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Miscellaneous OrderManuscript Culture and the Early Modern Organization of Knowledge$
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Angus Vine

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809708

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809708.001.0001

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Sir Hugh Plat’s Network of Notebooks

Sir Hugh Plat’s Network of Notebooks

(p.158) 5 Sir Hugh Plat’s Network of Notebooks
Miscellaneous Order

Angus Vine

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the notebooks of the inventor, writer on agriculture, brewer, and businessman, Sir Hugh Plat. Building on the discussion of knowledge transfer in Chapter 4, this chapter shows how Plat’s surviving manuscripts constitute a ‘network of notebooks’. Focusing on the copying and circulation of information across these volumes, the chapter reveals how Plat developed a system of annotation, which progressed from hodgepodge miscellanies, organized only by date of entry, to topically rigorous manuscripts arranged by subject. This system was essential to Plat’s lifelong project to improve recipes, information, and ultimately knowledge itself. Drawing on his printed commonplace books as well, the chapter reveals that Plat’s ‘network’ was grounded in humanist methods of reading, but that he also transformed those precepts and practices by extending them from textual examples to incorporate observed particulars and much more miscellaneous material as well.

Keywords:   Hugh Plat, network, notebook, recipes, knowledge-making, improvement, information, science, humanism, commonplacing

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