I might not end up using exactly this text in my final project, but I would like to use a text for which I can find a little bit of information about its provenance/history. I like the Northumberland Bestiary because of its subject matter, and also because it has only been digitized. There is metadata for it, but it’s not very informative, but there is no transcription or translation of the text. There is also this article about the manuscript, with this tidbit: “The Northumberland Bestiary was originally owned by the Duke of Northumberland, but in 1990 was sold to a private collector. In 2007 the Getty Museum purchase the manuscript for a reported $20 million (US).” This is a pretty straightforward history, but also raises questions about how it survived for as long as it did and why it was sold. With this text (and there are definitely other possibilities that I might also include), I want to help students think through the histories of primary sources, the effort that has to be made to preserve them, how they function as commodities, and the labor that goes into making them findable.
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