Friday Slide Scan #3 is from 1988: a dark waterfront in Wales, and a side-trip into the Black Book of Carmarthen.

Aberystwyth by night

There’s a story that goes with this one. At this point I was working on the Oxford English Dictionary project and, since I was traveling to Britain often, combined one trip with a driving vacation around the South and West. I had been in contact with the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru or Dictionary of the Welsh Language, who had been looking at some of the same problems faced by the OED. Since we were planning to drive through Wales, I offered to drop by. We had a nice afternoon talking about computational lexicography.

The dictionary was at that time in the National Library, which also houses some famous books including the Black Book of Carmarthen. So when we were finished, I asked the guys if the Black Book were on display, because I’d like to go see it. They said “It’s not on display, but that’s OK” and we wandered through the basement hallways to the vault, went in, and they took it off the shelves and put it in my hands! It’s astounding; the 750-year-old illuminations looked like they’d been done yesterday, colour and lustre leaping off the page. No, I didn’t take a picture.

Images in the Friday Slide Scans are from 35mm slides taken between 1955 and 2003 by (in rough chronological order) Bill Bray, Tim Bray, Cath Bray, and Lauren Wood; when I know exactly who took one, I’ll say. Most but not all of the slides were on Kodachrome; they were digitized using a Nikon CoolScan 4000 ED scanner and cleaned up by a combination of the Nikon scanning software and PhotoShop Elements.


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February 04, 2005
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