After having spent most of my time focusing on bones, and not yet being finished with that particular course of study or my time in the lab, another one of my professors, who I had just started studying old Irish documents with, decided it would be a perfect time to go look at some actual old Irish books, rather than just looking at pictures and scans of them. These are the sorts of books where you can only handle them if you are wearing the white gloves, and you have to use certain weights to keep them open.
But oh, are they gorgeous. These are also the sorts of books where lots and lots of time went in to creating beautiful doodles along the edges of pages and amazing cover pages with intricate designs. Incidentally, while I was able to copy some of them, I don’t have permissions to share the pages I copied, so don’t get your hopes up for pictures. Suffice to say, they were absolutely gorgeous. My professor, of course, was as pleased as punch to be able to show off these wonders, all of which were located in the basement of the Boole library.
This is not the first time I have discovered a library to have amazing treasures in its basement. UC Berkley’s lawn covers a huge network of subterranean storage space, filled with researchable treasures. A university in southern California has thousands of microfiche rolls house in its basement. My home university houses the John Muir papers, among other things. All of them are lovely places to sit and read and study. Thus, I had high expectations of Boole.
I’m fairly sure these documents shattered them. These were some of the most beautiful things I have seen, and all I can hope is that I get a chance to do some of my own reading and research down there.