Monday, March 10, 2008
The Eastern Manuscripts
The eastern collection is housed in a fairly small, third story room accessed from a different part of the quad. The whole experience is much more pleasant than Western Manuscripts. Because the collection is smaller and fewer people work on the material, the procedures are more relaxed.
They only assign one plate, in one color, a deep, blood red. They will bring you a stack of microfilms at a time that are organized by collection number with about five MSS per reel. The walls are lined with the essential reference works, which one can pile up on one's desk. Throughout the course of a workday one can come and go as need be by simply telling the librarian at the front desk that you're stepping out for a bit, without putting everything away.
I'll be in this room for the next few days.