Daily Archives: June 30, 2009

Honorary Doctorate Wielder

Crimony. The University of St. Andrews just gave Stephen R. Donaldson an honorary degree, in the same ceremony as it gave one to N.T. Wright. Via Paleojudaica.

(That sound you hear is me biting my tongue.)

Although I will mention that anyone who complains about Tolkien’s wordiness does not even know the meaning of verbosity. Donaldson, OTOH…..

(Biting my tongue again.)

Anyway, one understands that St. Andrews is a very pretty town in the summer, and one is very glad for both men, even if one of them made me suffer hours of agony without even counting what he did to his characters, and I don’t mean the one who writes a lot about St. Paul.

UPDATE: To be totally fair, I should say that Donaldson is extremely erudite and well-informed when talking about writing and how to do it, and probably does indeed deserve a doctorate for his work in that area.


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The Register apparently ran a passionate but inaccurate article on the topic of grabby people claiming copyrights that don’t exist or which have run out. (Like, say, the Conan folks threatening legal action against the Broken Sea folks, who were only doing Conan stories in the public domain.) It called this “copyfraud”, which is a catchy name.

Apparently, Creative Commons got dragged into this, so here are their comments, with a link to the original article.

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Westphalian Folksong Archive Online

In happier news, you can apparently now listen to Westphalian folksongs until they come out of your ears.

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St. Albert the Great: His Cologne Autograph Manuscripts Did Survive l

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.

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