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Shorthand Alphabet, In A Collection Of Tracts On Shorthand, Music, Etc.

Shorthand Alphabet, In A Collection Of Tracts On Shorthand, Music, Etc.

Medium: Ink on vellum

Date: 1300

Shelfmark: Royal MS 12 C.vi

Item number: f.9v

Length: 20.8

Width: 15.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

In the Middle Ages the cost of binding books was a considerable part of the overall expense of creating a manuscript, so, rather than bind short works individually, several different works--having more or less in common with one another--would often be bound together. This volume, of only 80 leaves, contains a dozen texts, originally written as several different sections. A late medieval list of contents and press-mark on a flyleaf shows that it used to contain even more texts, and belonged to the library at the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds. This is the last page of a treatise on shorthand. After the end of the text are the letters of the alphabet, followed by an alternate alphabet composed of symbols which require fewer pen-strokes to write, and therefore can be written more quickly.

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