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Image: great gold buckle from the Sutton Hoo ship burial; one of millions of images available to us punters through the British Museum’s online catalogue.

I mentioned earlier this week I was hoping to go to a work-related seminar today, and so I did. It was about conservation of historical documents and it was, for the most part, very interesting.

The best nugget was learning that the British Museum’s whole object catalogue is online. You can browse the database of nearly four million objects (and growing), with good descriptions and high quality photos. (Try the advanced search. Nobody uses the advanced search and that makes the head of cataloguing very sad).

The lowlight was a presentation about trying to bring diversity to historical research. The speaker carefully never defined diversity, but told us the measures they’d taken (they who? The Arts Council, I think) to increase ‘diverse’ trainees in history. Like, eliminating the degree requirement for entrance and ultimately limiting the program to London. And even then, they had a three in ten dropout rate. This was after a day of being told the pool of jobs was shrinking.

It boils down to: taking scarce jobs away from qualified English people who want them to foist them upon unqualified, unspecified ‘diverse’ people who don’t.

And with that depressing thought, I bid you a good weekend!


Comment from Pupster
Time: February 19, 2016, 10:38 pm

Hey Stoaty,

Do you know anything about these guys: http://99designs.com/ ?

Mrs. Pupster is signed up and submitting designs and getting good feedback but no $$ jobs yet.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 19, 2016, 11:10 pm

Never heard of them, Pups. But my experience with things like Zazzle and Turbosquid says that some people do very well at the online design biz, but they work at it hard. If you want it to pay like a real job, you have to work it like a real job (including hanging out on their forums and learning as much as you can from their best people).

Best o’ luck to her.

Comment from AliceH
Time: February 20, 2016, 1:31 am

I see reports that Umberto Eco has died.

I think I spent less time reading Name of the Rose and Faucault’s Pendulum than I did reading up on the history and allusions and references in each book. So much packed into them, and still so exciting and readable – I couldn’t figure out how he pulled it off.

Comment from mojo
Time: February 20, 2016, 2:29 am

Am I a bad person just because I can’t help laughing when I remember that Hillary’s campaign manager is named Mook?

Comment from AliceH
Time: February 20, 2016, 3:17 am

A fun little factoid: An old French teacher of mine, who was Greek, studied linguistics briefly under Eco, in Italy.

Comment from BJM
Time: February 20, 2016, 9:34 pm

Welp…there went the weekend.

@AliceH…I have a habit of laying open reference books under the one I’m reading. Eco’s understack grew into an unwieldy tower attesting to my misspent yute.

I loved both books, especially Name of the Rose and hated the movie. I mean really, Brat Packer Christian Slater as Adso?

Comment from P2
Time: February 22, 2016, 10:38 pm

Used to live right near Sutton Hoo…… There was always someone diggin….

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