Krista Tippet talked about the topic of preserving manuscripts. Throughout the hour, she interviewed with three different people, the first of whom was Father Stewart. Father Stewart is the executive director at Hill museum of Manuscript Library.
To begin, a manuscript is described as a piece of writing that is hand written. It is a document that is original and historical. Manuscripts can really be seen as artifacts in that they are one of a kind. When reading a manuscript, you are really able to get a sense of when that historical period. During the interview, Ms. Tippet and Fr. Stewart talked about how manuscripts allow you to see the binding, the ink in writing, and the side notes left by its readers. They gave an example of a manuscript of Psalms, in which they could see the edges were somewhat fringed as though it was left by a campfire, and said that it even smelled of campfire.
I think that this example really shows how different of an experience you can actually get out of reading an actual manuscript versus a printed copy. Mr. Haile, the second interviewee on the broadcast said that “I have a problem in living which century I live. When I read those manuscripts, I’m taken away there. Sometimes I’m totally taken with them.” Mr. Haile is sharing how when he reads a manuscript, he get a real feel for the exact time in which it was written, which I think can allow for a whole different meaning and appreciation for reading it.
One of the current problems with manuscripts is that they are valuable, and poor people in Ethiopia (which is the last place that used manuscripts) will take manuscripts from churches or monasteries to sell them for money. When a manuscript is taken like this, often times, that piece of history is gone forever. Once gone, they are often resold for larger amounts of money, and are sometime broken up.
When listen to this broadcast, it really made me think about how important it is to have original manuscripts. If we did not have manuscripts of anything that was written in the Bible, it would be really hard to get a good idea of when, where, and why it was written. I think that this is the importance of having original manuscripts. If you have a piece of original writing, it allows you to get a more complete understanding of it – when it was written, where it was written (in terms of language), and a feel for the actual time period that it was written in. I think that this broadcast really gave me a greater appreciation for original pieces of writing, especially for manuscripts.
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