|Pike's Mathematical text|
Ciphering books were always written in ink, often with calligraphy headings and illustrations. However, the quality of the script varied significantly.
|Woodward's "System of Plain Trigonometry"|
|Hubbard's "System of Spheric Trigonometry"|
According to a M.A. Clements and Nerida F. Ellerton, mathematics professors at Illinois State University, the use of ciphering books declined after 1840, due to the fact that they were no longer important in evaluating the quality of a student's learning or that of an instructor's teaching. In addition, they argue that state education leaders switched their focus from the individual student to that of a graded class.
To see these ciphering books ask for: MS-1271 (Pike) and Codex 802415.1 (Woodward). Kimball's cipher book is currently being re-cataloged.