4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Writing / Palaeography / Calligraphy / Epigraphy


Circa 75,000 BCE – 73,000 BCE
Early Attempt to Record Information or Early Art?
Circa 30,000 BCEThe Advantages of Orally Transmitted Traditions 25,000 BCE – 20,000 BCEThe Ishango Bone, Possibly One of the Oldest Calendars 10,000 BCE
Perhaps the Oldest Map in the World
Circa 8,000 BCE
In Mesopotamia Neolithic Tokens are Developed for "Concrete" Counting
Circa 7,000 BCEThe Earliest Known Fermented Beverage Circa 6,600 BCE
In China, Possibly the Earliest Attempt at Writing
Circa 3,750 BCEThe Earliest Precursors to Writing in Egypt are Rock Drawings Circa 3,600 BCE – 3,200 BCE
One Theory of the Origins of Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Circa 3,320 BCE – 3,150 BCE
Ivory tags from tomb U-j.
The Earliest Known Egyptian Writing
Circa 3,200 BCE – 2,900 BCE
Cuneiform Writing in Mesopotomia Begins at Uruk in Association with the…
Circa 3,200 BCE
One of the Earliest Surviving Examples of Narrative Relief Sculpture and…
Circa 3,200 BCEThe Oldest-Known List of Titles and Occupations 3,200 BCE
Seal impression with the name of Narmer from Tarkhan.
The Earliest Inscription Written in Hieratic
Circa 3,100 BCE – 3,050 BCE
The Word Bibliography is Derived from a Greek Word for Papyrus
Circa 3,100 BCE
A pictographic list of titles and professions in ancient Sumeria (top), with the scribe's signature on the reverse side (bottom.) (View Larger)
The Earliest Autograph Signatures
Circa 3,000 BCE – 1,200 BCE
Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE), the most famous of the early Babylonian kings. (View Larger)
Education in the Bronze Age in the Middle East
Circa 2,620 BCE – 2,500 BCE"The Seated Scribe" or "Squatting Scribe" Circa 2,600 BCE – 2,500 BCEThe Wooden Panels of Hesy-Ra: Government Official, Physician, and Scribe Circa 2,500 BCE
Detail from wall of tomb of Prince Kaninisut showing scribes in seated position. Please click on image to view larger image.
The Sitting Posture of Egyptian Scribes and How They Stored Papyrus Rolls.
Circa 2,400 BCE – 2,300 BCE
Pyramid texts located in Teti I's pyramid. (View Larger)
The Pyramid Texts: The Oldest Known Religious Texts
Circa 2,300 BCE – 2,000 BCEWael Sherbiny Rediscovers the Oldest & Longest Egyptian Leather Roll Circa 2,291 BCE – 2,254 BCE
MS 5106 of the Schoyen Collection, a brick printing block with a large loop handle from the period of Naram-Sîn. (View larger)
The Earliest Printing was Stamped into Soft Clay in Mesopotamia
2,031 BCE – 2,024 BCEThe Garsana Archive of Cuneiform Tablets is Returned to Iraq Circa 2,000 BCE – 1,800 BCEExecration Texts: Ceremonial Writing and Sympathetic Magic in Ancient Egypt Circa 2,000 BCE – 1,700 BCE
Sides A (left) and B (right) of the Phaistos Disc. (View Larger)
"The World's First Typewritten Document" - James Chadwick
Circa 2,000 BCE
Several problems from the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus. (View Larger)
The Older of the Two Best-Known Mathematical Papyri
Circa 1,900 BCE – 1,700 BCEDiscovery of the "Ark Tablet": Decoding the Story of the Flood Circa 1,550 BCE – 1450
Two Egyptian scribal palettes preserved in the British Museum. (View Larger)
Egyptian Scribal Palettes with Ink Wells and Brushes
Circa 1,550 BCE – 50 BCE
Detail from the Papyrus of Ani, showing Ani and his wife entering at left.  Please click to see complete image.
In Ancient Egypt Only the "Book of the Dead" Papyri Were Commercially Produced
Circa 1,500 BCE
EA 5645 of the British Museum: the Words of Khakheperresoneb written on a wooden writing board. (View Larger)
A Wooden Writing Board Containing Text of the Words of Khakheperresoneb
Circa 1,500 BCEThe Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions, the Earliest Evidence for Alphabetic Writing Circa 1,490 BCE – 1,390 BCEOne of the Earliest Known Examples of Writing in Europe 1,450 BCE – 1,050 BCE
The Ostracon from ‘Izbet Sartah (1200–1000 BCE) showing characters of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet.
The Proto-Canaanite Alphabet
Circa 1,450 BCE – 1953Linear B and its Decipherment: Records of Mycenaean Civilization Circa 1,360 BCE – 1,330 BCE
ME E29785 of the British Museum: A letter from Burnaburiash, a king of the Kassite dynasty of Babylonia, to Amenhotep IV. The tablet is one of the Amarna Letters. (View Larger)
Archive of Egyptian Diplomatic Correspondence Written in the Diplomatic…
Circa 1,292 BCE – 1,069 BCE
A self-portrait of the scribe Sesh, arms raised in the presentation of a papyrus scroll and possibly a writing palette. Preserved in the Schoyen Collection as MS 1695. (View Larger)
Self-Portrait of an Egyptian Scribe with his Autograph Signature
Circa 1,200 BCE – 1,050 BCE
The Earliest Chinese Inscriptions that are Indisputably Writing
Circa 1,200 BCE – 1,045 BCE
A bronze guang, or ritualistic wine vessel, of the Shang dynasty. (View Larger)
The Earliest Chinese Inscriptions in Bronze
Circa 1,000 BCE
The Oldest Known Evidence of the Phoenician Alphabet
Circa 1,000 BCE
A shard of ancient pottery found in the Elah Fortress, bearing Proto-Canaanite script which might compose the earliest known Hebrew inscription. (View Larger)
Possibly the Earliest Hebrew Inscription
Circa 950 BCE
The Gezer Calendar
Circa 950 BCE – 600 BCEThe Cascajal Block, the Earliest Precolumbian or Mesoamerican Writing Yet Discovered Circa 900 BCEThe "Chicago Syllabary" Circa 800 BCE
Perhaps the Oldest Surviving Tablet with a European Alphabet
776 BCEThe First Olympic Games Take Place Circa 750 BCE
Standardization of the Homeric Texts Possibly Begins
Circa 750 BCE
The "Fatal Letter" in the Iliad: Introduction of Written Language to the…
Circa 740 BCE
The ancient Greek wine jug bearing the Dipylon inscription.
One of the Two Oldest Records of the Greek Alphabet
Circa 740 BCE – 720 BCE
The Cup of Nestor. (View Larger)
One of the Two Oldest Known Examples of Writing in Greek
700 BCE
The earliest Estruscan abecedarium, the Marsiliana d'Albegna tablet, which dates to c. 700 VCE. (View Larger)
The Marsiliana Tablet Abecedarium
689 BCE – 691 BCE
The Taylor Prism, ME 91032 of the British Library. (View Larger)
The Taylor Prism and the Sennacherib Prism
668 BCE – 627 BCE
Knowledge as Power: King Ashurbanipal Forms the Earliest Systematically…
Circa 650 BCE – 600 BCEThe Constitutional Law of Dreros: The Earliest Surviving Greek Law on Stone Circa 650 BCEThe Skytale: An Early Greek Cryptographic Device Used in Warfare Circa 646 BCE
The God of Writing. . . .
604 BCE – 562 BCE
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The tower of Babel, ca. 1556
Construction of the Etemenanki Ziggurat, Later Known as The Tower of Babel
Circa 604 BCE – 562 BCEA Nebuchadnezzar II Babylonian Cylinder Sets an Auction Record Circa 600 BCEAncient Shopping Lists on Ostracons Reveal Spread of Literacy at Fort in Arad, israel 600 BCE – 267 CEMore than 10,000 Stone Inscriptions Were Excavated from the Ancient Agora of Athens Circa 570 BCE – 550 BCEOne of the Earliest Latin Inscriptions in Rome Circa 550 BCE
The Duenos Inscription
Circa 550 BCE
The Yinqueshan bamboo strips, the earliest manuscript of Sun Tzu's 'Art of War,' on exhibition in a Chinese museum. (View Larger)
The Oldest Known Work on Military Strategy
Circa 550 BCEThe Greek Origin of Monumental Roman Stone Inscriptions 539 BCE
The front side of the Cyrus Cylinder. (View Larger)
The Cyrus Cylinder, the Earliest Known Document in the History of Religious…
522 BCE – 486 BCE
The Behistun Inscription. (View Larger)
The "Rosetta Stone" of Cuneiform Script
510 BCE – 500 BCEThe Earliest Surviving Athenian Decree: The Cleruchy on Salamis, Written on Stone Circa 500 BCE
Paper in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
Circa 500 BCEThe Pyrgi Tablets: Bilingual Etruscan and Phoenician Text Inscribed in Gold Circa 450 BCE – 420 BCEHow Herodotus Used Writing and Messages in his Histories Circa 440 BCEThe Law Code of Gortyn, Crete: The Longest Extant Ancient Greek Stone Inscription in Greece Circa 370 BCESocrates on the Invention of Writing and the Relationship of Writing to Memory Circa 350 BCE
The Acropolis stone.
The Earliest Example of Shorthand Writing
Circa 350 BCE – 250 BCEThe Lead Tablet Archives of the Athenian Cavalry Circa 350 BCE – 250 BCEWriting on Lead Tablets in Antiquity Circa 350 BCEProbably the Earliest Surviving Papyrus of a Greek Text 334 BCE – 330 BCEThe Earliest Datable Appearance of the Serif in Stone Inscriptions Circa 325 BCEThe Earliest Surviving Letter Written in Greek 300 BCE – 68 CE
A column of the Copper Scroll found in Cave Three.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Circa 300 BCE
A vertical, columnar stone inscription roughly six inches long. Image: Boris Beltrán/Science. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Examples of Maya Script
Circa 298 BCE – 264 BCE
The Oxford fragment of the Parian Marble. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Example of a Greek Chronological Table
Circa 280 BCE
Fragments of the Odyssey, most likely copied in Alexandria.
Philology Probably Begins at the Royal Library of Alexandria
Circa 250 BCE
An example of Lishu, or Clerkly Script, developed by Chinese Bureaucrats to be written with a brush.
Writing on Bamboo and Silk
Circa 250 BCEThe Only Extant Ancient Linen Book and the Longest Etruscan Text 196 BCE – 1822The Rosetta Stone: Key to the Decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphs Circa 175 BCE
A Taoist text preserved on silk and discovered in Mawangui in 1973.
The Mawangui Silk Texts
Circa 100 BCEThe Earliest Bookbindings 63 BCE
Vindolanda Tablet 122 with Latin shorthand, possibly notae Tironianae, c.90-130 CE. (View Larger)
Possibly the Earliest System of Shorthand
Circa 50 BCE – 25 CEThe Oldest Surviving Manuscript of Latin Poetry 41 BCE
Sling-bolts, or bullets, engraved with a winged lightning-bolt on one side, and the words 'take that' on another. Circa fourth century BCE Athens. (View Larger)
Humorous Inscriptions on Lead Sling-Bolts (Sling Bullets; Slingshot) Reflect…
Circa 15 CERes gestae divi Augusti: The First Person Record of the Life and Accomplishments of the First Roman Emperor Circa 50 CE
The Oldest Surviving Substantial Collection of Buddhist Manuscripts: The…
Circa 50 CE – 250 CE
The Alexamenos Grafitto. (View Larger)
Probably the Earliest Surviving Image of the Crucifixion: A Graffito
Circa 50 CE – 1700Note-Taking Versus "Place Memory" from Antiquity through the Renaissance and Later Circa 50 CEThe Role of the "Ordinator" and "Sculptor" in Producing Roman Stone Inscriptions Circa 70 CE – 110 CE
The four authors.
Composition of the Four Gospels
Circa 75 CE
A fresco of a Pompein couple with stylus, wax tablets, and papyrus scroll, preserved in the Museuo Archeologico Nazionale. (View Larger)
Roman Portraits Celebrating Literacy
75 CEThe Last Known Datable Cuneiform Tablet 79 CE – 2015Discoveries of Greek & Roman Papyri in the Library of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, the Only Library Preserved Intact from Graeco-Roman Times 79 CE
An inscription depicting a contemporaneous politician. (View Larger)
Over 11,000 Wall Inscriptions Survived from Pompeii
Circa 100 CE – 250 CE
The fragment of De Bellis Macedonicis, the oldest suriving remains of a Latin manuscreipt written on parchment rather than papyrus. (View Larger)
The Sole Surviving Example of Roman Literary Cursive Script and the Earliest…
Circa 100 CE
Vindolanda Tablet 309, an inventory of wooden goods dispatched dispatched by and to civilians working for the military. (View Larger, with translation.)
The Oldest Surviving Handwritten Documents in Britain
113 CE
The Most Famous Example of Roman Square Capitals
Circa 125 CEThe Longest Ancient Stone Inscription 130 CEThe Finest Surviving Example of Roman Monumental Lettering in Britain Circa 150 CEThe Earliest Runic Inscriptions Circa 150 CEA Door-to-Door Bookseller in Egypt, Second Century CE Circa 160 CE
The Vimose Comb. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Runic Inscription
Circa 175 CE – 250 CEOne of the Oldest Papyrus Codices of the New Testament 198 CEThe Diptych Document Format Circa 200 CE – 400 CECurse Tablets from Roman Britain Circa 250 CE – 350 CEThe Earliest Stage of Half-Uncial 251 CEDeath of Wei Tan, Discoverer of Ink Circa 300 CE – 700The Transition from Papyrus to Parchment 303 CE
Piece of the edict in Pergamonmuseum Berlin.
Costs of Professional Writing Measured by the Normal Length of a Line in a Verse of Virgil
Circa 320 CEA Sarcophagus Showing a Greek Physician in His Library Circa 330 CE – 360 CE
The Codex Sinaiticus. (View Larger)
The Codex Sinaiticus
Circa 350 CE – 450 CEThe Oldest Surviving Manuscript of the Comedies of Terence Circa 350 CE – 825The Earliest Surviving Document of the Christian Book Trade and Stichometry Circa 350 CE – 475 CE
A bust of Fronto. (View Larger)
"To Fronto Belongs the Unique Distinction of Surviving Solely as the Lower…
Circa 350 CE
One of the four leaves of the Vergilius Augusteus that resides in the Vatican Library.(View Larger)
The Earliest of Two Surviving Examples of Codices Written Entirely in Roman…
Circa 350 CEThe Most Widely Used Medieval Grammar 350 CE – 550One of the Earliest Treatises on Indian Medicine, Written on Birch Bark 354 CE
Title page from the Chronography of 354. (View Larger)
The Earliest Dated Codex with Full-Page Illustrations
Circa 375 CEThe Obscure Origins and Meaning of the Term "Uncial" for Script 396 CE – 426 CEThe Oldest Datable Uncial Manuscript, Probably Written in Hippo Regius, Africa Circa 400 CE – 600The Oldest Manuscript Collection Surviving in Pakistan and India 406 CE
The mentioned diptych, portraying Emperor Honorius in both panels.
The Oldest Surviving Consular Diptych
Circa 450 CEOne of the Two Surviving Ancient Codices Written Entirely in Square Capitals 476 CE – 1500"A Bibliography of Works on Medieval Communication" Circa 500 CE – 1450The Longevity of Wax Tablets for Recording Written Information 529
St. Benedict. (Click to view larger.)
St. Benedict Founds the Abbey at Monte Cassino and Later Formulates his…
Circa 550
A color plate from Bordier's paleographic study comparing the two separated portions of one of hte earliest suriviving European papyrus codices.
Among the Earliest Surviving European Papyrus Codices
Circa 550The Codex Zacynthius: The Oldest Codex That Has Both Text and Commentary in Uncial Script Circa 555
An illumination of Christ found in the Rossano Gospels. (Click to view larger.)
One of the Oldest Surviving Illuminated Manuscripts of the New Testament
Circa 575 – 599
A canon table from Harley 1775, from the British Library. (View Larger)
"Source Z" for the Latin New Testament
585 – 590
Saint Columbanus.
The Monastery and Library at Luxeuil is Founded and Subsequently Sacked,…
590 – 604
The beginning of Regula pastoralis. The first three lines, in colored ink, have run or faded. (View Larger)
A Manuscript Probably Written in Pope Gregory's Scriptorium
Folio 129v of the St. Augustine Gospels, depicting Luke. (View Larger)
A Volume Brought by St. Augustine to England in 597
Circa 600
Tablet 3v of the Springmount Bog Tablets. (National Museum. Dublin, 1914: 2) (View Larger)
The Springmount Bog Wax Tablets
Circa 610
A wooden wax tablet with bronze stylus and eraser, originating from Egpyt circa 600. (View Larger)
During the Middle Ages Wax Tablets Are Widely Used
Canon 22 of the Council of Nicea II (British Museum, MS Barocci 26, fol. 140b), where the top is written in minuscule and the bottom in unical.(View Larger)
Arab Conquest of Egypt Resulted in Smaller Exports of Papyrus-- A Probable…
642The Oldest Surviving Arabic Papyrus 659 – 661
The Abbey at Corbie. (View Larger)
Foundation of Corbie Abbey, Renowned for its Library
Circa 685 – 710
A page from the Ceolfrid Bible. (View Larger)
The Ceolfrid Bible
702The First State Libraries in Japan 704 – 705The Earliest Surviving Letter Known to Have Been Written from One Englishman to Another Circa 715 – 720
(View Larger)
The Earliest Image of a Scribe Using a Writing Table
Circa 725
A painting of St. Benedict drafting the Benedictine Rules, by Herman Nieg, c. 1926. The painting resides in the church of Heiligenkreuz Abbey near Baden bei Wien, Lower Austria. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Copy of St. Benedict's Rules
A portrait of the Venerable Bede, by John Doyle Penrose, c. 1902.
Finger Reckoning and Computus in the Eighth Century
Circa 750Evidence of the Decline of Literacy Among the Laity in the Early Middle Ages 772 – 781The Earliest Datable Application of Carolingian Minuscule Circa 775
A page fromt he 'Canones concillorum,' written in both unical and miniscule.(View Larger)
"The Oldest Western European Codex in Private Hands" (As of 2009)
Circa 780 – 820The Contributions of the Emperor Charlemagne and the Educator Alcuin to the Carolingian Renaissance Circa 780 – 875About 7000 Manuscripts and Fragments Survive from the Late 8th and 9th Centuries 781 – 783The Earliest Example of the Carolingian Illumination Style 794 – 800Used by Charlemagne at his Coronation as Holy Roman Emperor 800 – 830
Example of Carolingian minuscule script.
Adoption of the Carolingian Minuscule Brought the Destruction of Many Late Roman Manuscripts
Circa 800
The Rök Runestone, believed to be the earliest Sweedish writing, makes reference to Ostrogothic King, Theodoric the Great.
The First Written Swedish Literature
815 – 835
A page from the Uspensky Gospels. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Dated Manuscript Written in Greek Minuscule
Circa 816 – 850
Page from Utretch Psalter.
The Utrecht Psalter, "The Most Frequently Studied of All Illuminated Books"
Circa 818 – 1600The Leiden Aratea Manuscript of Ancient Constellations & the First Printed Facsimile of a Medieval Illuminated Manuscript Circa 825A Studio for Royal Mayan Scribes in the Ninth Century Circa 830 – 860The "Moutier-Grandval Bible," a Masterpiece from the Scriptorium at Tours Circa 850Gregory the Great Writing, as Depicted in an Ivory Book Cover 977 – 993The Golden Gospels of Henry VIII: Written by Sixteen Different Scribes Circa 1025Production of Medieval Arabic Manuscripts 1066 – 1307More than One Million Charters Survive from the Period of Norman Rule in England Circa 1075 – 1225The VIDI Project: "Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance" 1100 – 1120
Folio 1 of Codex 2527, preserved at the Austrian National Library. (View Larger)
Medieval Handbook of Applied Arts Including Book Production
1109The Earliest Extant Document from Europe Written on Paper 1119Printing in Clay by the Typographic Principle in Germany in 1119 Circa 1170Origins of the Paris Book Trade 1231
From his book, De arte venandi cum avibus (The art of hunting with birds), a portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, flanked by a falcon. (View Larger)
Banning the Use of Paper for Legal Documents
1246 – 1247The Earliest Surviving German Document Written on Paper 1250More than 1000 Birch-Bark Documents Have Been Excavated from Mud in Veliky Novgorod, Russia 1265 – 1268
(View Larger)
139 Professional Scribes Are Working in Bologna
Circa 1304 – 1340
Folio 323r of Codex Manesse: a portrait of Reinmar dictating poetry scribes, one of which bears a wax tablet. (View Larger)
The Use of Manuscript Rolls in the Middle Ages
1307 – 1308The Earliest Surviving English Paper Codex, and the Earliest Recorded Use of Paper in England Circa 1340The Oldest Known English Public Advertisement Circa 1350Writing Zilbaldone Circa 1350Routine Everyday Messages Inscribed on Rune-Sticks September 23, 1373Scribes in London First Organize 1374 – 1375The Relative Costs of the Components of Medieval Manuscripts 1408The First Dated Example of Poggio's Humanistic Script Circa 1449 – 1472
Detail of painting showing presentation by Jean Miélot to
The Most Extensively Portrayed Late Medieval Scribe and Author
October 6, 1459
The first page of Guillelmus Duranti's Rationale divinorum officiorum. (View Larger)
Fust and Schöffer Publish the First Book Set in Fere-Humanistica or Gotico-Antiqua…
An engraved portrait of Leon Battista Alberti. Engraved by G. Benaglia and published in the 18th century.
Leon Battista Alberti Describes "The Alberti Cipher"
Circa 1470Three Ways that Printing Changed Manuscript Culture August 1473 – December 1474Scribe Filippo de Strata's Polemic Against Printing July 24, 1476The Kennicott Bible, the Most Lavisly Illuminated Hebrew Bible to Survive from Medieval Spain August 28, 1479
Detail from page of Breviarium (1479) printed by Pachel and Scinzenzeler depicting the author, Paulus Attavanti.
The Earliest Portrait of an Author in a Printed Book
Circa 1490The Macclesfield Alphabet Book, the Most Complete Pattern Book from Medieval Britain 1494Trithemius Favors Vellum over Paper for Long Term Information Storage Circa 1500 – 1565
 Pencil 'lead' has never actually contained the metal; its name arrose from a visual similarity between the two substances. (View Larger)
Origins of the Pencil
Detail from page of Theorica et practica . . .de modo scribendi fabricandique omnes literarum species.  Please click on image to view entire page opening.
Sigismondo Fanti Issues the First Illustrated Manual on the Art of Writing
July 1518
 The 'square table' of abbot Johannes Trithemius’s 'Polygraphiae libri sex. - Clavis polygraphiae' was an example of how a message might be encoded through the use of multiple alphabets. (View Larger)
Johannes Trithemius Issues the First Book on Cryptography
1522 – 1524Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi Issues the First Manual on Humanistic Cursive 1546Guilio Clovio Completes a Masterpiece of High Renaissance Manuscript Illumination 1557Robert Granjon Issues the First Book Printed in Civilité Types July 12, 1562Bishop Diego de Landa Orders Destruction of the Maya Codices 1567Christophe Plantin Publishes the Earliest Description of the Printing Process 1586Blaise de Vigenère Describes What is Later Known as the Vigenère Cipher Circa 1591 – 1596The Only Manuscript Pages Thought to be in the Hand of William Shakespeare 1609Erasable Paper from 1609 1617Hermannus Hugo Issues the First History of Writing 1641Ole Worm Issues the First Study of Runestones and Runic Inscriptions 1662Working Around the English Monopoly on Solid Graphite 1665 – 1666Jacques Raveneau Issues the First Book on the Detection of Forged Documents 1675The Beginning of Palaeography 1681Foundation of Palaeography and Diplomatics 1685 – 1706Locke's Method of Indexing Commonplace Books 1708Bernard de Montfaucon's "Palaeographia Graeca" Coins the Word Palaeography 1726Jonathan Swift Creates a Fictional Device that Resembles a Modern Computer 1729Ibrahim Müteferrika Issues the First Book Printed by Muslims Using Movable Type 1739Bernard de Montfaucon Issues the First Continent-Wide Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1768 – 1774The Jacquet-Droz Automata April 15, 1770Joseph Priestley & Edward Nairne Invent the Rubber Eraser? 1784Thomas Astle Issues the First English History of Paleography and Diplomatics 1786Samuel Taylor Develops the First System of Shorthand Used Throughout the English Speaking World 1788The Beginnings of Papyrology 1795Nicholas Jacques Conté Invents Modern Pencil Lead 1795Friedrich August Wolf Argues that the Poetry of Homer Shoud be Studied as a Product of Oral Tradition Circa 1800 – 1820The Gradual Disappearance of the Long S in Typography Circa 1800Maillardet's Automaton 1806Ralph Wedgwood Invents Carbon Paper 1816"Egyptian": The First Commercially Produced Sans-Serif Typeface February 22, 1821Foundation of the Ecole nationale des chartes December 20, 1822Invention of the Mechanical Pencil 1829
Replica of Burt Typographer.
Typing a Letter Takes Longer than Writing by Hand
1837 – 1840The Penny Post: Perhaps the Greatest Single Stimulus to Written Communication 1837Pitman Shorthand, & The First "Correspondence Course" 1840Probably the World's Oldest Picture Postcard May 1, 1840The Penny Black October 1841 – October 25, 1845The Invention of Anastatic Printing Enables Inexpensive Facsimiles and Pirated Editions 1843 – 1865Possibly the First Book Written During Hand Typesetting Rather than on Paper 1848Spencerian Script Begins 1852 – 1862Paul Gustave Froment Invents the Micropantograph 1868
Sholes and Glidden typewriter documentation.  The machine, patented on June 23, 1868, resembled
Sholes, Soule, & Glidden Invent the First Device to Allow the Operator to Write Faster than a Person Writing by Hand
1873 – 1874
Latham Sholes's 1878 QWERTY keyboard layout
The Sholes & Glidden Type Writer, with the First QWERTY Keyboard
Thomas Edison's electric pen.
Edison Invents the "Electric Pen": Forerunner of the Mimeograph
Remington Standard 2 typewriter.
Allowing the Typing of Both Upper and Lower Case Letters
June 1878Edison Describes Future Uses for his Phonograph 1884 – 1900"Paleographie des classiques latins" and its Digital, Updated Version Circa February 12, 1884Development of an Efficiently Functioning Fountain Pen September 9, 1886The Berne Convention 1888 – 1988Gregg Shorthand is Introduced July 31, 1888The Telautograph 1894The Palmer Method January 14, 1898Lewis Carroll Wrote or Received 98,000 Letters 1904Probably the First History of Ink, by a Celebrated Questioned Documents Examiner 1931 – June 15, 1938The First Commercially Successful Ballpoint Pen 1933IBM Markets the First Commercially Successful Electric Typewriter May 25, 1940Sealing of the Crypt of Civilization 1941IBM Introduces a Typewriter with Proportional Spacing 1950The Bic Pen 1954Publication of Chartae Latinae Antiquiores Begins December 1960"Colossal Typewriter" : One of the Earliest Computer Text Editors 1961"Compatible Time Sharing System," Precursor of Word Processing and Email 1961 – 1962"Expensive Typewriter": The First Word Processing Program 1964IBM's Magnetic Tape/Selectric Typewriter Begins "Word Processing" August 1964The Rand Tablet: One of the Earliest Tablet Computers and the First Reference to Electronic Ink November 6, 1964TYPESET and RUNOFF: Text Formatting Program and Forerunner of Word Processors 1965Tom Van Vleck & Noel Morris Write One of the First Email Programs December 9, 1968Douglas Engelbart Demonstrates Hypertext, Text Editing, Windows, Email and a Mouse: "The Mother of All Demos" Circa 1969IBM Introduces the Generalized Markup Language (GML) March 1971Ray Tomlinson Selects the @ in Email July 1971Lawrence Roberts Writes the First Email Management Program 1973The First Electronic Pagination System, Forerunner of Email and Instant Messaging April 4, 1975 – November 20, 1985Landmarks in the Prehistory and Early History of Microsoft 1976The First Word Processing Program for a Personal Computer June 1976The First CRT Based Word Processor September 19, 1982Origins of the Smiley on the Internet January 1983The Earliest Fictional Treatment of Word Processing by a Prominent Literary Author 1989The First Gateways Between Private E-Mail Carriers and the Internet October 1991The Unicode Standard 1.0 is Published 19961996: The First Year in Which More Email is Sent than Paper Mail 1996Speech Recognition Technology from 6,700 Characters 1998The Average Person Receives 733 Pieces of Paper Mail Each Year, Half of Which is Junk 1998"You've Got Mail", a Movie about Love, Email, and the Book Trade 2001
High Density Rosetta Archival Preservation Technology
2002Over 500,000 Egyptian Papyri Survive November 2004
The Pew Internet and American Life Project logo
8,000,000 U.S. Blogs
February 9, 2006
Professor Alan Smeaton of DCU, who worked on the Google funded research project
Making Handwritten Manuscripts Searchable
August 2006
The Google Apps logo, including a diagram of some of the applications offered
Google Apps are Introduced
September 2006
The cover of Le Document a la Lumiere du Numerique
"The Document in the Digital Era" by Web-Footed
February 2007
The Pew Internet and American Life Project logo
In 2007 There Were 12,000,000 U.S. Blogs
October 27, 2008An Encyclopedia with More than Ten Million Articles July 6, 2009Virtual Reunification of the Codex Sinaiticus September 2, 2009An Algorithm to Decipher Ancient Texts January 14, 2010World Texting Competition is Won by Koreans 2011Apple Color Emoji: The First Color Font Included in a Computer Operating System April 2011A Program for Signing and Inscribing Ebooks August 16, 2012The First Book Stored in DNA and then Read February 2013The First 3D Printing Pen; Drawing Enters the Third Dimension October 2013Teaching Keyboard Skills in Kindergarten October 16, 2013"As We May Type": Authoring Tools as "Machines for New Thought." October 31, 2013Writers Explain How New Information Technologies Have Changed Writings July 10, 2014A Robot Writes Out a Torah Scroll at Berlin's Jewish Museum December 11, 2015Based on a Single Example, A. I. Surpasses Human Capabilities in Reading and Copying Written Characters March 21, 2016Ink Used to Write Herculaneum Papyri Contained High Metal Concentrations