Being able to chase down your passions and getting paid for it is the dream, right? In this video, archivist Dr. Christopher de Hamel looks to be doing exactly that.
With more letters after his name than most of us have in our name, Dr. de Hamel belongs to the Society of Antiquities of London, a member of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He's also a Fellow Librarian of the Parker Library – one of the finest collections of medieval manuscripts in the world. The library holds over 600 priceless titles, including the Latin Saint Augustine Gospels, which is believed to be the oldest bound text still in existence.
The honors and the texts de Hamel has access to are impressive, but not as impressive as his enthusiasm. Just look at how excited – manically happy – he is to talk about the subject of medieval manuscripts, in this video. It's the enthusiasm of a man in love with his life's work. It's a wonderful thing to see.
It makes me wonder if, in another 30 years, I'll have the same passion for writing as he does for his books. How many of us can claim to be in love with what they do for a living? It feels like such a rare, fine thing.
The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California recently found a 6th century manuscript by Greek physician Galen, which had been scraped from its pages 500 years later and replaced with religious text. Who needs science when there are religious texts that need copying?
The 12th-century Aberdeen Bestiary has just been digitally scanned and made available online. One of the most famous extant bestiaries, the new version includes newly-discovered details on the book’s production.
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