New York City

The picture today is of a 6-7th century glass drinking vessel in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York. It is identified as Langobardic (the Lombards were a Germanic people in northern Italy in that time period). It was made using techniques credited to the Romans. Perhaps it at some time was use to drink mead.

I admired this picture when I first saw it online. I was unprepared for how much more impressed I was when I saw the vessel in person a few weeks ago at the Harvard Museum’s beautiful and informative exhibit on animorphic drinking vessels (squeaked in on the last day). It is easy to forget how much more you see in person compared to a picture. A note, the Met is one of the many large museums who has made many images available for use under creative commons licensing and I am happy to use that to spread beautiful pictures of their collection.

I’m heading out tomorrow for almost a week in NYC.

I have 2 days at the library of The New York Academy of Medicine to review a number of manuscripts and texts. I also have 2-3 days at the New York Public Library to review manuscripts and texts in their collections. The NYPL also has a number of other books and documents of interest, I will get as far with my lists as time will allow.

It can be a challenge to work through the access requirements for collections of this type. No complaining, the precautions are all reasonable; if I had a bunch of 400-year-old documents I’d be careful about who I let come over for a look, and what they could bring with them. It can also be a challenge to understand the holdings of individual collections to ensure you are making the best use of your (and their) time. Manuscripts can be inconsistently or minimally cataloged, archives are often arranged in ways that are confusing to the outsider, and prioritizing can be difficult.

I am continually delighted by the knowledge and helpfulness of the librarians.

I expect to come back from this visit with about 20 recipes to add to my catalog (looking statistically from previous results). That does not count the almost 30 I’ve already added from books that came to my attention while preparing for this trip. If I am lucky the total could be significantly higher.

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