Thursday, 4 February 2010
You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone
I'd well imagine that you've already heard about the King's College Palaeography debacle. It's no news that Universities are really starting to feel the pinch recession wise. Worse is to come. But at King's College, London, something rather special is under threat: the UK's only chair in palaeography is allegedly in line to be axed. This is a higher order skill than the squinting funnily at manuscripts and proclaiming "aah! It's a 'g'" which we all practice. So codicology and bibliography might not be the sexiest things out there, but these skills are invaluable: even modernists need to be able to read ye olde charters, manuscripts, and codices. And the National Archives teach yourself old handwriting course, despite its excellence, will only get you so far. The mental image of mediaevalists and bibliographers up in betweeded arms, which was summoned to mind at once, is not altogether representative: as always, there's a facebook group, which I'd encourage you to join, as well as online petitions to sign and letters to write.