Saturday, March 24, 2012

Manuscripts, Books, Pixels

   Our giant bookfair has come and gone, quashing the idea that the printed book has had its day. $430,000 dollars made for Lifeline in one three day weekend flogging secondhand books, CDs, records and games and puzzles. Some kinds of books are less alive than others. It seems that fewer people want to buy paper dictionaries these days. Well, why would they I guess? They seem to be following in the wake of encyclopaedias, which plenty of people want to give away, but nobody wants to buy. It's all on the internet.
   They do want to buy lots of other kinds of books to hold in their hands and turn the pages. Kindle editions and other e-books might be making some inroads, but people still want something to put on the shelf. Classic English literature sold well, even though all the titles are available in e-books for free. Apart from the touchy feely thing, I wonder if the deficiencies in the capability to properly reference cheap e-book editions is keeping student of Eng. Lit. still hunting for cheap paper versions.
  Meanwhile, back in the land of pixelated manuscripts, I have recommenced updating graphics and reformatting pages. Yawn!!! When I get totally bored with this, I will reveal to you a tantalising scrap of bookbinder's waste which shows just how bad legal Latin was becoming by the 16th century.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

To Hell with Technology

  Well there I was, chugging through updating the graphics and formatting in the script samples, when I came upon a section where I had no master graphic files in any format known to modern computing. They must have been some of the earliest examples that I had done, probably from before Medieval Writing was even a website. So there has been a slight delay while I rescanned a whole bunch of images of protogothic and Gothic documents and catalogued them. All done now, so the Gothic documents are now being updated again. The fact that it is raining like Noah's fludde this weekend might mean some more progress gets made. Can't do any gardening without a boat. To think that with fancy modern technology, images become unreadable in a few years, but those original 500 year old scratches on parchment are still there and legible.