More archival musing

A second day of archival fun today.

The metadata quality is vastly variable. Today’s prize for thoroughness goes to Eric Vaszolyi, for the nice way he set out his Mangala wordlist. Sources, the language name on the page, legible and everything!

A prominent Australianist has a draft handwritten dictionary where the language is not identified anywhere on the MS! It’s also feint in places so words can’t be read. The handwriting isn’t great either.

There should be a special diligence prize for Herbert Lawrance, though, who hand copied all of Curr, Smythe, Basedow, Ridley, Threlkeld, the Science of Man vocabs, and a bunch of explorer diary stuff onto paper slips, in Aboriginal — English and English — Aboriginal orders. But it’s sort of hard to work out what the language is (the key is on another microfilm).

Finally, while copying Science of Man vocabs I wondered if the contributors to this volume are more misogynistic than racist. It’s touch and go. The racism is more copious but the misogynism is more vitriolic.

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