Saturday, August 08, 2015

An amazing online resource

One of the things I would give almost anything for is access to Oxford University's Bodleian Library. It holds eleven million items (oops! almost twelve million; there's a total on the "about" page). You can't check anything out, and in fact you must agree to this declaration before admisssion:
I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, nor to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library.
That's the English language version of the declaration, one of many translations. The original is in Latin. (The prohibition of smoking is a later addition.)

Now I am delighted to link to the Digital Bodleian, which makes some of the collections of the library viewable online. My blink rate has shot up, because one of those collections is the Arthur Evans archive of drawings made at the excavations at Knossos. I would like very much indeed to think that our wanax, Aeneas Anthony, has heard of the Digital Bodleian and is happily perusing those documents and drawings.

"Some" is technically correct--goodness knows how long it would take to process all those artifacts--but it gives the wrong impression, because there's an amazing variety of things to see and study. By all means, go there and explore.

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