Fall semester came to a close with the completion of library block. Somehow the wonderfully gifted and gracious Chela Metzger managed to pack two guest lecturers, two field trips and three labs into only eight days of class! We explored topics ranging from the development of reading and the written word to the ubiquitous use of iron gall ink in library and archival materials and finally to how to intensively and preventively treat the complex codex.
One highlight of the block was a field trip to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. We had the privilege of a tour of the rare books and manuscripts division by curator Will Noel; his enthusiasm for the manuscripts and gregarious nature made the lecture truly memorable. We then had a lecture by Abigail Quandt, senior conservator of manuscripts and rare books, and learned about her innovative treatments and solutions to interesting problems during her involvement in the Archimedes Palimpsest Project. The day culminated, however, with a tour of the Archimedes Palimpsest exhibition, guided by Abigail; none of us were untouched by the amazing feat performed by so many scholars, scientists, curators and conservators to bring dignity and recognition to such an amazing treasure.
But as all great things must, fall semester has come to an end. As we each head off to be with our families and friends for the holidays and welcoming in the new year, we wish you all a very safe, happy, and restive holiday break!