Monday, November 30, 2015

Albrecht von Haller's Schedulae

Albrecht von Haller (1708-1777) was an important scientist of the eighteenth century.[1] His contributions to Botany and Medicine are difficult to under-estimate. He was also a poet of some note.

By all accounts he was an avid reader, who, after reading any book wrote down the most significant contributions he found in it, and summarized its contents. These were called "judicia" or "judgments." later he published these as book reviews. His notes were kept on slips of paper or "schedulae" which he kept wrapped in sheets of paper that formed envelopes which were then tied together with twine. See here. I think the packages are organized by date.

It was not the most effective ways of keeping notes. In fact, I am not sure it was better than the notebook method. His way of keeping notes was clearly indebted to that of Jungius who was warned by Placcius not to use loose slips to organize his research.[2]

1. See Wikipedia on Haller.
2. More about Jungius here.

1 comment:

Angry Thinker said...

Without judging the quality of von Haller's schedulae, I'd say Luhmann had it together better, literally & figuratively.