Quill Books before print mediamediamediamediamediamedia
choosing a writing support
making quires and sheets
preparing the page
copying the text
correcting the text
decorating the book
binding the book
using the book
> Using the Book> Manicula

Helping hand

With a nota-sign the reader expressed that a passage was noteworthy or deserved a closer read. The manicula (Latin for "little hand") was another means to do so. As with nota-signs, the actual form of the pointing finger varies considerably. Readers may have had their own unique design to distinguish their hands from those of other readers.
The hands are sometimes accompanied by short notes, which the reader may have written in response to the text. As with bookmarks and nota-signs, maniculae show us what information were deemed important or relevant to an individual long ago. In that sense they lend a helping hand to the book historian as much as they did to the medieval reader.