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detroitlib:

That belt book holder thingy on the right needs a Kickstarter campaign…

Illustration from The Book of Days. A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar Including Anecdote, Biography, & History. Curiosities of Literature and Oddities of Human Life and Character. Edited by R. Chambers. In Two Vols. - Vol.II. Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers, 1864. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co.

Thanks to the helpful folks at the National Archives at Philadelphia ( @phillyarchives ) who pointed us to the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts which indicates that it is a VADE MECUM. “The phrase means ‘goes with me’ in Latin and refers to a portable book (often suspended from a belt), frequently consisting of leaves folded in a concertina or fold-out format. Such books could be consulted easily by physicians, for example, and often contain calendars, almanacs, and medical information.”

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Schweinderl