Leonardo filled dozens of notebooks, large and small, with notes and drawings that record a half-century of reflections, projects, and experiments in the realms of art, technology, and science.
Less than one-third of Leonardo's written archive has survived. However, the extant manuscripts offer powerful evidence of his far-reaching activity and bold investigations. They form the largest and most outstanding documentary corpus for studying the history of art and, above all, of science and techniques in the Renaissance.
Leonardo's manuscripts are rarely tidy. Seldom do they offer a homogeneous, coherent discussion of a single topic over a long sequence of pages. More often, each page stands as an autonomous universe, unrelated to the neighboring sheets, and gives the impression of an apparently chaotic stratification of notes and drawings.