Friday, 8 November 2013

Bod Almighty!

Today, in 1602, our esteemed forebear The Bodleian Library opened its doors to the public. Effectively the national library for England until the opening of the British Library, the Bod holds many valuable and thrilling manuscripts including a Gutenberg bible, Shakespeare's first folio and Richard James' A Description of Poland, Shetland and Orkney which is the first recorded description of Orkney in English.

The language (and spelling) are fantastic. Orkney is described as being 'manie Ilands' with a capital 'Kircwawe' and the Pentland Firth, or 'Penthland Frith' is 'dangerous with manie whirlinge tides and currents which will sucke in sheepes and botes in the passadge.'

The Orkney Archive hold a photocopy which has the reference D68/7/5 and is available to view as well as Evan MacGillivray's 1953 introduction and transcription which appeared in the first Orkney Miscellany.

Today we shall celebrate our Oxford cousin by trashing the Orkney Room with a raucous Bullingdon club-style feast whilst dressed up as Sebastian Flyte and/or Inspector Morse

We have also been serenading each other with this fab Minnie Ripperton (for she was born today in 1947) hit over and over again and, instead of gratitude, we have received only surly looks, complaints to the managers and downright grumpiness from the readers.


  1. Do you know what the rest of it says? I'm going cross-eyed trying to read it. I like the bit about the Hollanders and English buying knitted mittens. I think. Could be kittens for all I can tell..

  2. I'll get Archiver on the task.

  3. Peeremoot, click on our 'Spotlight Archive' tab at the top of the page and read away!

  4. Thank you very much Dusty and Archiver :-D. It's fascinating reading!

  5. Aw! I missed Bod Day! I'm crushed. Well, that will teach me to check in more often.

    I smooth-read a book for Project Gutenberg , called Annals of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, A.D. 1598-A.D. 1867; With a Preliminary Notice of the earlier Library founded in the Fourteenth Century, by The Rev. William Dunn Macray, M.A. It is a terrific book, in case you're wondering.

    Well, I hope you had a lovely celebration. I'll hold my own little party this afternoon.


  6. Bod Day was marvellous, many thanks!


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