The Commonplace Book

The Commonplace Book is a service of the Internet Book Information Center. Server space for The Commonplace Book is provided courtesy of SunSITE, a joint project of Sun Microsystems and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Commonplace book (n.): an edited collection of striking passages noted in a single place for future reference.

There was a time when commonplace books were a popular way for civilized men and women to record striking passages they found in their reading. Who can forget the electrifying effect that some thoughts have on us when we encounter them for the first time ? The commonplace book is a way of memorializing those striking passages so that one can return to them for renewed inspiration.

The idea of this experimental Commonplace Book home page is to test the concept of an edited Internet Commonplace Book built by and available to a wide variety of users.

Submissions are encouraged; that is the comparative advantage of putting the project online. Please submit striking passages (no more than a few paragraphs long) via e-mail to, with the word "Commonplace" in the subject line. Please include your name & e-mail address, as well as the proper attribution of the quoted passage and its exact location in the work cited.

Thanks to Curtis Emerson for bringing this site to my attention.

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