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A visit to the BL

I feel like a real medievalist now. I went to the BL this afternoon and spent time with a restricted-access fourteenth-century manuscript. Some of you have been doing this for years. I designed my PhD to only require primary sources in reproduction and edition, so I never went travelling to archives along the way.

Now that I've started and know how manuscript-requesting works, it'll be easy to pick this work back up post-trip. Bonus: the manuscript is in a very lovely, clear hand. Sure, I have to count minims sometimes just to check if something's a "num" or a "mum", but it's a pleasure to be dealing with something so legible. There's joy in deciphering complicated hands, but then there's also joy in being able to just read.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
You were in the BL! So was I!

Any chance you'll be there on Tuesday, and would you like to come and hear Franklin's glass armonica with me at 6:30?
Apr. 29th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
That sounds like so much more fun than being on a plane on Tuesday evening! But I shall be, so won't be able to. I'll be back working there again from Monday May 15th, post conference/grandmother visit.
Apr. 30th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC)
txt me when you get back? 07799771309.
May. 1st, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC)
Will do.

Thank you for the clothing store recommendations. I have two lovely new nicely-fitting skirts.
Apr. 29th, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
So far I've only had a chance to touch a couple early printed books (Speght's editions of Chaucer from 1598 and 1602), but I understand how amazing it feels. I too, though, have designed my work to be non-manuscript focused. I love the idea of manuscripts and I think it's very important work, but I am absolutely terrible at reading them. Latin paleography was the worst class I've ever taken ... my eyes just don't do that. I can understand the differences between hands, but I can't for the life of me pick them out.

Someday ...

I'm going to be in Paris this summer and I want to see if any of my diss texts have manuscripts housed there (just so I can look at them), but I have yet to check the editions for MSS lists.
Apr. 30th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
Counting minims: oh, dear, yes! A few words like "inimici" and you start thinking "fence of eight palings" and fight it out later.
Apr. 30th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
For my MA I stuck to works I could find in (reasonably) modern versions. Some of them went back to 19th century translations/compilations, but at least they were all made with standard type! I haven't had the joy (or misfortune) of examining real medieval documents... and unless I do eventually pursue my PhD, I doubt I ever will.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )