pendant / pedant

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Respect des fonds had no temporal limit at the archives. Everyone knew that there were divine punishments for researchers who made their own ‘inclusions’ in the files. The young doctoral student who thought to deploy paperclips to keep his place in a particularly dense bundle of recorda learned that there were more immediate punishments for the most wicked. The archivist was pragmatic and impatient and perhaps agnostic.

[more from the unpublished and unloved Oxford Noir]

The Historian as Accidental Poet

G. O. Sayles (1901–1994) payed out, volume by volume, a lifetime over the king’s bench rolls at the UK Public Records Office, now The National Archives. His is the second life, consumed by those rolls, and that’s only up to Henry V.[1] Several more will be claimed, I am sure, by the vastly more numerous records of the later kings and queens who sat, figuratively if not literaly, in propre persona.
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