Medical Marginalia in the Early Printed Books of University of Glasgow Library

  • Robert MacLean
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Reader marginalia are one of the most valuable forms of paratext available to researchers. They offer great potential towards a better understanding of how early modern people read and engaged with books as texts and as physical objects. With so many early published works focusing on medicine and health, marginalia offer particular opportunities for those interested in medical history. This chapter will demonstrate how major cataloguing projects like the Glasgow Incunabula Project are uncovering fascinating examples of medical-related reader marginalia and creating online finding aids, which make it easier for researchers to locate and access early annotated books. Yet large numbers of books remain entirely hidden from view to researchers, either completely uncatalogued or catalogued without copy-specific metadata. This chapter will urge marginalia researchers to liaise with and collaborate with librarians and curators more closely in future to help tackle this issue and allow researchers to begin to address broader research questions.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert MacLean
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Glasgow LibraryGlasgowUK

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