Thursday, February 27, 2014

Breslauer Bible Model

In order to arrange the proper setup for the scanning of the Breslauer Bible at the SSRL, Ms. Cathy Knotts (the SSRL director) directed us to Sam Webb, who she said would assist us in devising a setup. Using the aforementioned sketch by Dr. Gwara as a model, Ms. Kelsey Crump of the Hollings Special Collections library constructed a full-scale model of the Breslauer Bible for us to send to Stanford. The Facsimile showed the first three paper fly leaves and then the page to be scanned; as they are unimportant to the scanning, the rest of the pages of the model were a solid piece. Here are a few images taken by Mr. Robert Smith: 

This picture shows the model closed. Note the solid representation of most of the pages.

This image shows the paper fly leaves found at the beginning of the bible. Its covers are slightly more rigid than those of the actual bible. It luckily survived Dr. Gwara’s attempts to induce greater flexibility.

This image shows the Bible open the the page containing the inscription.

We mailed the model to Sam Webb at Stanford, along with a few attachments and a letter explaining the model to him. We told him that we planned to isolate the inscription page by holding the first three fly leaves to the front cover using a band of mylar, and the rest of the pages to the back cover using the same method. To hold the page steady, we told him we planned to use a half-frame of matt board. We sent the package last Friday with priority shipping, so they should likely have it by tomorrow.

- Carl 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Lighter Side to Medieval Manuscripts

Dr. Gwara recently sent Carl and I this interesting manuscript related article. 

Before cats became infamous for inconveniently scurrying across keyboards. . . 

. . .one feline trod across this Medieval Manuscript!  

Check out the original article below! 

- Aaron

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Project Continues

Last week was a tumultuous one—we  suffered from snows storms, ice storms, and even an earthquake, but our project plods on ahead. We met earlier this week at Dr. Gwara’s office in order to discuss our travel to Stanford. We filled out the appropriate Travel Request form—Dr. Gwara taught us to pad our budget by adding additional money on to each category (anywhere from $ 20 to $ 50) because the amount listed on the budget is the maximum reserved for a project by the department—it is therefore better to plan over budget than under. Stanford contacted me, asking for us to contact one of their personnel to discuss the experimental setup—specifically how we planned to mount the open Breslauer Bible. I had hoped to meet with Dr. Gwara at the library on Wednesday, but the arrival of a snow storm kept me snowed in at home. However, Dr. Gwara spoke with Ms.  Sudduth at the Hollings Library, producing the following initial sketch. 

In other news, we have continued working on our online courses (which deal with matters such as cyber security) in order to travel to Stanford. We have also agreed to stay at the Stanford Guest House for the sake of convenience. Our travel will be between the 18th and 21st of March. I am quite excited to continue working on this project once I return to school next week!

- Carl 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Preparation for Stanford

My name is Aaron Sanders, a junior, history major, and AFROTC cadet at the University of South Carolina. I'm working with Dr. Gwara and Carl on the Breslauer Bible project. Things are definitely speeding up!

Carl and I recently found out that instead of traveling to Stanford in June, as we originally planned, we will now be flying out March 19. Therefore, Carl and I have both created accounts on the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) website, and will begin taking the five online training courses required to use Stanford's facilities. We are hoping to use SLAC's synchrotron to read the erased inscription in the Breslauer Bible, using similar methods to those used for reading the original text of the Archimedes Palimpsest.

Synchrotron at SLAC

Check back for updates on our progress, and some upcoming posts about Medieval Paleography!