As I’m sure you’ve heard from Jonathan Jarrett and Brandon, the newest thing in medieval blogging is here: What Would Wulfstan Do?

Which is my question for the day: Would Wulfstan spend the day arsing around with tables? Would Wulfstan spend the afternoon commenting upon Sir Gawain? Would Wulfstan spend the day translating sermons? Would Wulfstan get dressed and go and examine Cotton Nero A.i?

(Answers: no- lived in a fortunate age before MS word; no- lived in a fortunate age before courtly poncing around; yes- quite often; yes- presumably, it being his MS and all. But WHY, oh why, would he be examining it? If I knew that, I’d have a whole chapter written already.)

Would Wulfstan have breakfast and a cup of tea first? Yes, yes he would.


13 Responses to “W.W.W.D?”

  1. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    I’ve still got two ‘t’s in my surname. But I fully support your diagnosis about the main question. I actually think Wulfstan might be more of a coffee and roll type though.

  2. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    Also, I cannot close my tags. Even after coffee. My apologies.

  3. highlyeccentric Says:

    aaaargh! every time i type it i look up your blog to see how many Rs are in it, and EVERY TIME i forget about the Ts.

    i suck. (as penance, would you like me to double-pronounce them in the anglo-saxon style)

  4. highlyeccentric Says:

    and if you cant’ close tags, I can’t remember my punctuation marks. insert appropriate question mark.

  5. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    I think your punctuation pains are penance enough 🙂 I hope breakfast and tea made Wulfstan more accessible.

  6. highlyeccentric Says:

    aaargh, no, breakfast and tea lead to the discovery that the Law library have LOST USyd’s copy of Liebermann. I spent the afternoon trying to FIND the law library, so that I could verify this absence, and then poking around on main campus to make sure it hadn’t been misshelved up here for some reason.

    Fortunately, the Bocera has a photocopy, but nevertheless… how can you LOSE around 800 US dollars worth of books (which certianly no law student these days can read)?

  7. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    Oh no, I know that one all right. What that means is that someone borrowed it, and then graduated and left with it in their backpack. Or that would be my first guess anyway. And then how do you replace something like that? I’ve run into this in Cambridge a few times, it’s really annoying. Though not as bad as when I was working on tenth-century papal stuff and discovered that at some point someone had been busily through Cambridge UL clipping out all the plates from anything with a tenth-century Bull in it…

    You have a photocopy you say, but otherwise if need be I can obtain scans of short extracts at least if something like this should occur again. Might take me a couple of days. Or could post photocopies in extremis. But for now you’re sorted, yep?

  8. highlyeccentric Says:

    You rock 🙂

    I believe I am sorted for now, and I’m not about to give up on my quest to obtain a hard copy (it occured to me that perhaps one of the college libraries might own the original turn-of-the-centruy edition, from the time when law students actually learnt Anglo-Saxon), but that’s a fabulous offer 🙂

  9. highlyeccentric Says:

    >>What that means is that someone borrowed it, and then graduated and left with it in their backpack.<<

    See, USyd has a sneaky way of dealing with this. You don’t get to graduate until all library books are returned, and all fines paid. *smirk*

    People tend to take things and put them in funny places though.

  10. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    Oh, no, Cambridge do that too, though I can’t believe the colleges wouldn’t smooth over so `minor’ a problem. But you can as a graduate of the University get a ticket that lets you borrow, and then of course you move away and the UL never hears…

    I hope it is just a mis-shelving though. Cambridge UL do an annual stocktake which usually resolves things like that. What is really maddening, although I’d also be the first to admit that it’s really useful, is that because it’s open-stacks for much of the building, you can take a stash of books from anywhere on the shelves to your hidden table somewhere in obscure floor 6 or wherever and then reserve them there for ages. So muggins here wants to check a page reference, it’s not on the shelf, not borrowed, could be anywhere in the building. And so if it has been lifted, no-one will be sure until the stock-take.

    I love it anyway, but that and the fact that it can take things four days of limbo to get reshelved when they’re returned is a bit trying. But I know I’ve got it lucky really, which is why I don’t mind offering to find stuff that others can’t get.

  11. highlyeccentric Says:

    Hah, yes, the open-stacks problem… Fisher do that, and they have sorting shelves (they have time to bring a book up and sort it onto THOSE, but no time to actually shelve it. go figure), and when you get to the ACTUAL shelf it’s not straight dewey numbers, oh no. There are Letters-before-dewey-codes, which take precedence. Then dewey codes. Then numbers-below-dewey codes (ie, this is the 113th book in the 829 section). And for literature they have letters-before-or-after-numbers-below-dewey-codes. And in some sections they haven’t recatalogues and you get author-initial-below-dewey-code.
    All of this can be figured out with a little library-fu.
    Then I had to go on a quest for a book so old it had nothing but a dewey code on the system. Turned out to have been shelved under the initual of the dedicate-ee. Why? No one knows.

    Does Cambridge one centralised university library? All we ever hear about down here are the college libraries, although I suppose that could be because they have most of the rare books…

  12. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    Cambridge has a centralised UL, yup, which is one of the country’s legal deposit libraries. That means they can claim a copy of anything published in the UK, though much they don’t so as to conserve shelf-space. They shelve by size, within subject areas, which lets them consolidate shelves even more but takes a bit of getting used to. But all the colleges and all the faculties and many of the departments have libraries too, so it’s a fairly high concentration of books per square mile. Most of the rare books actually stay in the UL, where they can be best conserved; only Trinity and Corpus Christi have substantial collections of rare stuff of their own, and they have special money set aside for dealing with it. The other colleges mostly deposit their stuff in the UL but continue to own it.

    This is real library-geeking, I hope you don’t object.

  13. highlyeccentric Says:

    *I* don’t object, but apparently WordPress does… library geeking is now spam!

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