It's been far too many days since I last posted, and I've been missing the blogosphere like mad! The dissertation draft is on its way to completion - not quite there yet, but hopefully by the end of the weekend! *Crosses fingers*
Anyway, I'm back (ish) - posting's going to be less frequent than usual for a while, but I have a few posts up my sleeve and some PHOTOSHOOTS!!! Woop! T-B is back in Cam-land, and we're raring to go!
So... The first of much Easter-term procrastination-shoots:
Wearing - French Connection long grey jersey skirt, TopShop realitees concession twist back t-shirt, Paul Smith mustard blazer, Jocasi belt, ToyWatch, Jaeger brown leather court shoes, brown macrame flower necklace bought from a tiny craft shop in Florence...
- Here I'm looking at one of the indexes... Each large book case has a hand written index inside a little fold out wooden window... Mostly in Latin, but occassionally understandable, they're almost as fascinating as the books themselves!
It was lovely to get out of the main library today for a wander around the "Old Library" in college... Built in 1628 from a donation of £1400 (haha), it houses some of the most precious books in the world - books, manuscripts, journals, paintings, medals, field notes etc - ranging from the 15th century to the present day...
Some of my favourite things (aside from endless keyword searches of the medieval manuscripts collection) are the works of Ovid that belonged to Lorenzo de Medici (1474 - arms of the Medici - illuminated - and Marsuppini - sketched marginalia - here) , the first complete translation of the Bible into English (photos of pages from 1535 and 1537 here) and the 1808 book on the abolition of the slave trade by Thomas Clarkson, one of our alumni who was instrumental in the abolition along with other almuni including William Wilberforce (photos of illustrations of conditions on slave ships here).
In the more modern section of the library (- by more modern I mean it holds more recent books), there are vast archives of the works of fellows and alumni including the field notebooks of Jack Goody (anthropologist) and the conference journals, mystery novel manuscripts and neanderthal cartoons of Glyn Daniel - ex Disney-prof of archaeology (- Janus entry for the papers here).
I love each and every one of those things with a passion, and every time the adorable college special collections librarian (J) lets me into the old library, sometimes for hours at a time, I breathe in the air of musty old books and really think about how lucky I am that they're here... And I'm trusted with their safety! It's quite scary to think about sometimes! You can't really take them out of the bookcases, unless J is with you - well, practically, one could, but morally... If you actually want to study any of it, one should get it out with J and look at it in the reading room. Some of the medieval manuscripts (like this one) are breathtaking to study in person...
Saying that, especially downstairs, you do tend to just rummage... I love all the pastel sketches of fellows done for their portraits, and there is one particular archive that I have been allowed huge free reign with, that I won't tell you about just yet, as it's going to form the basis of a project that I'll be publishing on the blog in a couple of months time! Let's just say, it's awesome... Well worth the suspense... Honest! :-D
Sigh... So much for today's work ethic! I should probably go and get on with my case studies now. Must stop thinking about old books with no relavence to dissertation and start thinking about the ones in front of me!!! ;-D
P.s. Please bear with me while I catch up on my several hundred googlereader posts and everyone's lovely comments! And, as ever, photos by Alex Tatton-Brown, and thanks to JH.