Archives in art: Eduard von Grützner: Stadtarchiv in Hall in Tirol
NLW Penrice and Margam Deeds 106 front, c. 1205-1207
NLW Penrice and Margam Deeds 106, Seal: Man in armour and nasal helm with a shield with a boss holding a sword up in his right hand on a horse galloping to the right.
Image and description source: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales.
The book that emerged from a bog after 1200 years
This is the remarkable story of a medieval book that spent 1200 years in the mud. Around 800 someone had a Book of Psalms made, a portable copy fitted with a leather satchel. The book consisted of sixty sheets of parchment that were carefully filled with handwritten words. Somehow the book ended up in a remote bog at Faddan More in north Tipperary, close to the town of Birr, Ireland. Dropped, perhaps, by the owner? Was he walking and reading at the same time? Did he himself also end up in the bog?
Fast-forward to 2006. Eddie Fogarty, the operator of a turf digger, noticed an object with faint lettering in the bucket of his machine (pic 1). There it was again, our Book of Psalms! At this point it resembled something from an Aliens movie (pic 2), but that changed quickly after it went to the restoration lab. Thanks to the conservation properties of turf, many pages were still intact, as was its leather satchel (pic 3), the only surviving specimen from this early period. Remarkably, among the damaged pages were some that had let go of the words: kept together merely by ink, the words were floating around by themselves - like some sort of medieval Scrabble (pic 4). It’s the most remarkable bookish survival story I know.
More on this phenomenal find in this news article and this one. Here is the bog and the machine that dug up the book More on the restoration process here. More about the papyrus found in the binding here. This is a nice movie on the book.
Un libro extraído del barro donde ha pasado los últimos 1200 años
A brief taut with mystery and suspense, in the paper of March 11, 1953: Gloria Teich, of Riverside Drive, seemed to think her vehicle was sinking as she tried to unlock it for an afternoon drive. “Astonished by the strange occurrence, she stood for a moment, staring. Sure enough, it was sinking slowly into the earth. By the time Mrs. Teich collected her wits sufficiently to attempt to drive the car away, it was too late.” The culprit was determined to be a water main leak, and the car was towed out of the hole by 4 p.m. Photo: George Alexanderson/The New York Times
Santa Fe diesel passenger locomotive crashes and hangs over Aliso St, Los Angeles Union Station Jan. 25, 1948
Schmidt was directly in front of the locomotive when it ran out of track, ran over the steel bumper and started for him. The locomotive, moving at what trainmen said was “two or three miles an hour,” struck the light car in the side. Schmidt jammed it into low gear and, as hie said, “gunned her out of there.”
Last night’s #ArchivesSleepover was a blast! (Even if we are making up for lost sleep today…). Plus pancakes this morning from author #BradMetzler and aotus, David Ferriero!
This was the scene this morning in the Rotunda at the National Archives as our guests woke up after a fun night of history at our first #ArchivesSleepover.
Kids and their parents enjoyed a special night playing games, writing with quill pens, meeting best-selling author #BradMeltzer, learning about the Constitution from #CokieRoberts, and talking with reenactors playing Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, and Phyllis Wheatley.
A big thank you to our visitors, special guests, National Archives staff, and staff from the Foundation for the National Archives for a great night!
Una noche en el archivo… Entretenida y divertida iniciativa de nuestros amigos americanos!