ossamenta: (Book store = shiny!)
[personal profile] ossamenta
I'm trying to get as much information I can about medieval trade in paper and parchment, and purchases of the same. This means reading published account books (there's no time for me to decipher original account books), and hopefully they have a register that includes more than just places and persons.

I found one such book, Danske middelalderlige regnskaber (Danish medieval accounts), in the library while looking for something else*. The register noted both paper and parchment several times, so I was all set to photocopy those pages. I was a bit confused when I discovered that the book started on page 238, and I couldn't make head or tail about it. And since some of those papers and parchments were on pages prior to that, it was important that I found out what on earth was going on.

And on the front page, in a very small font, was printed "second part". No, the library didn't have the first volume. And it didn't seem as if any other Swedish library had. Now, luckily, I live close to Copenhagen, so I checked the Danish Royal Library's catalogue, just in case. Potentially there could have been a fuck-up and the first part was never printed - who knows? But the catalogue said they had two copies, one "Volume 1,1" and one "Volume 1,2". And they were in the reading room, not in a off-site store somewhere. Jackpot!

So with a very short notice (I found this out in the very late afternoon), I packed my bag and the next morning headed off in a different direction than the usual. A bit of oopses on the way: had to get more Danish currency, top-up my pay-as-you-go rail card, run to the platform...

I was distracted on the way to the library by the realisation that today was a Tuesday and the Glyptoteket museum had free entry. And they had a new exhibition on about a Roman silverware treasure found in France many years ago. A bit embarrasingly, I've never before been to Glyptoteket mainly due to the entrance fee and the fact that Ancient Greece/Rome isn't really my main interest. But today, how could I refuse? It took only an hour or so to walk through the interesting bits, including the exhibition. I suspect that a good guide would really bring the statues to life (so to speak), but it's a very traditional museum, with more statues than non-statues. The winter garden with its massive palm trees is on the other hand lovely!

I found the book quickly in the Royal Library** and got the references I needed. Next option was either sit there and write something, or go window shopping. Window shopping won. I had a list of second-hand bookshops to tick off, and while it wasn't a beautiful day, the promised sleet hadn't arrived. My second jackpot was at Vagnsgaard's***, where I found a book on guilds in Medieval Scandinavia that looked like it could be highly useful.

I walked until it felt like my feet would fall off, and then took the train home. All but one of the bookshops had been visited. And as I got out from the station, the first snowflakes started to fall. Right now, the grass is covered in snow, but it has melted on the cycle paths and pavements. I wonder what it will look like when I wake up tomorrow?

*: this is very typical.
**: The Royal Library does a decently priced and tasty lunch. Couldn't actually finish my sandwich!
***: Of all the second-hand bookshops I visited, Vagnsgaard's on Fiolstr├Žde is the best one from an archaeological/historical perspective.
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January 2019

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