Tomorrow I hope to go up to Cambridge University Library. I’ve applied online to renew my card, paid them the money they see fit to exact, discovered a Facebook “memory” that tells me that, ten years ago, I was doing exactly the same thing. While there I hope to look at a Corpus Christianorum volume. I would also like to look at some of the “Cornish Saints” series of Gilbert H. Doble.
I’m still busy with John the Deacon’s Life of St Nicholas. I have been collating the Latin text against the four editions and the oldest ten manuscripts to which I have access. Today I am working my way through chapter 11. Ahead lie the vast wildernesses of chapters 12 and 13. I also need to recollate chapters 2-4. As with everything else, I’m learning as I go, and the way I collated those chapters isn’t what I would do now.
I have the editions and manuscripts open in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9, and I’m adding a bookmark for each chapter as I reach it. The longer I work on the text, the more familiar it becomes. So it takes a while to open everything up. At night, instead of shutting down my PC, I put it into sleep mode, so I don’t lose everything.
But it is summer. The golden light streaming through the windows makes it hard to spend days on the computer. Some days I only collate a couple of lines. But then what does it matter? It will never be formally published, but rather released on the web. I’d never intended to spend so much time on all this – nearly a year and a half now. But it feels worthwhile, and it’s certainly something that I am unlikely to do again.