A blank book for scraps. The Romans applied the word to certain
tables overlaid with gypsum, on which were inscribed the annals of the
chief priests, the edicts of the prætors, and rules relating to civil
matters. In the Middle Ages, “album” was the general name of a register
or list; so called from being kept either on a white (albus)
board with black letters, or on a black board with white letters. For
the same reason the boards in churches for notices, and the boards in
universities containing the names of the college men, are called
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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