exhibition at the Morgan Library:

“… it has one object that few can have ever seen: a rare pocket-size calendar from 1609 with blank pages treated with coatings of gesso and glue. Using a stylus (no ink required), the owner could keep a diary without worrying about either honesty or secrecy. Instructions are given for treatment after writing: “Take a little peece of Spunge, or a Linnencloath, being cleane without any soyle: wet it in water” and “wipe that you have written very lightly, and it will out, and within one quarter of a hower you may write in the same place againe.” It is the first erasable diary, a Renaissance iPad.”

Here’s the Princeton exemplar, an edition from ca. 1605: [Writing tables with a kalendar for xxiiii. yeeres, with sundry necessarie rules. The tables made by Robert Triplet] [London, c. 1605?] 16mo in eights, 29 leaves (of 32) only (wanting A1, C4 and D8). Call number: Ex Item 5627567. Acquired in July 2009.

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