Ubi non est ordo, ibi est confusio. “Where there is no order, there is (inevitably) confusion.” This axiom, attributed to Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli, finds application across countless disciplines. In the history of the organization of knowledge, early modern miscellanies and manuscripts provide no paucity of disorder and confusion to most observers. Many volumes appear arbitrary in content, casually organized, and even chaotic. In Miscellaneous Order: Manuscript Culture and the Early Modern Organization of Knowledge, Angus Vine presents an ardent endeavor to dispel the misnomer of disorder. Examining several models of early modern miscellany, Vine reveals similarities among seemingly disparate sources and the institutions that used them.

Early modern miscellany has received increased attention from scholars in recent years, and especially over the last decade. Ann Blair has published extensively on the evolution of note-taking in early modern Europe. Richard Yeo's work involving notebooks of...

You do not currently have access to this content.