S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

The elusive poem

I spent several more hours in search of the Sabellicus poem today, still to no avail on my part, although I had a few last tentative leads. On the bright side, I received email from my mother saying she'd found it at the Marciana and can obtain a copy for me. I even now know how long the thing is: 7 pages! I've told all the librarians who asked me how long the poem was I was looking for that it was somewhere between half a page and 100 pages. I was right.

The search for the poem led me to discover all sorts of handy resource on campus, including one useful microfiche collection whose title sounds as if it should have an exclamation mark after it: Incunabula: The Printing Revolution in Europe, 1450-1500. In case you're on campus and think this would be of use to you, both CRRS and Robarts Microfilm have copies of it, and CRRS, at least, has the paper index to it. Even better, however, is the CD-ROM based database wich goes with it, and is available through the campus network. It's amazing! It doesn't just cover the facsimile collection: it includes items digitally in facsimile, the numbers for the microfiches in its collection, and all the location it knows of for scads of other manuscripts it doesn't have in reproduction. Happily, this poem was first published in 1492-3, so it fell within the time period.

The search led me across campus and managed to kill at least 3 hours of my day, without ever finding the actual poem. I found two microfiches through Incunabula! which look promising, but the librarian (actually someone I know from the Centre) was unable to find the series in storage, despite half an hour spent looking. He'd never heard of the series but was excited by the prospect of its existence. I'll try again at Robarts, but at this point it's out of sheer determination since I know I can have a copy from Sabellicus' home town.

My muscles are sore from badminton (we did far more in the way of warm-up exercises than usual and - for the first time - actually played badminton!), and I had a long, if productive, Vagantes meeting this afternoon. We've figured out the schedule and the program for the conference now (whew) and we might just about be in the black for funding. Hurray!

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