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Both Sides of the Spectrum

December 29, 2012

So with classes done (and awaiting final grades), I’ve gotten a chance to catch up on my Google Reader feed.  One of the blogs I follow is the British Library’s Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog.  They use it to showcase various aspects of the illuminated manuscripts in their digitized collection, and I use it to drool over the amazing craftsmanship and artistry of the form.

I mean, isn’t this just gorgeous?

Miniature of a king enthroned below the ‘Nodo’, from Meliadus or Guiron le Courtois, Italy (Naples?), 1352-1362, Additional MS 12228, f. 4r

This spring, I’m taking LIBR 280-10, which History of the Books and Libraries.  One of our units will be on illuminated manuscripts, so as you can imagine, I’m really excited about the course.  But as it covers the titular “history of the book” the course will also cover e-books and other digital aspects of libraries.

I have been musing lately about my own dual nature.  I love the more “ancient” aspects of books – the illumination, the binding, and the other aspects that make the object itself a work of art.  I am also really excited about the direction in which libraries (and books) are going. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million more times, that content is content. These days it doesn’t matter what container the content is delivered in – be it physical or digital, audio or text.  The idea that the same content can be digested in so many different ways thrills me – the same way that the container of books handwritten on vellum and bound by hand with leather and waxed cord thrills me.

Yeah, I know I’m weird.

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