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The largest Ibn Tulun majmuʿa in Cairo (and everywhere else)

Rummaging through the catalogues of the Egyptian National Library (Dar al-Kutub), one finds a large number of entries for Ibn Tulun. And a large share of those do point to a manuscript from the collection of Ahmad Taymur: MS Majamiʿ Taymur 759 is said to contain a staggering 33 different…

A Taste for the Rare and the Well-Done: Recipe Texts and the Book Trade

By Anke Timmermann Part II: The thrill of the hunt Rare book dealers working on recipe collections are in the enviable position to be able to do original work on unique and little-researched materials, and to learn from the collections they handle, as well as from collectors, whether private or…

First taste of College basketball at Madison Square Garden

I recently had the chance to watch a game in the States, in NY precisely. I had to make choices between the type of sport (American football, hockey, baseball and basketball) and the sports venue. Many teams were not playing home games or at that time of the year. The…

Teaching Transcription and Recipes at a Liberal Arts College

In a new undergraduate course at Bowdoin College about health and healing in the early modern Iberian world, we dedicated a unit of our semester to studying recipes from the period, as curative and culinary, considering questions such as access to ingredients, location of preparations and intended makers and recipients.…

“T” is for Cumbi Tapestries: Peruvian Textiles in the Spanish Colonial Home. Julia McHugh, Douglass Foundation Fellow in American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Textiles dominate the pages of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Peruvian inventories, dowries, receipts between merchants, and appraisals. In almost all cases, textiles, silver, and jewelry are assigned the highest prices and given the most detailed written attention in archival documents. Even with the introduction of other art forms, like painting, in…

The Indian exception: complex prepositions in the Kolhapur Corpus

I am a big fan of old corpora. Of course, I do also appreciate XXL corpora compiled semi-blindly from the Web. But, comparatively speaking, the older corpora have the kind of spick-and-span internal structure that makes them pleasant to use. Complex prepositions In a sociolinguistics course that I taught this…

Where do the things in European museums come from? – 5in10 with Mirjam Brusius

Mirjam Brusius. Picture: private. Mirjam Brusius holds an MA in Art History (Berlin 2007) and a doctorate in History and Philosophy of Science (Cambridge University 2011). She joined the German Historical Institute London as a research fellow in 2017. Her research interests concern the history of collecting and visual culture…

The Wellcome Library’s Manuscript Recipe Books: Reflections on a Quarter-century of Collecting

By Richard Aspin Manuscript recipe books were at the forefront of Henry Wellcome’s collecting activities. Perhaps no other genre of European written artefact spoke more directly to his conception of healthcare as the fundamental preoccupation of human beings. Indeed his first recorded Library acquisition in 1897 was a late 17th-century…

Wartime London and Exile Christmas

Christmas in London still exemplifies the experience of European governments-in-exile in London: Since 1947, every year, the large Christmas tree on Trafalgar Square is presented to the people of London by the city of Oslo, thanking them in an inscription “for their assistance during the years 1940-1945”,  for the refuge…

Shanghai: a photographic journey

Rather than jumping straight into academic matters, let me indulge a bit in one of my favorite pastimes. Almost every time I travel to Shanghai, I take pictures. I started from the first day I set foot in the city back in July 1982. Sometimes just a few, sometimes quite…

Daniel T. Makata: South African Photographer

A guest post by Malcolm Corrigall* Daniel T. Makata, popularly known as Dan Tleketle, has had a fascinating and varied career as a photographer, grave-digger, editor, businessman, community organizer, and sports administrator. Dan was...

The Water Kingdom

It is rare to find a non-fiction book about water that aims for a broad audience yet can impress water professionals. “The Water Kingdom” by Philip Ball (Penguin Random House, 2016) does so and I recommend it as a captivating story. The water kingdom, of course, does not refer to The…

Creating a prototype for lexicographic entries for spoken German

Since dictionaries are mostly based on written language data, creating a dictionary of spoken language requires new types of lexicographic descriptions and an elaborate microstructure. When analyzing spoken language material, a remarkable part of lexicographic work consists in analyzing interactional contributions of one or more speakers, and focusing on the…

Storytelling and Practical Skills in Medical Recipes

By Ying Zhang What constituted a medical recipe in late imperial China? Literati physicians often touted the efficacy of a medical formula by contending that it conforms to traditional order of the emperor and his officials. They might also praise the suitability of the drug combination for treating that individual body’s…

Co-constituting Cost-recovery, Assembling Benevolence – The Techno-Political Patterning of Automatic Water Dispensers

Lifting jerrycans full of water on a donkey’s back after fetching water from an automatic water dispenser in a Kenyan village Concerned about “providing reliable and sustainable water supply in the developing world,” a multinational water pump manufacturing company identified the inability to: collect and manage revenue, reduce “non-revenue-water” and…

The Southern Bathhouse of Antiochia Hippos

By Arleta Kowalewska The ancient city of Antiochia Hippos, founded upon the crest of Mount Sussita, two kilometers east of the Sea of Galilee, was one of the cities of the Decapolis. As from year 2000, this Israeli national park has been excavated for a month every summer. The ongoing Hippos…