This copy of Justinian’s Institutes combines a number of interesting design elements. The original text of the Institutes – in the center of the small printed page – is surrounded by later printed commentary, or gloss. This left no room for marginal notes, which this volume’s owner rectified by interleaving the printed volume with blank pages to allow for his extensive annotations.
The creation of commonplace books was once a popular method of legal study. It consisted of entering notes on case law, statutes, and lectures in notebooks under alphabetically arranged topics. The printed book here, a treatise on pleading, is organized like a commonplace book. At least a century after it was printed, its owner, Samuel Kekewich, converted it into a commonplace book by interleaving it with blank pages, giving him the space to add material of his own.