In this Digital Age



Summer and my garden gate is open. I am so happy with my new tablet. So why am I writing this post on a brand new tablet? I am a gadget geek and so far I couldn’t have been happier

The first use of the word “computer” was recorded in 1613 in a book called “The young mans gleanings” by English writer Richard Braithwait I have read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that ever breathed, and he reduceth thy days into a short number. It referred to a person who carried out calculations or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century.

The first electronic digital computers were developed between 1940 and 1945 in the United Kingdom and the United States. Originally they were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers.

Today, in the 21st century, people write as never before—in print and online

Where did writing materials get it start? Seems like a simple question, but the answer is more complex than we would expect.

One of the oldest materials used as writing support was stone: inside surface of the cave walls or fallen off blocks of rock. The famous Code of Hammurabi was carved in Babylonia (c.2030BC).Another writing materials in Babylonia were softy clay tablets into which cuneiform text was first incised by means of a stylus. In ancient Egypt, more flexible materials were used, named papyrus and skin products. Papyrus was made of cores of stalks of papyrus reed, the plan which was very popular in the Nile delta. Cores were cut into thin strips, which were then made into sheets by placing a number of strips side by side with superposed layer crossing at the right angels. When still moist, the strips were pressed beaten together, and sticky fluid thus expressed served as the adhesive. The obtained sheets end were then glued with flour paste to form long rolls which, having been dried and polished,  were written on with reed pen resembling small brushes called calamus Beside papyrus special prepared animal skin- parchment was used as a writing material in ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia. Among the many advantages of parchment were durability, lightness and flexibility. Parchment received ink and paints remarkably well and unlike papyrus, it could be written on both side. During the first Millennium, BC parchment had already become common writing materials in the whole area of the Near East.  Following the papyrus was originally formed into scrolls by stitching sheets, but gradually scrolls came be replaced by a more convenient form of the codex. The oldest document on parchment came from the State of Franks. Parchment was to be used commonly in Europe as late as in the 15 century AD when the paper appeared as the most serious rival to question the significance of Parchment. Paper, a Chinese invention from the 2nd century, introduced to Europe by Arabs in the 8th century, was based on the fibres of vegetable materials. Made predominantly from linen rags, a paper was less expensive and more effective than parchment. Although there are available Greek documents writing on paper as early as in the 9th century, the paper becomes a widely used writing material in the Near East only in the 13 century. The application of the paper as a writing material progressively become more and more widespread as a consequence of the lower cost of paper manufacture, the development of printing from movable types faces, and the prevalence of education.



About conservationwithella

Hello, I'm Ella, Art on Paper Conservator & Preservation Manager at Glasgow University Archives and Special Collections. This blog is a walk through my daily life, work, arts & crafts history, my discovery that everything in my life is enough to be a continuous source of reflection. I started blogging to entertain myself but I hope you enjoy it too. I'm sure you agree, that Life without art is nothing. :)

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