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> Copying the Text > Reading Aids> Running Title

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Running titles have a long history. They are encountered in manuscripts made as early as the sixth century. Their main use was to indicate to the reader where in the book he or she was. Early examples merely reveal the given book within the text - stating, for example, "Liber primus" (Book 1). With the coming of the scholastic manuscript in the late twelfth century, used at universities throughout Europe, the running titles became more sophisticated. They would often provide the reader with the full title of the text at a given page.
Moreover, the presentation of the running title became smarter as well. It became split up and spread out over both top margins of a book opening: half of the text title on the left page, the other half on the right page, as seen in this image. An equally early adopter of this clever type is the Paris Bible, a popular tool among preachers on the road. Like students, they needed to find texts and passages quickly. "You are here," they seem to say, "Now you do your thing."