UPDATE: I panicked too soon! Or rather, too late by half a month and more…. They did find both of the St. Albert manuscripts in his own hand, which makes me very happy. The link also shows where you can learn about other Albert mss in the city, but not in the same archive.
The moral of the story is that your resident Banshee should keep up better with the news.
Well, heckydarn. This stinks. It seems that, of the few manuscripts preserved from St. Albert the Great’s own time and hand, a few more may have been destroyed, in that horrible archive collapse into an inadvertently-manmade sinkhole, in Cologne. Copies exist, yes. But for the scholars trying to put out a new edition of his complete works, who intended to use all the new technology available since Borgnet did his edition in Victorian/Edwardian times… well, it looks like it’s not going to happen.
Read the bad news from the Koln (Cologne) Statsarchiv here in German, or in Google Translate here. (Yes, I know this article was from March 6, but I just read it today. Sorry.)
You can read earlier accounts of the horrible fate of the archive here from Roger Pearse.
Other accounts of stuff which may or may not have been lost forever, here at Google Translate.
Here’s the current state of matters, also through Google Translate. Archivalia is a German archives blog, so I’m sure it has tons more on this subject.
Anyway, there’s a video in German, and it shows some kind of book that’s only got its binding ripped while they talk about “handschriften”. (I mean, yeah, sad for the binding, but after a building collapse, not bad.) Are they saying this is one of the autograph manuscripts, or just something like them??
The autograph manuscripts still lost back in March, and possibly still lost, are Quaestiones on Aristotle’s On Animals (of which there’s an English translation from CUA), and St. Albert’s Commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew.
Which brings us to our next order of business. Clearly, this is a time to pray. (More than before. I mean, obviously any time when I first heard about this place getting destroyed, I couldn’t help but pray.)
Found via the website of the folks in Cologne who are putting out the new edition. Seriously, everybody, pray for them. This stinks.