Record Novel

Seems like we’ve found a piece of the records that fit the index I have written about before. It’s a record of baptisms, marriages and burials of the parish of St. Andrews in Plymouth for the years 1581 to 1618. That tome used to be a part of the library for some reason. And if you think that such tome can be of any good just to people looking for their ancestors or researchers trying to prove their theories- think again. I’ve written a few times before how archives can be a source for authors, but this thing is in a league of its own. First of all- names. I am terrible with names. I never know how to name a character. But there it is- a book full of names- real names that once belonged to real people. Go nuts- it’s better than the old-fashioned phonebook. Secondly, there are ready-made novels in there, up for grabs. Don’t believe me? Read this:
Fortunatus, s of a negro of Thomas Kegwins the supposed father being a Portugal.

What just happened there? A story of lovers being torn apart by their respective fates, or is it a story of dastardly deeds and base villainy? And what about the child itself? Was his name a cruel joke or a sign of blessings to come?

Pennel, Richard s. of Silfester dec{eased}, a stranger

So did Richard ever learned who his father was? Or what was that made him arrive in Plymouth? Did the past caught up with Silfester causing him to die before Richard was ever born?

Goold, Clement of London, Master of the ‘Susan’ of London, slayne with a falcon shot.

Ok, this one I just have to know: what sort of a trouble a captain of a ship can get himself into to get shot with a ‘falcon shot’? Accident? Murder? Revenge? Somebody write this novel ASAP.
Who would have thought that a record of burials marriages and baptisms was hiding whole novels inside? Strapped for an idea for your new novel? Go pester your local archivist.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, long time ago, musings, random stuff

Devon Record Office index

devonrecordsindex

Sometimes, random items trickle down to us from the library. Somebody would pop in and leave something that I can’t understand why we should have it. I can’t even understand why our library would have it. But here it is: the guide to Devon Record Office. This is not a massive book, but think about it for a second: It is a 100-page book of nothing but lists of things that are contained within the records and the ways to find them within the collection. I am writing similar things often- I list documents or pictures and where to find them, one by one. This book just says: land registries-over there, historical land disputes- over yonder. And it’s only the first part, the thing itself must be huge! Or at least, it was. How is your digitization Devon Record Office?
.
.
.
Well, apparently not too bad. There is a clear online presence with access to many records that are mentioned in this guide. Alright!

1 Comment

Filed under books

It’s alive!

Well, well, well. Seems like the old junk/fancy lamp from previous post is still in working condition, the lamp lits up and the lens is fine too. I actually got to see things that haven’t been touched since the advent of digital photography- slides, microfilmed documents and a commemorative reel made especially for the celebration of Marjons 150th birthday.

I even stumbled upon something of special interest to me, as a person interested in the history of microcomputers- a slideshow that was part of a presentation about role of computers in education. You know, the thing that was used before there was PowerPoint and those horrid gradient backgrounds.  Here are a few pictures, you can still see what’s what even that the backlight is messing with my phone big time.

Leave a comment

Filed under artefacts, photos, technology

Ye old-timey quiz

microfilmreader

Today I think I’ll make a small quiz:

What is this thing pictured above? Is it:

A) a piece of old junk

B) a microfilm reader

C) a fancy lamp

D) all of the above

.

.

.

.

.

The answer, of course is D. This old piece of machinery is one of our library’;s decommissioned microfilm readers, now residing in our archives. I’m not certain if it’s working, even that it looks fairly intact. We plan to turn it into a fancy lamp if we can make the underside light to work.

Leave a comment

Filed under artefacts

A DVD cases shelf

In the cycle of Strange Things I Do In the Archives: Pigeon hole-style shelf made out of discarded DVD cases. It’s not pretty, since I only had masking tape to work with. Nonetheless I have proven that old DVD cases can be something more than just photo frames and pencil cases:

dvd shelf

Leave a comment

Filed under random stuff

Research in the Archives

Most of the last session I was doing some research for an oncoming project. Archival research is a bit different than library research, the type I used to do for my studies. The archives are mostly first-hand material, raw data that is not ready for direct consumption. In other words, you can write your material based on the data found in the archives, but before you’ll get to the things you need, you’ll dig through everything else that is vaguely related to it. It may be relevant or not really, but it will consume your time nonetheless. What is interesting is that generally, people have no idea how the things stand, cue requests that need to be completed in a few days, but they are better suited for dissertation and involved. Example:
A request comes for a one-page of notes on history of turtle washing. But even if we have materials that pertain to the history of turtle washing. what exactly should that be? Marjon’s alumni that were known to wash turtles? The history of Marjon turtle-washing clubs? The involvement of the community in turtle washing around Plymouth? There is a short article about it in the old magazines and a newspaper clipping from the 70s’. Here is a picture of turtle with a shiny shell, will that do?
A vague request for a few notes might turn to hours of digging through articles, documents, pictures, books, recordings and various other materials more or less related to the topic- a single request that will consume hours of research, not to mention preparing the notes themselves. And finally, instead of asking for notes, why not to come to the archives yourself and do the work yourself if the clean chelonians are so important to you?

Leave a comment

Filed under humour, inner workings, musings

Students’ Cuisine, courtesy of Marjargon

I wrote about Marjargon before, a rather humorous student’s newsletter. Today I would like to point to the recipe that was printed in one of the issues. Because students have little in way of income and a lot in way of expenses(books, writing supplies, party essentials…) there is always need to be
creative with cooking. Here is how to make potatoes and beans, courtesy of Marjargon:
Ingredients:
2 potatoes,
A can of beans
1.Take wrapper off can.
2. Put can on hot ring
3. Puncture can (Very important, unless you want beans on the ceiling and shrapnel wounds)
4. Heat Can
5.Put potatoes into oven, Regulo HOT
6.Leave Kitchen.
7. Have a fag.
8. Return to kitchen.
9. Open tin
10. Remove potatoes from oven.
11. Dip potatoes in beans at leisure.

Photo1394

And there you have it- students’
cuisine at its finest:-)

Leave a comment

Filed under humour