Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Who do you trust your diary to?

Imagine being able to read the diary of one of the Jacobite's who plotted the 1715 rebellion ... the plotting, the reality of the underground battling, the fears and the motivation to rebel.

Imagine reading it written in the hand of someone who was actually there ....

Imagine having this diary bequeathed to you. Having in your hands, not only the story of the rebellion, a piece of history, but also the story of your ancestors long forgotten.

Imagine honouring the diary so much that you donate it to a library to care for it and preserve it for generations to come. Not any library. The British Library no less. Despite its worth being a five figure sum ... imagine donating it for posterity.

Imagine how you would feel when you went to visit the diary, only to find that it had been ruined. Oil spilt across it, the leather cover cut off, and most of its contents totally illegible.

Not happy I imagine.

It wasn't even a diary from my collection and I feel really sad ... and cranky ...

Here's the story from the Times if you want to read the original.

1 comment:

Anji said...

I find it hard to imagine. You would think it was the safest place.

However, when gas lighting was introduced in the 19 century a lot of books suffered, their covers cracked because some of the gas given off dried them out.. My memory hasn't let me down!