The history below is related by the makers of the Moleskine notebooks:
For two centuries now, Moleskine has been the legendary notebook of European artists and intellectuals, from van Gogh to Henri Matisse to Hemingway. They used these modest little note-books for sketches and notes, to put down ideas and emotions. These jottings often became the impulse for famous paintings or novels.
This long-standing tradition was continued by writer-traveler Bruce Chatwin who used to buy his Moleskines at a stationery shop in the rue de l’Ancienne Comedie in Paris before embarking on one of his journeys. Over the years he had developed a ritual before using them: numbering the pages, inscribing his name, at least two addresses, and a message promising a reward for anyone finding the notebook if lost. This was the method he suggested to his friend Luis Sepulveda when he made him the gift of a precious Moleskine—precious because by then notebooks were no longer to be found. The last Moleskine manufacturer, a small family-run firm in Tours, had discontinued production in 1986. “Le vrais Moleskine n’est plus” was the curt statement of the owner of the stationery shop where Chatwin had ordered one hundred before leaving for Australia. Despite having literally swept up all the Moleskines he could find, they were not enough.
Now, these small black oilcloth-covered notebooks have been brought back into production by an Italian company. Each notebook contains an indispensible pocket in the back cover, an attached bookmark, and an elastic to keep the book closed.
Music Moleskines—Eight staves per page
Memo Pockets—Six cardboard and cloth pockets to hold receipts, tickets, documents, memories
Info Book—divided into five categories: bed, food, people, sights, facilities.